How To Review A Resume

Ft. Resume Review Checklist

My fashion resumeWhy is it that no matter how many times you’ve handed in your fashion resume, it still hasn’t gotten you a job?

When you enrolled at University about 4 years ago, they probably never told you that your degree was not going to be enough to get you a job.

You would know this better than anyone by now.
Because no matter how many times you hand in your fashion resume, sporting that precious degree, it still hasn’t gotten you that job.

You had heard of the horror stories before. But you never thought it would be you - with all the best grades and best projects - who would still struggle for weeks and months after you graduated - to find a job.

As a career coach and resume writer, I come across this very situation all the time.
This has given me insight into some of the most common mistakes people that struggle with their job search have been making when putting together their resume.

But the more people I work with the more I can understand why.

You were so busy getting your fashion degree and nobody taught you how to write one. What your lecturers might have told you about writing a resume during your degree would have been old, outdated information that is no longer recognised among HR professionals - the people who actually stand between you and your job.  

That’s why in this article I want to share the…

Resume Review Checklist: The 7 Deadly Sins of Fashion Resumes

If you prefer to learn by watching, this is the youtube playlist for each of the deadly sins.

I've included the first of the videos in the next section so you can get a feel for them.

1. A Career Objective

It goes like this…  
Hard-working and dynamic fashion graduate seeking a fulfilling role that allows me to use my passion and skills.

What's wrong with it?

Several things. But the main point of offense is that this statement says that you know nothing about the company you are applying to and DON'T CARE. You would be the kind of Employee that is only there for their own interests.

2. The Crowded Aesthetic

In a bid to include your entire life story on one page, the font gets tinier and tinier drowning out the white space.

What's wrong with it?

Well, observe these two resumes side by side...

Which one would you read and which one makes your eyes glaze over?
Case and point.

A one-page crowded resume will be skipped over in favour of a clear 2 page resume any day.

3. Ambiguity

This is part of an actual conversation I have with a recent graduate.

Graduate: I wanna work in fashion!
Me: Doing what?
Graduate: Oh, I don't know. I'm open to anything. As long as it's in fashion.

What's wrong with it?

That's a red flag. With a lack of a specialization to offer, hiring managers can't figure out where you would fit in the company. And they won't be spending any time trying to find out…
The result? Your resume never stood a chance!

4. Passive Job-Hunting Skills

Riding off ambiguity, most graduates approach job hunting with a fishing net rather than a fishing line. The hope is that with a wide net, something – anything – will get caught and will land us a job.

What's wrong with it?

Generality breads lack of direction, and it shows all over your resume. Rather than drawing in more opportunities, your efforts fail to catch any job at all.
Hence the constant applying and no responses.

5. The Myth Of Degree = Work Experience

There is often a discrepancy between what new graduates expect their degrees will do for them and the realities that hit them in them face.
Tell me if you haven’t had this conversation with yourself…

Graduate: I have a fashion degree from a university. So I'm looking for a role in management...

What's wrong with it?

This is what the person on the hiring end of the conversation is thinking…

Hiring manager: She's never actually worked in management before. I’m not taking that risk!

The harsh reality is a degree may NOT be enough to get a job.

We could argue all day about how unfair it is that they ask for work experience when you just got out of school, but we have to accept having a degree is really a formality that is expected.

It’s the dirty little secret about the employment market in any field is that companies often do not want to spend time to training new graduates for the real world.

Which brings me to my next point…

6. Job Title Syndrome

Sometimes new graduates get a little too fixated on the prestige of a certain job title. It’s like the polar opposite of ambiguity on your resume.
It goes a little like this.

If it doesn’t say (fill in the blank), I’m not interested in it.

What's wrong with it?

After all, didn’t I just say you should have direction?
Yes. You should, but not blinders.

There may be many titles you never considered that do not betray the entirety of what the job entails from the title.

7. Template Obsession

Are you guilty of the following…?
Spending hours – or days - debating which is the right template to use...

  • With a head shot or without a headshot.
  • The pink theme or the grey theme.
  • The classic or creative

Finally, you make a tentative decision, All without ever having planned a word of what you were going to write on said template.

What's wrong with it?

While the promise of a great looking resume is that it will make you stand out from hundreds of applicants, it glosses over the fact that a resume will be scrutinized for its content first.
Hiring managers count on an ATS to sift out over 90% of resumes received. And no, an ATS is not sorting the pink themes from the yellow ones.

Final Thoughts

Several times, even when fashion graduates have agreed to let me help them with their resume, it’s a tug-of-war because " my lecture told me to do it this way" or "I've never heard of this before".

So I won't try to convince you of anything you aren’t ready to accept.

Rather look through this list of the top resume blunders I have come across and let’s see if any of them are on the resume you have been applying with. It will stay just between you and me I promise.

But if you do find that you have made any one of these blunders then...

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