Mallory Éléna Resume December 07, 2015 11:22:07
Years of experience- Though this is sometimes difficult to confirm, information can be verified merely by talking the person in charge of the service and/or checking to see when a website or business was formally established through public records. Don’t rely merely on what a website claims; pick up the phone talk to the owner. Ask pointed questions as to when they started in the business, what their background consists of and how many resumes they’ve written. Question them on resume trends, job search statistics and their success rate. In short, get a feel for who will be managing your writing project. If he/she falters, or seems to steer the conversation away from themselves and back onto you, i.e., trying to sell their services without even listening to your questions or what you need, chances are they aren’t as experienced as they say. Most true professionals in any industry are generally proud of their work and more than happy to talk about what they know, how they’ve contributed and better yet, how they can help you. Conclusion – Any answers bathed in hesitation, evasiveness, hard selling or rudeness should clue you in to either performing more research or better yet, moving on.
Limit Yourself to One Page – In contrast to the last point, you may not want to limit yourself to a 1-page resume. A common misconception is that a professional resume HAS to be one page. However, that’s not really the case these days. I while back, before the miracles of technology, I may have agreed. But now that most resumes are being read on a computer screen versus on paper, there’s no need to limit yourself in such a way. Those who try to cram all their info on 1-page resume usually resort to smaller font and zero spacing. When viewed on screen, this is not an attractive format and it’s hard to read. Now, I’m not saying you should write a 20-page catalogue of your experiences, nor am I advocating the use of size 20 font. Instead, I would say 12-14 size font should suffice and I recommend you keep it at two pages. That leaves plenty of room to say what needs to be said. Of course, if you have limited experience then a 1-page resume will do just fine. DO. Use Bullet Points – When it comes time to explain your experiences in your resume, use bullet points to outline your accomplishments. It is much easier to read and even easier to skim, which is what hiring managers are doing most of the time anyways. Bullet points draw attention to important information. They are also visually appealing and make the information seem more accessible to the reader. So keep them short and meaningful. Some people opt for a short paragraph explaining their duties and responsibilities, followed by bullet points highlighting their most notable achievements. This too is acceptable, just make sure to keep that paragraph very succinct and avoid any redundancies as well.
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.
In my research, I’ve seen more websites than not who claim to offer outstanding resumes without any proof at all. I’ve even gone as far as contacting these companies to request a sample and have been told that since ”each client is different, a sample won’t help.” I don’t buy that – a good writer is a good writer, period and there should be nothing to hide. If you do see samples, make sure they are legible and not small graphics of what it will ”look like,” as you have to be able to read it! In addition to just looking impressive, the content must be doubly compelling, as it’s the content that drives the employer to pick up the phone, not just a pretty design. Most intelligent professionals, upon taking the time to review both presentation and content, are able to decide what whether or not a resume is compelling. Not seeing a sample is almost a sure sign that this service merely ”types” resumes rather than actually composing marketing documents designed to impress the employer. Conclusion – If you aren’t impressed with the samples or don’t see any at all, it may be best to keep on looking!
Focus on Your Target – My reasons for saying this are as follows: An unfocused resume sends a very clear message that you are unfocused about your career. And a hiring authority doesn’t want to see that. They want to see that you have career goals and that those aspirations correspond with their needs as an employer. So keep in mind that a customized resume, modified for a specific position, is always preferable to a generalized and vague resume. If you’re serious enough about a job then you should take the extra time and effort to tailor a resume to that job’s requirements. I assure you your efforts will not go unnoticed. Be Articulate and Grammatically Exact – In my humble opinion, it’s of the utmost importance to be eloquent within the context of your resume and to make sure you’re using proper grammar and syntax. For your current job description, use the present tense. For past jobs, use past tense. This seems like a no-brainer, but again you’d be surprised at how many people make this mistake. Being articulate can go a long way as well. Most hiring managers will consider it a plus if you can convey your level of intelligence in your written communications. So don’t be afraid to break out the thesaurus and make sure you have someone else edit your resume before you send it out to potential employers. That’s imperative!
Issue #4-Value. With an organized project list we were ready to tackle the question: ”What’s the connection to business value?” Not everyone has statistics, such as ’delivered 20% cost reduction’ or ’increased new product sales by 35%’. For IT professionals, value statements are especially difficult because they often think in terms of providing technical solutions, not business value. Extending from technology projects to business value means thinking about what will work better, who will be happier, and what new capabilities will be available when the project is completed. The following statements in Stephen’s resume effectively describe the qualitative value that he created without resorting to exaggerations, superlatives, or fictionalized quantifications: Implemented systems to satisfy a variety of business-to-consumer requirements including web-initiated database transactions, contact management, and communications tracking. Software development – Reduced the time, cost and complexity of maintaining the ETL process by developing a rules engine to remove hard-coded rules from an existing difficult to maintain ETL process. Stephen’s project and technology lists now serve multiple purposes. The refined lists are included in his resume and the original lists serve as a quick review and reference prior to interviews. It’s best to refresh your memory before interviewing so that the facts are clear in your mind and ready when needed.