Raison Blanche Resume May 11, 2020 12:00:00
K.I.S.S. – A wiser man than me once made this bold statement and it’s extremely applicable when writing your resume: Keep It Simple, Stupid! Too many people make too much of an effort to ”stand out from the pack” and in doing so they may unwittingly be hurting themselves. In some professions, such as the creative design field, it may be advantageous to show your originality and imagination, but in other business fields this kind of flamboyancy in a resume is unnecessary and can actually be injurious to your cause. In terms of formatting, the same holds true. I have found that people tend to have much more success when they opt for an uncomplicated formatting style. Some people still want to get all jazzed up with pictures and text boxes and funky font, but that’s just fluff. It’s noise. It is irrelevant to the purpose of your resume, which is to sell yourself through highlighting your skills and accomplishments. And hiring managers see right through that!
Include Irrelevant Info (AKA ”Fluff”) – If it’s not important, don’t add it to your resume. If you were a cook 10 years ago but now you’re looking for a job in retail management, don’t clutter up your resume with irrelevancy. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the hiring manager and ask yourself what they would see as important. How does your background correspond with their needs as an employer? Anything else is fluff. Don’t add your hobbies to your resume. Don’t add your references (if they want them, they’ll ask at the appropriate time). And don’t include your high school education either. Finally, don’t be redundant and repeat yourself throughout the context of your resume. It’s OK to reinforce themes, but don’t push it. If your title has been Branch Manager at each of your past three companies, find a way to differentiate each of these positions and highlight your most notable accomplishments. Don’t just copy and paste the line ”Managed a team of branch employees” three times. That will get you nowhere.
After years of working in the executive staffing and recruiting industry, collaborating with countless hiring managers and human resource administrators across various industries, I acquired a thorough understanding of what these individuals were looking for in potential job candidates. I began to see patterns, consistencies, universal tendencies, and I began to see just how important a good resume really is. As a point of fact, hiring managers only spend around 15 seconds perusing over a new resume and they are really only looking for a couple of things when they do. They’re on autopilot, for the most part. They want to know: 1) Who have you worked for? 2) Have you had steady employment? 3) What notable achievements and recognitions have you had throughout your career? 4) What do you have to offer which will meet with their specific needs? An effective resume will answer those questions with a minimal amount of effort and, as with any effective marketing tool, it will also leave the reader wanting to know more. You want to give them just enough info to prompt them into action. That’s when they pick up the phone and call you for an interview!
Work Experience – Work history will typically begin on the first page of a resume and for most people will make up the bulk of resume content. Work experience needs to list most recent roles first, and include organisation, position and dates employed. Also included should be responsibilities and achievements. This should not be an exhaustive list, but should include those of greatest importance and those aligned to the position description. Be sure to include achievement outcomes and metrics if possible, as they will lend weight to your assertions. More emphasis should be placed on recent roles, or previous roles that are aligned with the position being applied for. Older and less relevant roles simply need organisation, position and dates employed.
Potential employers can decide if they are interested in you after reading your resume. They can see what you look like during the interview. RESUME STYLES There are several styles of resumes along with numerous variations. Your experience and the kind of job you are applying for will help to determine the style of resume you use. The two basic styles are: Chronological Resumes and Functional Skills Resumes. Some of the variations include the main themes of business, academic, general, student, standard, professional, or engineering. A Chronological Resume lists work experience in reverse chronological order (the most recent experience first). It includes some descriptive text about each position, usually described in about one paragraph. This type of resume offers several advantages: it is widely accepted, they are easy to read, and they show a clear pattern of your development. The disadvantages include: it does not highlight your major accomplishment(s), nor do they effectively show your other skills. Functional Skills Resumes highlight your skills and accomplishments rather than providing a chronological record of your job history. Your accomplishments and skills are listed at the beginning. Your job history is listed at the end of the resume. This type of resume allows you to call attention to your achievements. The major disadvantage is that employers may find it difficult to follow your work experience. Many people discover that a combination of these two kinds of resumes is the best way to go. You may want to try several different types of combinations before settling upon a final design.
Issue #2 –Technology. Stephen is a gentle soul who is modest about his achievements. When I first read his resume I told him that something was missing. He asked ”what? And I replied ”technology.” This simple exchange highlights the fact that we often find it difficult to accurately self-describe. I know that Stephen has exceptional technical expertise, having worked with him in the past. But he had not thought to include most of it on his resume. His reasoning: he only included technology where he had an extreme level of experience and had not considered others. His measure of acceptance was so high that most technology was excluded. I assigned Stephen the task to list every technology he had used during the past eight years. It is difficult to remember specifics over an extended period of time, so it made sense to start with an all inclusive approach then refine the list based on how and how extensively he used each technology. Together we found the right list of technologies to accurately represent Stephen on his resume.