Resumes, Resumes, Resumes 2 Comments


Like many job searchers in the social media field, I have more than one resume. I have the one that highlights who I am in the social media and online spaces. I have one that highlights my technical skills. I have one that shows every job I have held since 1991.

I recently went to a job fair that offered resume advice. I decided to test out what they would do with a resume like mine. I had three goals:

  1. To see if they had any ideas on how to create a resume set that showed both the technical and non-technical sides of my career.
  2. To see if there was any way to shorten the resume other than going to a font size smaller than 9.
  3. To see if they knew of any new ideas in creating resumes for today’s online world.

The first thing the woman said when I sat down was “You do design work don’t you?” I don’t really. I mean, I do PPT for a living. But design? Nope, I am a technician – not a designer. What caused her to ask then? My resume looked different than any she had seen:

Beautiful design, isn’t it? I can’t take credit for it. I started from the “Professional Resume (Streamlined Layout)” from Word 2007′s template set. Yes, I played around with it. But not much. And the changes I made were minor enough that you could do it too.

Ok… So that is the first lesson learned:
Create something from a start that no one else has thought to use yet.

Question 1: Creating a multifaceted resume set
I know that I need different resumes for different jobs. I get that – really – I do. But… that doesn’t really work for what I need. When I send in a resume that has been targeted for one or the other of my career foci, If I get a response, it asks, “What about all these gaps? What did you do then?” Or (worse yet), “You know about the software creation process? How come? You don’t show anything about that in your resume!” Not a solution at all… So, I asked the expert.

Her response? Along the lines of “Well… you could take out some of the details, but I wouldn’t want you to take out these, or these, or these, or…”, all the while pointing to the smallest sections in the resume.

Not much help there. But the conversation led to…
Shortening my resume

Here, we did come up with an idea that I liked. She suggested that I make the front page more of a “landing site” style. She thought that a business card with the URL for my social media landing site and my blog on it would do the trick. As I walked around the room, I tried it. Being a good business owner, I always have business cards on them. Most of that info was already on the card. The result? “Do you have one of your resumes with you as well?”

I think that the problem at that job fair was that people weren’t looking for people who do what I do. I got some interest, but no strong leads. I have gotten more responses from this online. I have created a version of my resume that follows the look above, but adds my online stuff before the job details. That section looks like this:

But that gives us the first second learned:
Rearrange your information. Put the interesting stuff on top. Even if you are doing a chronological resume.

As for new ideas…
I was really looking for some new way to make my resume stand out and sparkle. She didn’t know any or any ways to make the resume submission process any faster.

I wouldn’t have even gone to the job fair if it weren’t for a good friend who wanted company on the drive across town. Once there, I learned that I am further ahead of the game than many – I have a resume that works. I can get people enthused about connecting with online communities. I need to be patient until the right job comes along.

What’s more…
My connections online and offline will come through for me. Like the friend who encouraged me to join her at the job fair, other friends make sure I am motivated and keep chugging. Even with all the hassles of doing an online job search, connections will keep you smiling and chugging and trying. After all…

Thanks to a set of connections on Twitter, I found The Talent Buzz and learned that there (finally) several recruiters on Twitter. Guess it is time to pull out the old 160 character job search tweet and repost it.

And… Thanks to Jane Chin, who I know via Plurk, I checked out VisualCV.com. I like the idea of a non-traditional resume style. It was work to get my information in there right, but hopefully it will get noticed.

So that is the third lesson learned:
Connections help!

Submitted by Kathy Jacobs for the August 2008 Talent Buzz blog contest.

About Jason Buss

Talent HQ’s creator and editor is Recruiting & Diversity Leader, Jason Buss. Talent HQ is a premier online news and information channel for the Recruiting and Human Resources community.

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  • Posted on: Monday, August 25th, 2008
  • This Post Has 2 Comments

    1. Yusoff Kamil says:

      Hi Jason,

      Interested to exchange blogroll? I wrote a blog on career marketing system (CMS). Please drop me an e-mail if you are interested.

      http://www.resumeweassist.com/blog
      Tips for effective career marketing

      Best regards

      Yusoff

    2. You have the right attitude on how to improve your resume. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like you were talking to a pro.

      This can hurt more than help: “Create something from a start that no one else has thought to use yet.” Most resume readers, even itinerant ones, are saddled with reviewing a ton of resumes all at once. They do not want to waste time finding the info they need. They want it the info they expect it and not finding it there can doom the resume to rejection before any part of the resume gets read.

      The trick is to write something that will catch their attention where they first look, so that they will keep reading. There are techniques for doing that, but that’s where you also have room for originality.

      There are no universal truths, including in resume writing. The trick is to know your audience (something that you already try to do). Despite what I said, creative opportunities may respond well to a creative approach.

      If you want free and informed resume feedback (yes really free, this is not a come-on to sell a service) check out the ResumeRemodel.com community.

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