Oct 12, 2012

Write a Resumé

In not searching for a new job for a few decades, I recently had to. My other entry was about searching for a job online [click HERE], this one is about writing the resumé. You just have to figure out what "style" of resumé to write. Back in MY day, we had one template, now there are a ton. The best way to decide which style to consider, surf to:
Yes, it requires a little reading, but they provide the next step forward in the path of securing an interview. Some things learned in the last few weeks may help you narrow some focus on what is written as a resumé. First, decide which style would apply to the position you are applying for. The 3 basics are (there are more):
  • Chronological (focuses on where you've been for your jobs)
  • Functional (focuses on what you've achieved & the abilities you have)
  • Combination (adds both of the above)
Follow the guides to tailor it to fit the position being applied for. If it is technical, focus on chronological; management, focus on functional. If it requires a little of both, combination. Do not create one "general" resumé that you feel meets all of the needs. Draft a resumé for each position applied for.

Why? The resumé is NOT the interview. The purpose of submitting a resumé is to grab attention for them to want to interview and get more information verbally. The interview SELLS you, not the resumé (that is just a spice to inspire them to call to schedule an interview).

Which leads to some personal observations about resumés:
  • The resumé is to get an interview. Keep it short, 2 or even 3 pages, NO MORE. When I reviewed them, anything over 3 pages was thrown away. Being compelled to read more distracted from my actual job, so I won't waste time on interviewing you face to face.
  • I always had a red pen in my right hand. Spelling or grammar marks were inked, and filed in the round file drawer (trash can). All positions rely on communication. Submit something that doesn't have poor spelling or grammar.
  • Cover letters have disappeared, but if applying for a position by hard copy mail, the cover letter gets them interested in scanning the resumé, and that gets an interview.
  • Use paper that catches attention but is not neon. Printing on a plain, low weight paper makes it harder to read, because "contrast." The harder it makes to read, the less likely that you will be called for an interview. Go to a scrapbook store, get some soft grey, #40 weight paper, and when looking at a stack of resumés, eyes will be drawn to yours. DO NOT PRINT IT ON NEON. That is offensive, especially if I am going to be your boss.
  • Don't use graphics and borders. I thought about hiring you, don't distract me from my real job. I'm processing resumés as fast as possible, taking away my time means that I don't want you in my office. If done on paper, what will it be like face to face?
  • Name the file as LAST NAME. FIRST NAME.***. Most applications are done online or email, make sure that the NAME catches attention. Do NOT name it "Resume for XYZ Company on 10_10_12.***" Don't use all capital letters (in chat worlds, that means yelling). Use something like Jones.Smith 10_11_12.*** The asterisks at the end were just used because we all use different software. The key is to keep your NAME out there, your name is your brand. Sell it.
  • There is a lot of different software that we use. Save a copy of the resumé as a PDF and use that when sending it off. Nearly everybody has the ability to open the file, no matter if they are PC or Mac.
  • If sending an "old school" hard copy resumé, double side print it to reduce the pieces of paper that need to be handled. Plus, it saves money and trees. Just be sure to include the word (Over) in the bottom right corner of the first page so they know there is more.
Anyway, writing or updating a resumé often takes longer than the interview that it gets you...


  1. Keywords are the essential components for writing a successful resume, which makes us to start your dream career.


    1. Excellent point. Thanks for the link to that site.