At my day job I do background checks. I’m not saying for who, be it the clients, the name of my business, etc. I will say that y’all need some serious help with your resumes.
Common problems I see with resumes:

  1. Misspellings
  2. Too much information
  3. Not enough information
  4. Lying/exaggerating
  5. I just, what the hell?

Now to dig into this a bit more.

1. Misspellings. Be it just bad spelling, or lack of attention to detail.

If you want the job, treat your resume like you do. Seriously. No. You did not work there in 20011. Really? You were a manger at MacDonld’s? How the heck do I become a manger?! And wtf is a MacDonld’s?

2. Too much information.

For the love of Goddess, stop talking/writing/bragging/over explaining. Be thorough but succinct. It is possible. Trust me. I do not need to read a damn paragraph plus on what all you did at your last job. Give me 5 bullet points. Tell me in as few words as possible that you kicked ass and took names while doing so. If I wanted a novel, I’d buy one. (Or write it.) Explain enough so that I know you worked, leave enough out to invite me to ask you questions, should I desire to.

3. Not enough information.

This is more about when did you work there, what was your job title, what was the name of your employer, what the hell state were they in if you can’t give me an exact address? I don’t need exact dates, but at least give me a damn year people. I don’t have to have the street address, but if you worked at Walgreens in New York City, you bet your ass I do, AS WELL AS the phone number. I don’t care if you washed the sheets, emptied the trash, and sanitized the counters as much as I care that you were a HOUSEKEEPER. Save the job description for the bullet points I spoke about in #2. If you worked for a Temp Agency, I need their info, not the people you worked for through them. I want the info for the people who wrote your paycheck, not where you collated paper at for 3 weeks.

4. Lying/exaggerating

You know what, if they care enough to interview you and have you fill out the paperwork for a background check, then they sure as hell are going to DO IT. So, you know what, changing that you worked at Walmart from 03/01/2006 – 06/15/2009 to 01/2006 – 10/2009, is going to be noticed. And even if they overlook you doing that for 10 years of employment history, and hire you, they will know that you felt the need to lie. And they will wonder what else you lied about. And they will make a note about those lies. That’s if they hire you. If you don’t know the exact date, at least leave a year. If it was that long ago, don’t put it on your damn resume. Just make a synopsis paragraph that you also have experience in… at the end of your resume. Simple. Went to College? Did you go for a few semesters for a certain degree, but ran out of time/money/the will to do homework? Did you really get that diploma? Have it framed on the wall? Guess what, we will know if you did or not. So DON’T LIE ABOUT IT. Padding your resume is expected, but watch how and where you pad it.

5. I just, what the hell?

Alias names. We all have them. If they ask you for them on your background check, guess what, PUT THEM IN THERE.

Is your name Jasmine LeeAnn Smith (just an example)? Did you marry your high school sweetheart, Joe Bob, get divorced, remarry years later to Frank White, hyphenate your name, and have been living happily ever after? Does your mom call you Jasmine? But your friends call you Jaz? But you prefer to go by Ann? Guess what your alias list breaks down to?

  • Jasmine LeeAnn Smith
  • Jasmine L. Bob
  • Jasmine L. Smith-White
  • Jasmine L. White
  • Jaz Smith
  • Jaz Bob
  • Jaz Smith- White
  • Jaz White
  • Ann Smith
  • Ann Bob
  • Ann Smith-White
  • Ann White

That’s 12 (twelve) alias names. And Gods forbid you fill out that credit card application sloppily, and they misspell the shit out of it as it was illegible. Because you know what? That’s now an alias name associated with your SSN as well. Have a difficult, “unique”, long name? Spell that out CLEARLY.

Don’t want your current place of work to know you’re looking for a new job? Yes, note that you don’t want them contacted. Or, better yet, don’t put that employer on your resume. Tell the place you’re trying to get hired by about it, but don’t put it on paper until the new job is in the bag, just to protect your own ass.

Have a criminal record? A week old? From when you were 19 and dumb and full of living life? Guess what?! Admit to it. People are going to hire who is best for the job. If they do background checks, they’re going to find out one way or another. BE HONEST YO. You’d be amazed at the records I’ve seen, and guess what, they got the job. 90% of the time they admitted to whatever it was they did. Yeah, criminal records don’t look pretty, or desirable, but someone who won’t admit to their fuck up’s are even uglier and less desirable.

Some of y’all make me nuts with your resumes. Like, I want to drive to your house and rewrite the damn thing with you duck taped into a chair next to me kinda nuts. But I won’t. Mainly because I’m a poor mom to a family of five. But Goddess forbid I win the lottery. I HAVE always wanted to travel. Plus, I still need to see how one becomes a manger.