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Resume Season For Me

August 8, 2017 Leave a comment

Bad emails are back again for those in the need to write one for a job. It never ceases to amaze me at how poorly resumes are written. If you want an interview, your resume is the gateway to the interview. You need to keep it concise, clear, and informative. Put some effort in writing the summary of who you are as a potential employee.

Somehow colleges and universities do a very poor job of teaching students how to write resumes. The first issue, I believe, is the fact that those teaching how to write resumes do not write standard resumes. They construct a college teaching oriented version that is vastly different than what most people are looking for. Also, they teach obsolete ideas. The biggest issue would be the variety of resume styles needed. Each profession has a focus such are published works for professor positions and website work for those looking to program.

As I look at my newest batch of resumes, I see quite a number of people omitting names. Seriously!? A few only provided what I presume to be the first name. If you cannot take the time to provide your full name, I will not take the time to read your resume. You have told me you do not care. While you are at it, provide me with a means of contacting you. Give me a phone number and an email. Also, where are you located?

Length. If I have to read fives pages worth of a resume to get an idea about you, you have wasted my time. This young lady’s resume is slightly over four and I stopped at one page. Her summary of qualifications took nearly half of the first page and the technical skills were vastly overloaded. Simple to say, reduce this information. Instead of listing in a vertical position your name, number and email, why not go horizontal with this. Oh, the 24 font name is not necessary. Keep it standard and bold if you must.

This lady brings up another issue and that is experience or skills. Do not oversell yourself as doubt begins to set it when you “know everything.” She may be experienced in her listed technical skills but by no means is she proficient in all of them. Remove the Microsoft information if you are going to add 35 additional skills. Why not combine the MS information and leave out what you are not proficient at. Pick what you are best at or use the skills you know to target a specific job. Design your resume as if it is a guided missile. Make it specific to the job you are seeking.

Experience and past jobs are another problem I have found. Please refrain from using the buzz words. Only a simpleton falls for them or the experienced graduate. I have eight resumes that I swear the applicants used the same source. “Experience working on large scale projects…” What does this tell me? Absolutely nothing. “Was able to autonomously understand the overall requirements…” and “Experience with process modeling…”and so on. This means nothing to me. Just because you are experienced at using a software has no value. I can find dozens if not hundreds of people that can use Microsoft Word. Leave out the phrases “Good experience…”, “Good knowledge…”, “Experience in creating…”, and “Involved in…” Include substance within your experience. If you worked at place A for a time, then give me some detail about what you did. I know you did not do ten different major projects in the year or two you were there. You may have assisted in some minor way, but you were not the most important person. Leave the lesser part of your experience out.

For goodness sake, do NOT tell me why you lost your job. You want me to bring you in; not exclude you! Do not tell me that you left because of personal reasons or company culture reasons especially when I see you work at companies for no more than a year or two. If you keep being laid off or downsized, this tells me all I need to know about your skillset. I recommend you keep a job for a minimum of four to five years. It is understood that some jobs are not what you thought, but when you leave a company every one to two years, this tells me you are not someone I want to bring in.

Layouts of resumes have changed. I have a ten year old or more resume that needs updating. Today’s college graduates are changing how resumes look. One gentleman has his objective, skills, and additional knowledge listed on the left while his experience is listed vertically on the right. The left side information tend to be single words or short phrases. Another person has his skills, tools, and language listed on the right. These are organized and clear and very easy to read. One mistake I do see are paragraphs that are too long. Three sentences are nice but keep them short. Search on the internet for templates that best fit you. Please, please for you own sake do not say you are not willing to relocate. Do NOT highlight it in any color, too.

One final point to bring up is providing links to your work. Obviously this is not for everyone, but it is for those that do developer work, research, teaching, and other jobs that provide an opportunity for me to peruse beyond your resume. If you are a college student that wants to be a web developer, then have some examples! You had to do this while in school, so give me this and do an outstanding job on this. Do web work for a local church or organization even if it is free. I hired a great lady whose experience was doing a few simple sites for two small businesses. Her school project was immaculate, too! Do not blow off your school project and do whatever you can do. The more I learn about you the more I can determine if you should be brought in for an interview.

The key to take away is to design your resume to fit a specific job. You may need five or more different versions of your resume, but this will help your resume stand out more. Stay away from buzz words or generalized statements. These statements and words bore me and tell me you are not very experienced and are not as in depth with your work as you want me to believe. Update your resume to the current standards and continue to keep it fresh. Do not be overly flamboyant but go outside the box while maintaining some conservatism. Do not oversell yourself and be concise. I do not a dissertation on a job you held for one or two years. If you did lead a project then spend a sentence or two giving me the meat of what you did. What was the success? Did you save anything? If you were a minor role player, then give me the meat for that. Take a lot of time developing your resume as it will show and tell me that you care.

 

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