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View Diary: Writing a Resume That’ll Make You Look Good (210 comments)

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  •  Major Disagreement (1+ / 0-)
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    Diana has some good ideas and a few less than good ones, and her approach is TACTICAL and not STRATEGIC.

    As a good progressive, you are used to thinking more broadly than many others around you. Your resume should reflect that.

    Here's some tips to make your approach more strategic:
        1. Leave out the objective and just write a kick-ass summary. The "objective" statement is limiting. What happens if the reviewer likes some weird thing about you but doesn't think they have a spot for your "objective" job? You're into pile C. And you might have taken this slightly different job that was available.
         2. Write your resume with an eye to questions an interviewer might ask you - good ones are trained to ask behavioral questions - what did you do (in response to what), and what was the result (situation, action, result). They expect that you will behave in the future much as you did in the past - so they want to be able to see what kind of a teammate you've been,  how you approached and solved problems, etc. Here's where to differentiate yourself. - for a receptionist, instead of just "answered inbound telephone calls," say, "solved customer problems - analyzed needs, handled routine queries, directed people to appropriate internal  resources and defused emotional situations." etc. etc.

    This type of response shows an awareness of your employer's reason for employing you. As much as possible, your resume should articulate business goals and your role in achieving them. Prepare stories that illustrate how you contribute to solving problems (of different kinds). These stories, and thinking about your contribution to an organization's success (even if it is a volunteer organization or club) are helpful to interviewers as well as to yourself.

    Ahhhh, running out of time. Still. Worry less about the fonts and the format, and more about what stories you can tell than make you seem like someone an employer would want to hire. That means thinking about their needs.

    •  Thanks, hrned (0+ / 0-)

      Everyone, as I've said before, has his or own approach.

      Your point about the "objective" is well taken; however, as far as I know, recruiters or resume reviewers with 800 resumes to cull through aren't going to ponder your qualifications with an eye to slotting you into a different job.  They're too busy!  You'd be better off tailoring a resume to that other job and submitting it.

      I've never recommended simply listing job duties.  That's tedious to read and doesn't indicate the applicant's value.  When I write a resume for a client, I try to make an experience paragraph as specific as possible, and then list achievements.  Achievements are what gets you hired.

      And yes, thinking about the employer's needs is exactly the approach I take.  There will be more on this subject in future diaries on the cover letter and the two-page marketing letter.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Mon Jun 27, 2011 at 01:34:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Being Different (0+ / 0-)

        Hi Diana, thanks for your thoughtful reply. My wife was an executive recruiter for 25 years and I worked in corporate and consulting HR for a similar time. We've talked a lot about this topic.

        I don't know that either of us worked in a situation where our strategies were that helpful when you are one of 800 applicants. In such a situation, it's a crapshoot - or the screener is looking for directly relevant and transferrable skills/job experience.

        So my comments pertain to what is really important in job searches - i.e., NOT resumes. Resumes can be useful in helping candidates think about their experiences in ways that are new and better - and can inspire confidence. Summary statements help people think about what makes them unique and worthy of being hired.

        As a job-getting strategy, however, a resume is of peripheral value - unless you happen to have exactly the right background and skills for the job, or you have personal insight into the screener's biases. You sound knowledgeable, and your diary is thorough. I'll bet you've had good success, too.

        I look forward to reading your ongoing diaries = and hope that you make sure that people understand that personal networking is more likely to land them a job than sending out 100 resumes to random jobs.

        And I still hate objective statements - in my mind they are bogus. For example, if you thought you wanted to be a technical writer, but the recruiter offered you a high-paying job that used your career counseling/resume writing skills, wouldn't you at least consider it? That recruiter might be attracted to a part of you and your resume that you didn't know about (I once placed an accountant in an Organizational Development role because he had interesting and relevant experience - but it's not what he was looking for. Did very well, by the way).

        •  Thank you for your reply, hrned (1+ / 0-)
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          Although I appreciate the thought of someone's offering me a job as a career counselor and resume writer when I had applied to be a technical writer, in real life I know that could never happen.

          You see, I have absolutely no qualifications to be a career counselor.  None!  No degree in the subject, no courses, even.  Once or twice in the past people have brought up that possibility to me, but I knew I wasn't qualified to do it.

          The fact is that I'm a writer who discovered in the course of her day job that I have a particular knack for doing resumes.  It was quite odd, really, and you're right, I've had a number of successes.  I actually enjoy helping people to showcase their talents.  Some of them have left my office with greater confidence in themselves, as they later reported.

          I'm retired now, but I'm writing this diary series in the hope that someone, somewhere will be helped by it and might actually get a job--or a better job.

          "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

          by Diana in NoVa on Tue Jun 28, 2011 at 03:53:35 AM PDT

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