A resume is your vehicle for a first impression. Is your resume a shiny red sportscar, a mid range white station wagon or an old brown wreck?

5 Signs your resume drives like a red sportscar

A resume is your vehicle for a first impression. Is your resume a shiny red sportscar, a mid range white station wagon or an old brown wreck? What does that even mean? Read on my friend... All will be revealed.


The Shiny Red Sportscar

Your resume is hot. It is truly, madly and deeply a professional sales document that causes a skipped heartbeat whenever it is received. Everyone who sees your resume not only wants to hire you, they want to be you. Not only do you have mad skills, but you also know how to market them and your resume is testament to that fact.

Five signs your resume is a Shiny Red Sportscar:

  1. You are super successful in getting interviews. Sometimes you even get called on the same day you submit your application.
  2. Your resume design is on point. You may have used colourful accents or some other design elements that help to get your resume stand out in a crowd.
  3. Your resume is tailored specifically to the position you are applying for. You have included some of the buzz words used in the job advertisement - it is almost like the advertisement was written for you!
  4. Your spelling, grammar and overall writing style are spot on. There are no mistakes in this resume. You have double and triple checked for errors and so has your sister, your Mum and your next door neighbour (who is a recruitment consultant).
  5. You have really sold yourself. Like a marketing genius. You may even work in the marketing industry.

Does your resume drive like a red sportscar or a white station wagon? Find out here.

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The White Station Wagon

Your resume is functional, practical and no fluff. You have an average success rate when it comes to securing interviews, but your resume is not something you tend to get compliments on. You are fairly confident that when it comes to resumes, you have checked all of the boxes and you are providing all of the information you need to.

Five signs your resume is a mid range white station wagon:

  1. You don't get an interview for every job you apply for, but you have had a few responses.
  2. Your resume is black and white. Literally. It is minimalist and very practical.
  3. Your spelling and grammar is overall very good, but there is one tiny mistake that hasn't been picked up by the spell check. You are shaking your head right now and disagreeing, because you don't believe you have any mistakes.
  4. You have clearly defined headings and you have created lists of the tasks you have completed in each of your jobs. You didn't think to include details of your most significant achievements - maybe you think that would be too forward. Perhaps a conversation left for the interview?
  5. Nothing really stands out. Sure, your resume serves its purpose as an overview of your career history, but it doesn't demonstrate your personality. (This may be difficult for you to appreciate if you haven't ever seen a red sportscar resume.)

The Old Brown Wreck

Your resume is pretty beat up and you are not having much luck getting interviews. You don't really know where you are going wrong. You aren't all that confident in your resume. Perhaps you pulled it together in a small amount of time just so that you have one. Or maybe you just aren't sure what to do to improve.

Five signs your resume is an old brown wreck:

  1. You have been flogging it to every available job opening and you are not getting any calls.
  2. Your resume design is non-existent or a little messy. Maybe you are unsure which font to use, so you picked a few and interchange them.
  3. Your career history doesn't include dates. Or maybe it is just a little back to front - you start with the first job you ever had and work down to your current position.
  4. You aren't confident that your spelling and grammar are up to scratch and you haven't had the opportunity to get a friend to look over it.
  5. When you listed your skills and experience, you used one or two word sentences to describe what you have done (e.g. banking, filing, customer service)

Why am I telling you all of this?

I reckon about 75% of the resumes that pass my desk are White Station Wagons. About 23% are old brown wrecks and I'd say about 2% are red sportscars. When I receive a red sportscar resume, I get excited. Honestly, if you have a red sportscar resume, I would consider interviewing you, even if you aren't quite what I am looking for skills wise.

My advice?

Take another look at your resume. Is it a red sportscar? If not, what can you do to turn it into a red sportscar?


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Becca xo


About the Author


Bec McFarland is an experienced HR practitioner, manager, career coach and the creator of Pop Your Career. She delights in sharing practical, straight to the point career advice, spending time with her family and eating Mexican food.

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