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  1. #21

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    :resume rant:

    I loved my old, education resume format To me, it made sense. It listed my accomplishments, my work experience, my education, and a small bit of extraneous stuff--computer skills/management, etc. Wasn't getting anywhere fast with it outside of education jobs, and no one's getting education jobs

    So, I modeled mine like what Louis described--a summary and a kind of "branding" of myself. All of a sudden, I had interviews and got a job. While I personally don't like it--it sounds so freaking pretentious, you can tell there's a slight gift for fiction in the descriptions and I'm sorry, it's just an excuse you can google for jargon in that field.

    I would count job experience and education over anything else, because my personal experience has been if you have someone who has a college education and some work experience, or some education and a lot of work experience, they can be trained.

    For example, two bullet points on my new-fangled resume are:

    • Management team-leading skills and individual self-starter
    • Created and delivered cross-medium presentations to diverse audiences

    To me, that means absolutely nothing because it could mean anything. I took out the information about my 140 page Masters Thesis--with primary sources in three foreign languages, and part of it was published in an academic journal--to make room for what IMO is absolute crap. A Master's Thesis is a verfiable accomplishment. Delivering cross-medium presentations to diverse audiences...well...honestly, *I* don't know if I'm sure what it means. It could mean that I gave a speech using a SmartBoard to a group of teachers of all grade levels. It could mean I sang in the shower for my dog and cat.

    :resume rant off:

    I'm sure that was a helpful post.
    "The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play." –Olympic Charter

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Japanfan View Post
    I do resumes as part of my work and usually follow the style given to me because I've never been able to get a straight answer about what the right style is. Though ITA with Overedge - a skills resume is not strong when the skills can be presented/illustrated through work experience.

    I like straightforward resumes but don't see a whole lot of those, usually they are for very specific jobs (i.e. a police officer seeking a promotion to sargeant).

    What I've seen (and is the style taught in some university business communication courses) and absolutely hate is the long-form profile that goes at the very top of some resumes.

    For example:

    bulletpoint SFU graduate with a major in criminology and minor in political science bulletpoint Energetic, hardworking and consistently reliable bulletpoint demonstrated research and analytical abilities

    Sometimes there are three very long pieces of text separated by bullets and single spaced. It's visually unappealing and seems pointless to me.
    The big hr gurus for my field who write all the articles on resumes, etc., recommend the bullet points at the top. I've read what feels like approximately 7 billion articles on resumes, and most of them recommend starting off your resume this way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    I also wish hirers would give applicants a break. Obviously there's no excuse for spelling errors and basic format should be in place, but it's a really tough job market out there, and looking for work can be so demoralizing. Just in this short thread we can see that there are varied schools of thought on optimal resume style/format/content/order, so imagine the poor jobhunter getting conflicting advice from all angles, and just wanting to get a job.
    There really are more angles and more advice--a lot of it contradictory-- than a job hunter knows what to do with. One person tells you one thing, someone else tells you the opposite. *headdesk*

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    [*] Explain any breaks in employment.
    And how does one do that? I've been helping my mom with her job search, her first try at a resume on her own was pretty abysmal, and I've been working on tweaking it. She was laid off 22 months ago, and it's not like she can put "No one has wanted to hire me for the past two years" on her resume. So right now her resume doesn't have any kind of explanations on it.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy L View Post
    And how does one do that? I've been helping my mom with her job search, her first try at a resume on her own was pretty abysmal, and I've been working on tweaking it. She was laid off 22 months ago, and it's not like she can put "No one has wanted to hire me for the past two years" on her resume. So right now her resume doesn't have any kind of explanations on it.
    Well I'm not an HR person, but personally, I would not use the resume to explain breaks. If there's something the employer thinks is 'too' long, they'll ask you about it at the interview.

    And something along the lines of, I've been doing interview rounds, but ultimately was not the preferred candidate/ didn't get an offer, or I've not found the right fit would be a way to address the question.

    As to the original question, I've had a 12.30pm interview, which definitely was not a eating interview. Depending on the hours of the business, anything falling in 12-1pm would not necessarily mean lunch, even though it's a common time for lunch.
    Last edited by star_gazer11; 11-24-2011 at 08:39 AM. Reason: better wording

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
    I would love to send my resume to all of you to get feedback. Any takers?
    Sure, we should swap again! I've completely redone mine - this time with real Graphic Design Although your advice to me would probably be better than my advice to you, since I have far less work experience.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy L View Post
    And how does one do that? I've been helping my mom with her job search, her first try at a resume on her own was pretty abysmal, and I've been working on tweaking it. She was laid off 22 months ago, and it's not like she can put "No one has wanted to hire me for the past two years" on her resume. So right now her resume doesn't have any kind of explanations on it.
    I've only ever put years of employment (ie 1994-97), never months. That covers smaller breaks easily, and even as much as a year.

    If you've got longer breaks than that, then yes, you better have a really good answer ready. If it's something that could be called career related, ie. did a year of volunteering, then I'd put it in. But if it's something else, then I'd leave it out, but be prepared for it to be the very first question you are asked.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    I hear you, Jenny. But I don't think it's too much to expect job hunters to format their resume so that it emphasizes the skills the job is asking for, and to have the resume give enough detail to indicate that the person has those skills, or that they have related skills that could be applied.
    ITA. When I was part of an interview team recently, the job posting clearly stated what skills were required, and some people didn't even seem to know what job they were applying for. I looked for any indication that people had any of the skills we requested. One of the women we hired, who works for me now , had done a good job of that on her resume. She really did have relevant experience and some of the skills I was looking for. Now I'm teaching her the things she didn't know and it's working out fine. And to her credit she did not run screaming from the room when I outlined to her yesterday the work coming up that we have to do.

  8. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amy L View Post
    And how does one do that? I've been helping my mom with her job search, her first try at a resume on her own was pretty abysmal, and I've been working on tweaking it. She was laid off 22 months ago, and it's not like she can put "No one has wanted to hire me for the past two years" on her resume. So right now her resume doesn't have any kind of explanations on it.
    Obviously it is too late for this piece of advice, but I always recommend that anyone out of employment for more than a month do some volunteer work. Even just one shift a week can legitimately fill in a blank. You can the say " Volunteering with the Premium Edge Figure Skating Club while searching for employment. If you haven't done any volunteer work just say Jan 2010 to March 2011 - Employment search. You may think this sounds bad, but if you say nothing the recruiter will have to fill in the blank. He or she may think you have been in jail or running from the police or selling drugs or, or, or. Most people realize it is a tough job market and people may be without work for a while. IMHO it is always best to be honest and up front.

    The thing about waiting for an interview to explain, is that if there are hundreds of applicants and the recruiter is looking to cut it down to a reasonable number, an unexplained break could put you in the no pile. Again, don't expect the recruiter to read between the lines - just spell it out up front.
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by mag View Post
    The thing about waiting for an interview to explain, is that if there are hundreds of applicants and the recruiter is looking to cut it down to a reasonable number, an unexplained break could put you in the no pile. Again, don't expect the recruiter to read between the lines - just spell it out up front.
    On my resume, next to the 2 jobs I was laid off from (most recent one and previous one), I have in parentheses next to the job title, "position eliminated" and "contract ended". I've read conflicting advice on this - that you should explain gaps/reasons for leaving and that you shouldn't. I have that stuff on there b/c I don't want an employer to think I was fired. I guess I'm touchy about that.

  10. #30

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    I think "contract ended" or "position eliminated" is perfect. You don't need a long explanation (no one will take the time to read it anyway) but what you have written makes things clear. When I am asked for sound bite style advice on job hunting and resumes, I always say "Don't leave anything to people's imaginations, and make the recruiter's job as easy as possible."
    A good rant is cathartic. Ranting is what keeps me sane. They always come from a different place. Take the prime minister, for example. Sometimes when I rant about him, I am angry; other times, I am just severely annoyed - it's an important distinction. - Rick Mercer

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    True, but....it can also open you up to discrimination (explicit or implicit), if, say, you mention something involved with a religious group and the resume reader has negative impressions of that group. The advice I've seen is to list things that don't give any information, or as little as possible, that indicates your demographics, ethnicity, religion, political beliefs, etc.
    It should go without saying that you wouldn't want to list anything here that might paint you in a negative light, or be misconstrued in a negative way. But she gave us 3 solid examples of cases where the fact that a candidate listed their interests landed them the job in large part because of them (in addition to the fact they met the basic qualifications).

    In the workshop I attended today, there was an interesting discussion about this from a cultural perspective, however. One participant was raised in Vietnam, and could not understand why anyone would include outside interests--his concern was about discrimination, like you mentioned. Another participant who is from Mexico explained to him that this is very standard practice in Canada. When she first moved to Canada and applied for a job in Quebec, one interviewer asked where she volunteers and was shocked when she said nowhere--it wasn't an expectation where she grew up. The workshop presenter (the same career counselor I saw yesterday) also pointed out that the particular city we live in values volunteerism and extracurricular activities very highly, so it makes sense to include that kind of information for us. That may not be the case everywhere, in every industry.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by genevieve View Post
    I hate objective statements. Theyre pretentious at best. I've never used one, and I either ignore them when hiring, or I give the applicant a small mental ding for having one. ,,,,
    Okay have to share this. In one short-term position it was my responsibility to collect and sort applications for other available short-term positions. Someone was obviously applying only to fulfill their Employment Insurance obligation because she stated her objective as: "To be employed every second Saturday."

  13. #33
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    The reason to put a summary at the top with your skills listed in bullet points is to make your resume pop up when recruiters do searches online. At least that's what the recruiters tell me and I think it makes sense.

    I have been in my field for over 30 years so I can't list every job so if I have skills that I think will be relevant to a particular position, I put them in a section at the end that is basically "miscellaneous" stuff. It has a better title than that (but I can't remember it right now ) and I change what is in there based on the job.

    There is a company here in town that is hiring that I tried to get into who rejected my application under the guise of "not a good cultural fit". This was code for "we think she's a fuddy-duddy". I plan to re-apply and I will put a bunch of volunteer stuff on my resume because it shows I am interested in their product and have appropriate skills and experiences beyond just what I do in my job. But otherwise I leave them off.
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

  14. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by aka_gerbil View Post
    The big hr gurus for my field who write all the articles on resumes, etc., recommend the bullet points at the top. I've read what feels like approximately 7 billion articles on resumes, and most of them recommend starting off your resume this way.
    Are they short bullet points in a list? The style I'm referring to is under the title 'Profile'. Basically, its two-three solid lines of text. Sometimes the text is phrases broken up by a bullet point or even just a hyphen. I've also seen several full sentences used. And italicized text.

    To me this is too visually busy for reading comfort or to appeal to the reader's eye..

  15. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    I love summaries. You're a brand, and the summary is your tagline. When reviewing resumes, it's the area where I place the MOST emphasis. If you can't give me an attention-getting soundbite about yourself, that's not a good sign.
    Can you give an example of what you would consider an attention-getting soundbite?

    How many different ways can you say things like 'proven-track record', 'high performer', 'exceptional leader' and so on.

    I know these are generic examples, but it seems that even the best resumes tend to say the same thing.

    How do you differentiate? Are you looking for something creative and outside the box? Would something like 'multi-tasker extraordinaire' get your attention?

  16. #36

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    In my field, it is all about the buzz words. People don't want to train so they are looking for actual experience with a specific task or topic. The generc "exhibited leadership blah blah" is irrelevant - its more about "used X software" or knowledable of X legislation.

    Matry - I tend to agee with you but apparently the blah blah gets results in a more general sense.
    What would Jenny do?

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by overedge View Post
    In the last couple of months, I've been on several hiring committees, and have a question about resumes. I won't go into the truly dire awfulness of the writing and composition skills I have seen : - especially on applications from people who claim to be excellent communicators - but I am also in despair about the formats of the resumes I looked at.

    Why is this format with skills summaries, or whatever they're called, at the top of resumes suddenly such a popular format? As someone reviewing applications for shortlisting, this format bugs me. I should be able to see the applicants' skills highlighted in their work experience (assuming that they have written those with enough detail). I get that this format is a way to emphasize skills rather than work history when the person may have limited work experience, but if you don't have work experience that's even vaguely related to the job posting, the applicant probably won't be shortlisted even if the skills summary is glowing. Also, a *lot* of the resumes I looked at had skills in the skills summary that I really couldn't see being supported by the information in the rest of the resume. IMHO that makes the applicant looks like they are over-inflating their qualifications, which isn't a great way to get shortlisted either.

    I know that there's not a lot of jobs out there and that people are applying for jobs they may not necessarily be completely qualified for, but IMHO this format hurts applicants more than it helps. The only resumes I've seen in this format that actually helped me make a decision had a very short skills summary (three or four points at most) that related to the rest of the resume and actually highlighted skills that related to the job posting.

    HR professionals and others involved in hiring, what's your take on this resume format? Does it work for you?
    The old axiom "garbage in, garbage out" applies to job announcements. If you are not getting resumes which specifically address the needs of the job, then maybe the job announcement is too vague or generic. When I was applying for jobs I can't tell you how many job announcements that I read where I couldn't tell if they were looking for an entry level clerk or chief executive (and many announcements do not give salary).

    It his helpful to the job applicant if you list some of the duties that they will be performing on a regular basis and some of the specific skills that you are looking for. If you are looking for someone to prepare budget forecasts in Oracle and present the reports to senior staff, say so, don't say that you want a "good communicator who is detail-oriented".

    It's also good to remember that people making a career change may have skills that make them worthwhile to you, but they may not know all of the buzz words for your particular industry.

  18. #38

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    Bumping this up to ask a question: I just read something that said Times New Roman was a bad font to use for a resume b/c it was too fancy. I was like, . Arial and Helvetica were the suggested fonts b/c they are viewed as more modern. Anyone have thoughts on this? Is Times New Roman really that difficult to read?

    I looked at my resume in Arial (most in 11 pt) and thought the letters looked too big, like elementary school-ish. Or is that the look employers prefer?

  19. #39
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    Studies show that serif fonts are easier to read when reading paragraphs of text and san-serif fonts are easier for headlines.

    A resume has a lot of short lines of text that are too short to be paragraphs but too big to be headlines. Which makes it less straightforward.

    But I still use Helvetica (san serif) for the headlines and Times New Roman (serif) for everything else.

    So I guess I agree with this dude:

    http://mintresumes.wordpress.com/201...o-your-resume/
    Actual bumper sticker series: Jesus is my co-pilot. Satan is my financial advisor. Budha is my therapist. L. Ron Hubbard owes me $50.

  20. #40

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    IME what employers prefer is something that is readable, i.e. in large enough font (12 pt min), and not in some bizarro font that looks funky but is impossible to decipher. I would say that if the letters are crammed together because of the amount of detail in the text, that is a problem with the content and not with the font.

    One of the comments on the blog MacMadame linked to also makes the very good point that uncommon fonts may not read if the resume is scanned, or is opened on a computer that doesn't have that font loaded on it.
    You should never write words with numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince. - "Weird Al" Yankovic, "Word Crimes"

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