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When it is too much on a resume?

October 13, 2017 Leave a comment

One of the biggest issues for a college graduate is the lack of experience. As most graduates construct their resume, they find there is little there and they find the need to pad the resume. To a person such as myself, this is annoying as I have to dig through mounds of goop to find everything about the person.

This young person graduated in May, and there is little or basically no relevant experience, so the person listed a half of a page of volunteer experience. Though nice, I do not need to see this much. If you find the need to include this, in the instance where it is not pertinent to the job, then make it very brief. Do not allow it to control the resume and stretch it into a second page. I may not be familiar with the event you volunteered at some consider combining your volunteer work highlighting the important aspects you did.

Another problem new graduate add are their classwork. Frankly, I have no idea what Math 452 Abstract Math, Compsci 422 Web Development, or Eng467 Sound and Vibrations mean. This is worthless. How do I know what you did with web development? Consider combining your classwork in a short three sentence paragraph describing the important elements. For example, you can explain how you didn’t use templates for web development and designed or wrote some section of the work. I need a pithy description. This adds meat to the resume and not some filler that has no meaning.

If you were a waiter at different restaurants, do not go into your role of waiting on table or cleaning tables or even providing customer service. I actually know what you did. You waited on people like me. Just say where you worked and that you were a waiter or dishwasher unless you did something special that should stand out. Waiting tables and washing dishes is not something that stands out. You can list the place you worked and your position. If it is a crew member at a fast food restaurant then only state that. I honestly do not care that you worked with a diverse team or it was fast-paced.

Do not oversell yourself with buzzwords or relevant skills that you really are just a novice in. As an example, I see many resumes for programming that list language after language within such a short timespan. To go along with this is the person that listed 21 bullet points underneath one of their elements of work experience. I’ve been at my current position for over 15 years and I do not 21 bullet points to list. Be honest with yourself and accentuate what you are truly good at. Everything else tells me you are taking a shotgun approach just to get an interview.

Finally, I am not interested in reading a book, so please keep the paragraphs to a minimum. Include it in your objective if you need me to know that you want a job. If you want to write a paragraph underneath your experience, then try to keep it within four sentences. In relation to this is the length of the resume. Try to keep it within two pages, but also know the field you are entering. There may be circumstances where a long resume would be applicable.

The resume introduces you to me and tells me if you are worth talking to. A bloated resume loses my interest especially if I am reviewing 100 resumes. The less fluff the more likely your special skills or that something about you will stand out and catch my eye. You want stand out from the others. Your resume is that fishing lure that will make me bite.

 

 

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Categories: Education Tags:

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.

 

Categories: Education, Uncategorized Tags: ,

What NOT to do on a resume

February 12, 2015 Leave a comment

It has been a while since I last posted. Graduate school, hard drive crash (still working on it) and other parts of life will do that to you.

It is resume and interview time for me. Right now, I am at the resume reviewing period. These are the resumes that get through the first round of cuts before they come to me. I am the person that will determine whether or not we should take time out to talk to you. This is my second resume to review and it is a doozy. So, if you are a college student take note.

First, if indeed you are a college student USE your school for resume work. Many schools even offer practice interview sessions. Take the opportunity to do this!

Now onto this resume. Keep in mind your resume is like a puzzle to me. I am putting pieces together to get an idea of you.

1. Though I can google the state you are from, I won’t do it. If you are going to include your address the by all means include the state. Yes, I notice these little errors as do others. If you choose to leave out where you live at least include our phone number.

2. Your summary of qualifications or additional skills are best when done with bullets. I’m busy and do not want to rummage through a poorly written paragraph to determine your skills. I’d rather surf the web than continue with your resume.

3. If you are going to tell me when and where you graduate as well as your major, keep them together. It is easy for me to miss your multiple degrees in your summary. See, I only skimmed because I want to walk the halls. You don’t have to provide your gpa if you have had ten years of experience or more. Fresh out of school, your gpa tells me something.

4. Skills, experience and professional experience. If you separate these I am liable to not understand what you did. Having a list of companies and dates without information means nothing to me. So you did stuff with computers or digital communications, and electrical design. If these aren’t tied to anything I’m not really caring.

5. You may think writing an eleven line paragraph for each task is appropriate. Refer to number 2. You lose me very quickly, and I skim over your gibberish. I want to hit the vending machine for a snack. The only good thing about my not covering your paragraph like an English professor grading a paper is I do not see the poorly written sentences that work best with bullets.

6. If you job hop I am likely to be wary of you. I don’t want someone that disappears after two years. Five jobs in a little over nine years is another strike against you. I don’t need someone leaving a half finished job for me to handle when I want to be talking with a friend in a nearby cubicle.

You want to catch my eye. Keep it simple and stay to the facts. I don’t understand the context of the word “commissioning” as you write it four times in the paragraph. It has no meaning, so keep the words easy to understand. If I have to take time and study what you write, it becomes easier for me to delete your resume. This is why I like bullets with a phrase attached or at least a short sentence. It is easier for me to read. Oh, try not to have a resume the size of a book. I am likely to not even read it beyond your name.

Try resume building sites online. You can do a few for free in a limited way. A professional looking resume may get you the interview. Don’t pad your resume with unnecessary baloney. I don’t care that you washed cars at a dealership during your summers. If it is not pertinent to what you are applying then I don’t care. Eagle Scouts! Do not believe in the myth that this helps you get a job. It will if the interviewee is scout related and values titles. My son is an Eagle Scout, but I don’t care if you were unless it relates to the job. I can tell you that I interview zero Eagle Scouts even though we had quite a few resumes from Eagle Scouts. What you did at ages 14 to 17 have little meaning ten years later. Besides, I know how much of the work was your effort. I was involved in helping out on many projects, and as a reminder my son is an Eagle Scout.

Now back to “work.”

Categories: Education, Uncategorized Tags: , ,