Resumes- today’s perspective

In the last 8 hours two friends emailed me and asked for some guidance on their resumes. Interestingly, both are passive candidates, gainfully employed.

I am not a professional career coach, nor a certified resume writer, but I certainly know enough about job search to offer sound advice.

The first resume arrived at 7am and it took me over 10 minutes to read.  At the end I was convinced this person was a well rounded business person with lots of experience.  However, I had no clear idea what they wanted for their next job, what they were looking to do with their career and lastly what they truly excelled at.  This after a 10 minute, focused read.  Can you imagine what a 45 second review by a recruiter or hiring manager would yield? Certainly not an interview.

Lesson #1:  Be clear what it is you are seeking and what it is you are good at in the first third of your resume.

The second resume arrived around 2pm and we were on the phone by 3pm.  However we could not start on time because that arrived was a .dat due to improper saving on the creators end.  We started the conversation with 10 minutes of small talk while the creator, re-saved his work and resent the file.  When it arrived, it lacked an objective,and style and the chronological history for the most recent job described the company and not this persons achievements.  Upon asking a few discovery questions, i discovered that this individual has a laser like target for his next desired job.  He knows which companies he will be talking to, the skills they will be seeking and how his background is perfect for adding value to these companies.  Yet, none of this came through in his resume.

Lesson #2:  A resume should have a clear objective and be written to achieve the objective.  A corporate chronology in and of itself does not explain to a company why you will help them achieve their goals.

The current job market is difficult.  The job search process is more complex than ever before. Despite many emerging technologies, the resume still remains the central document in job search.  Having a well structured resume should be stylistically pleasing, targeted and thought of as a sales document that highlights your experience,as well as your “features and benefits.”

Why is it so hard to convey: “This what I want and this why you should hire me.”  Isn’t it that simple?

Golf is simple too. 

In Harvey Pennick’s Little Red Book, on how to golf, it states, “Once you address the golf ball, hitting it has got to be the most important thing in your life at that moment.  Shut out all thoughts other than picking out a target and taking dead aim at it.”  I’m sure you are now ready to shoot a 68 tomorrow.

I strongly encourage having your resume reviewed by a professional and consider using a resume builder for versioning, style and output options. You usually only get one chance to make a good impression.


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