Bridgette Lindsay Resume August 18, 2015 09:29:30
Writing a Resume can be a labour of love, but all too often in today’s uncertain economic climate that love can go unrequited when it comes to job applications. If I had a dollar for each time a client said they had not received a response to a job application, I would be considerably wealthier. Like a first date, it is critical to make a first good impression when it comes to writing a resume. Employers and recruiters tend to work on a strict ’love (or at least attraction!) at first site’ policy, and if your resume is not up to scratch, you can expect immediate rejection. Writing a good resume is a challenge. In a few short pages the author is required to distil a lifetime of work experience, achievements and aspirations, whilst at the same time convincing a third-party of their value as a potential employee. It is not unusual for applicants to spend a considerable amount of time drafting and redrafting their resume. And given the potential benefit a good resume can deliver – namely obtaining that desired job – the effort agonising over the right words, phrases and content is time well spent.
How you position and organize technologies on your resume depends on how you view yourself. For those who feel tightly coupled with technology, placing it on the first page makes sense. In Stephen’s case, he is not so much interested in specific technologies as in pushing the limits of what the technology can do. He wants to see tangible results. We organized his technologies into five categories and placed them near the end of the resume. We focused the first page on the results instead of technology. Issue #3-Projects. Determining which projects to include and how to describe Stephen’s roles in each of them was particularly challenging. He has worked on many projects over a span of eight years, so discussion alone was not enough to decide which projects to feature. I asked Stephen to create a list that included every project he had worked on, no matter how small. From that list we selected projects based on how well they matched Stephen’s interests and skills – how well the demonstrated ”the whole person.” Then we organized them into seven categories.
The human reader – The traditional, printed, hard copy resume (yes, it does still have a primary place in job hunting!) is created to attract the human eye and attention. With the advantages of word processing applications, sophisticated formatting is possible and should be applied strategically to create eye-appeal and draw the readers’ attention to key qualifications. The computer reader – The electronic or computer-optimized resume is designed, first and foremost, to be readable by the computer. There are several types of electronic resumes, but the common element of all is the ability to be searched by keyword. Of course, once your resume has been tagged as matching a keyword search, it will be reviewed by a human. So compelling, easy-to-read content is just as important in the electronic resume as in the traditional resume. Miss these points and the effects could be devastating…you might send out hundreds of resumes only to sit at home and wonder why nobody, not even one company or headhunter, has called you for an interview. There are fundamental formatting differences between traditional and electronic resumes. If you do not understand these differences, your resume will make it into very few – if any – resume databases.
Here Is Why Your Resume Can Make or Break Your Job Prospects. Are you looking for a job? Or do you plan to look for a job in the near future? Those questions represent the most common reasons why someone would begin to look at their resume and decide if it needs to be updated. What most people discover over time is that their resume should always be update-to-date as job changes can occur suddenly and without any prior warning. But most people wait until a resume is needed and it is at this time that a decision is made to try to refine and update it, or leave it as is and hope that it will be sufficient enough to gain a recruiter or hiring manager’s attention. There is a misconception that because resumes are rarely mailed out any longer, they are not that important. Yet many online application forms still request that a resume copy be uploaded for review. A challenge for many people is knowing how to create an effective resume. You can conduct an Internet search and find literally hundreds of online articles and resources that provide fairly standard methods of creating a resume; however, that can become overwhelming in time. In addition, few people are highly skilled as a writer, and poorly written sentences with numerous spelling and grammatical errors can create a poor impression. You have to keep in mind the fact that when you send out a resume it is taking your place and represents you as a person, without the guarantee of securing an interview – and that means your resume can make or break your job prospects before you ever get to speak to someone about it.
Take Your Resume Seriously – As previously stated, if you don’t take your resume seriously then your resume will not be TAKEN seriously. If you choose not to work with a professional, then at the very least have an impartial third-party edit it for you and give you some constructive feedback. This is for your own sake. What happens when you accidentally type ”Manger” instead of ”Manager”? Do you think Spell Check is going to bail you out? Whatever you do, don’t send it out to potential employers without having someone else look it over. Some people just need to swallow their pride because when it comes right down to it, you may be the best at what you do, but if you don’t write resumes for a living then chances are there’s someone out there more qualified to write your resume than you are. Please consider that if you’re serious about being taken seriously!
Profile Summary – It is helpful to include either a well written Objective Statement or Profile Summary near the top of the page. An Objective Statement should be a concise statement outlining what type of employment an individual is seeking, and is preferable for less experienced candidates. Alternatively, a Profile Summary should be used for experienced individuals and clearly outline what the candidate has to offer. A Profile Summary would generally include a high level statement of key expertise plus a few major strengths and achievements. Expertise – It is helpful to follow the Objective or Profile Summary with a section outlining the individual’s primary ’Areas of Expertise’ (also referred to as Core Competencies, Key Capabilities, etc). These are often depicted in bullet point form, and should be clearly aligned with the stated requirements or selection criteria of the role.