In this Issue:
Resume Writing Simplified
A world-class resume is vital to the success of any job search. Basically, there are two kinds of resumes:
- Reverse chronological
Functional resumes are not ideal but are effective when you have broken time in your career or you want to change careers and focus on your skills versus your industry background. Functional resumes do, however, automatically raise flags. Our experience is that at least 75% of all hiring managers want directly related industry skills and experience. That is where we will focus the remainder of this newsletter.
The format and content for a reverse chronological resume can create a compelling resume. Remember, a great resume gets you an interview. A great resume is easy to read, easy to see a progression of responsibilities, easy to see the size of responsibility, easy to see key and quantified accomplishments and easy to understand what the individual is qualified for. It cannot be used as a document to reflect all things to all people, but should be highly focused.
Start with a summary where a key word search will pick up your skill set. This is optional because you are attempting to tell the reader what to think about you. A well-constructed resume will accomplish the same thing. Next, list your company and your title on the left with appropriate dates on the right. You must explain what your company’s markets, products, size, etc. are, either in a company line, or in your responsibility line. Explain your responsibilities in quantifiable terms in sentence format (3 or 4 lines max). This is needed for qualifying you. Think about revenues, number of plants, number of P&L’s, number of people, etc. Then, in paraphrase format, list bullet points of your accomplishments which reflect what makes you special, different, better than your peers, memorable and what you are most proud of. Quantify these items, but do not explain “how” you achieved them. Save that for the interview. Four or five points are sufficient. Less than that shows an underachiever. More than that shows someone who can’t prioritize.
Do this for every position you have held. List each employer only once. This exercise in concise, quantifiable terms will also prepare you for any interview. The longer ago the position held, the less relevant. Concentrate on the previous 15 years or past three positions, thereafter, provide less detail. You must absolutely limit your resume to two pages. Anything more than that reflects poorly on the individual for several reasons. Your resume should include your entire career.
Your resume should be sent via email using Microsoft Word. Label the attachment with your name not just the word “resume”. Do not copy and paste into the body of your email. As a separate attachment, it will be reusable by the recipient. It is very important to test what you have by sending it to friends and have them print it. Different printers create different page breaks, which can inadvertently diminish your presentation. For example, never split a job between page 1 and 2. Figure out how to keep it easy to read. This requires excellent attention to detail but is well worth the effort. The employer will email it to the interviewing team and they will print it. It reflects directly on you, so test it and make sure it’s right.
Below is an example of what you are trying to achieve. For more detail, go to the “Job Seekers” section of my website at http://www.bobharringtonassociates.com/. Lastly, remember that your resume directly reflects on how you want to be seen in the marketplace and is worthy of your best effort. As a professional courtesy to all recipients of this newsletter, I will personally work with you to develop a world-class resume at no cost to you. Just email or call me to start the process.