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Can someone explain what makes a "good" resume??? - Page 3

post #31 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimslade View Post
Firing because she was useless seems like a better reason.

Technically yes, and she was actually "laid off" on the release, for "lack of work" in her department. (Because she didn't do anything of course and the other employees made up her time!)

But you know, some folks in this world for some reason or another, feel entitled even if qualifications don't exist at all. In Canada, it's unbelievable what an employee can do here. They can destroy companies with legal costs, even if their charge is unfounded - not even a slap on the wrist.

In the states - I think they have something called "Affirmative Action". Equally dangerous and it empowers those that may not be as qualified for a position.
post #32 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by phreak View Post
cover page is complete waste of everyones time as well
Really? As much a waste of a time as college essays for college apps?
post #33 of 67
Funny timing -- I just got back from consulting on a resume for a friend. I've done that four times now and each has landed the job they wanted except one -- a ditzy intern who didn't even bother to put her name on her cover letter, so you can see what I had to work with there Anyway, point 1) Even if the job is qualification-driven, rather than 'marketing driven' (and bear in mind, I'm an engineer, we know qualifications), the HR person that will likely be culling the applicant pool is probably not a lawyer, and will have that 'people as a commodity' mindset that searches to a very great degree for the applicant that 'shows' the best as well as the most qualified. To your point, the Harvard Law degree may not rank as highly as your font. It can be that bad. Point 2) Templates are for chumps. You'll note that all of the advice in resume guidelines/books, etc, contradicts itself: you have the stand out, yet you are 'suggested' to use the standard form. Hmmmm....yeah that sounds sensible. This is not to say that you want to do something off the wall, no, the standard forms are appropriate because they are predictable for the tired out reviewers, and generally accepted. The sweet spot is to follow the spirit of the form without holding so tightly to it that it looks like you took your resume out of a book, which is precisely what most people do. Point 3) My experience of college resume reviews is abysmal. I state (never admit anything to a lawyer) that I have no experience with J.D. granting schools, but even those who have reviewed Masters-level candidates who have then come to me did crap. Either they critiqued purely off the standard form or were simply out of touch with hiring realities. My personal experience was that I went in, and met with a Chem E grad student who had never worked in Engineering and couldn't answer my questions unless the answer was on his crib sheet. Also, he wanted to tape-record our meeting so that he could review it. Yeah, look what $36k/yr bought me -- and btw, he didn't think my resume was appropriate, but I got that job that three classmates of mine who followed Career Services' advice didn't. Hmmm.... Point 4) Huntsman's favorite resume tips: Don't waste that opening statement! All that "I am seeking a position...." and "My objective..." is utter crap that absolutely wastes the best chance you've got to get the rest of the resume read. Everybody says the same thing, it always sounds dumb, and probably numbs the reviewer into somnolence long before he gets to you. If you do the same thing, what's the chance your next sentence will stir him from it? Make that first sentence encapsulate you and position yourself for the job in question. And make it short. Then feather in your qualifications, skills, and experience in the few brief followup sentences. There are some reasons why you need a 'seeking a' statement in there somewhere, but obviously you're looking for a job, and if your opening statement targets the position, they are going to be thinking about wanting you for the job rather than your telling them you want the job -- isn't that the point? I usually leave this header paragraph without a title, or call it 'Background' or 'Profile.' Depending on the job and the key qualifiers sometimes you would follow this statement with a 'Summary Qualifications' section, as I'm recommending to a friend who needs to indicate up front that she has the many licenses and certs required for the position she's seeking. After that, roll into your work experience, summarize what you did and how that helped your company (to show you have the appropriate perspective) briefly, typically in phrases or with bullets. Follow that with an education section, noting awards, honors, and GPA as necessary, then a skills section with computer language skills etc, and any other pertinent sections germane to your field. But if you'r e not sold by the time he reads your degree you're done, and if you're sold by then most of that stuff is of lesser importance. Your resume and cover letter must work together hand-in-hand. Resumes are qualifications, competencies, and skills. Cover letters let you show your enthusiasm, drive and passion to use those things on your resume, how you can fit in the company in question, and why you want to. Anyway, those are the important points I try and hit. Feel free to PM it over and I'd be happy to scribble some comments. ~Huntsman
post #34 of 67
A good resume should tell the employer what you bring to the table as quickly as possible. Most HR people will spend maybe 1-2 minutes looking at your resume and may only read a few lines before moving on. Make sure what they need to see the most is easy to find and in their face.

I've had a few people ask me for resume help, and I'm amazed how long-winded some of them are.
post #35 of 67
I am going to disagree about not having a "skills" section, but it depends on your field
for an IT field, you need to have a skills section
post #36 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelCashflow View Post
The HR director at my firm told me that most major companies have started using software to scan resumes for keywords and shortlist those to be read by someone in HR. Getting those keywords for your industry in always helps.

This is sure as shit true in the federal gov't (US). And it makes hiring really hard because HR sends us some woefully underqualified candidates. People with business degrees from on-line schools and the like. No, we need an economist.


As to other issues

Objectives:
Of the resumes I've been reading recently, they all have a line at the top that lists their "objective." Don't care. Your objective is to get a job with me. Duh. These have come from new undergrads, so YMMV and all that.

Length:
Someone mentioned not over 1 page unless academia. I would add or if the job is sort of like academia or you're dealing with former academics. We're still impressed with that shit. Even a freshly minted PhD better have two pages of resume. I'm not sure about law or anything else.

While it is important to be concise, sometimes on simply cannot put everything on one page. All of my pertinent history takes up four pages. That's not a big font and it's not hugely spaced out.

I've been told that some write very short letters and long resumes while some make up for a shortened resume by putting a lot of detail in the cover letter. Thoughts?

b
post #37 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTGuy View Post
First off-- I have managed to get fairly far in life despite the fact that recently I was told I don't know how to set up my resume properly.

One thing I hate about doing my resume is everyone seems to have a different opinion about what a resume should look like, how long it should be, etc etc etc. My current resume looks as the career services at my law school told me it should look. Seems simple enough.

It probably doesn't help that I find all this thinking and debate idiotic. A resume is at the end of it all- a list. A list of wear you work and went to school and maybe some extraneous skills. Can someone explain to me what I am missing here??

Find someone you respect or opinion you value when it comes to career development and advice (friend, relative, colleague, mentor) and send them your resume to look through. They will give suggestions - shorten this, expand that, remove these. That's how you build a good resume.

My advice :
- No more than one page (unless they want a CV)
- concise but detailed descriptions of your responsibilities at each job
- achievements and records you have had at each job
- continuity (no gaps unless you are a student)
- learn when to delete old or uneccesary information (clubs you were in in college don't matter after 2 years or 1st job out of school. but may list the if you are still an advisor to the club/organization)

Here's how I built my resume (which I consider very good):
- Freshman year in college, took my sister's (who was three years ahead of me) and replaced all her things with mine. Essentially used her template.
- Over the years populated it with jobs, organizations, as I acquired them.
- Over the years improved the language I used to describe work I did.
- Graduated school and had a mentor (alumni from my school) and her colleague take a look at my resume while they provided advise on making a job change. They helped immenseley with revamping it (original structure is still there, though).
- Continue as time goes on.
post #38 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
Many years ago, I paid a resume consultant something like $200 to design mine. It seemed like a lot of money at the time, but in hindsight, I think it was well worth it.

Bascially, don't have any "goals" section up top, or anywhere. Don't list your skills or interests or hobbies or pet names.

I disagree slightly with this. I just got my first job out of college and had a relatively thin (though relevant) previous employment history. In my hobbies section, I wrote that I like backpacking and listed some of the rather obscure places I've been (Georgia, Iraq, etc). This ended up being a conversation piece and final ice-breaker in each of my 5 interviews.

I'd say if you have something that sounds really unique and will pique a potential interviewer's interest, then throw it on there. I doubt it will get you in the door with an HR person but it could be a great thing after that point.

Again this was for a first professional job though...
post #39 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by lithium180 View Post
I disagree slightly with this. I just got my first job out of college and had a relatively thin (though relevant) previous employment history. In my hobbies section, I wrote that I like backpacking and listed some of the rather obscure places I've been (Georgia, Iraq, etc). This ended up being a conversation piece and final ice-breaker in each of my 5 interviews.

I'd say if you have something that sounds really unique and will pique a potential interviewer's interest, then throw it on there. I doubt it will get you in the door with an HR person but it could be a great thing after that point.

Again this was for a first professional job though...

my expereince with this has been positive, too. I had "lapsed gym rat" on my resume under hobbies. it opened into a few interesting conversations.
post #40 of 67
Hey guys. Sorry to jack the thread but do you guys think it would be beneficial to have your first resume written by a professional service? I think that if I had a lot of stuff to pad my resume with then I could write a decent one myself, but I have worked full time throughout college (40 hrs/week) and have not been able to participate in extra-curricular activities that most students have, so I really need to stand out.

Can any of you experienced gentlemen chime in on this?

Thank you in advance
post #41 of 67
Write it yourself. The first resume is daunting but not particularly difficult.

- First put together a resume based on what you already have and what you have read on this board. Then go to career services and ask they advice. Also, go to your school's alumni network (should be part of career services website or ask!) and look up a few people who are in industries or have proviles that interest you. Contact them and ask for advice, attach your resume to your email and seek feedback on that too.

Don't throw your money out the window with "professional services".

The key is to remember it's like a paper. Follow my advice above and you will have your first draft. Then after you have some some people look at it and provide feedback. you will have your 2nd and possibly final draft. It doesn't have to fill up an entire page but it also shouldnt be less than 2/3 of a page.

* If no Extra curricular's list classes and papers/projects you have had. Discuss in detail (1-3 bullet points each).
** Since you worked 40 hours a week in college (was it service industry or office setting?) you should have a lot to talk about. (5-10 bullet points)
*** List internships or things you did during summer/winter break. Study abroad?
post #42 of 67
Disclaimer: I'm lookin for a job right now and the quality of resume may be one reason why I haven't found one yet BUT I would think that having worked full time throughout college 40 hours/week is pretty dang impressive and should make you stand out already. Even if the jobs themselves are not impressive jobs, the fact that you were able to handle the responsibility and time management of full time work and school is going to look good to most employers - a lot better than "I was the President of the Rubiks Cube Club"
post #43 of 67
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny_5 View Post
Hey guys. Sorry to jack the thread but do you guys think it would be beneficial to have your first resume written by a professional service? I think that if I had a lot of stuff to pad my resume with then I could write a decent one myself, but I have worked full time throughout college (40 hrs/week) and have not been able to participate in extra-curricular activities that most students have, so I really need to stand out. Can any of you experienced gentlemen chime in on this? Thank you in advance
I'm using a book called Resume Magic and I think it's a fantastic book. Normally, I'd stay away from the typical blow-smoke-up-your-ass resume and cover letter books, but a quick perusal of this book convinced me to buy it. If anything, it provides you the buzzwords to stick in your resume that might catch the eyes of a recruiter. Obviously, if you're applying for a very specific position, then you should tailor your resume to that position and/or company.
post #44 of 67
Our company requires you to apply for a position electronically. The resume is just cut and pasted into a textbox in a browser window. By the time it reaches us there is no cover letter and it looks horrible. So sometimes (probably a lot of times actually) formatting and how it looks may not be important.

I work in engineering. When I look at a resume I look at two things. One, does the applicant have the skills for the position being applied for? Second, I look for red flags. If the person never stayed at a company for very long, this is something I want to look at more closely. Long gaps in work history also catch my eye. Different industries are going to look for different things.
post #45 of 67
A good resume is a VERY specific document.
mcpaul 123 your street, anywhere, province, country : (123) 456-7890 : mcpaul@yourmail.com
No objective/profile, etc. reverse chronological work experience Month, year - month, year: job title, company, city: list 3-4 responsibilities in paragraph form with a single space after your colon.
  • three bulleted NON-indented
  • major
  • accomplishments
education: (list the degree type, degree name, concentration, school, completion month, year ie. BS Commerce, Human Resource Management, University of Texas - Austin, April 2008). if it is longer than one page, they either will be bored reading it, or they will ASSUME (correctly) that the info on the second page is so old it is no longer relevant. oh, and you technical people? do NOT list 3 columns of your programming languages, etc. fit them into your responsibilities and accomplishments. The scanners will still pick up C++ no matter where it is on the resume. Besides, if you have reached for ANY of the technical jargon in your 3 colum listing, and they ask you about it and you say "well it's been a while since I did this and ......" they will paint that entire paragraph with the same conclusion. no references no hobbies nothing else ONE page -- I repeat, no matter WHO YOU ARE, ONE PAGE. 10 point font, reduce margins if you need to, times new roman We don't need to know if you belong to a professional association, if you're a professional, it should be assumed that you are. irrelevant. When you get to the interview and the interviewer asks something like "tell me about a time when you had to make a quick decision without access to all the pertinent information", you take your answer FROM YOUR MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. You might have more than 3 major accomplishments for each job, but when you are applying for a job, you pick the accomplishments that are MOST relevant for the job you are applying for. All behavioral questions are really the interviewer asking you to tell them about a major accomplishment that fits the characteristics of the question. Your resume is designed to get you an interview, and thus it should LIST your major accomplishments.
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