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Can someone explain what makes a "good" resume???

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by CTGuy, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. CTGuy

    CTGuy Senior member

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    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??
     
  2. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    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.

    Top of first page, have your name and contact information.

    Then start with employment, most recent first. Give company, job title, dates of employment, then under that, list your duties in bullet points. Be as short and factual as possible, but don't leave out any relevant detail, even if it sounds boastful.

    Education after that. Make sure to list awards (if any).

    Other crap (non-job experience, publications) after that.

    Never exceed two pages. If you have to cut an old and now irrelevant job, do it. You can always bring it up in an interview if you need to.
     
  3. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    I won't debate form or content for you, but let me tell you what makes one "good." It gives the person you submit it to a reason to hire you, and Step #1 to hiring is a callback/interview. End of story.

    However you decide to write yours, remember that.
     
  4. lifersfc

    lifersfc Senior member

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    In my experience it has been well-worth putting the hours in to polish mine up and have several friends and colleagues review it. There are publicly available books of resumes from top business schools out there that can give you a good idea about formatting and content.
     
  5. ekaJ

    ekaJ Active Member

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    Don't know if this will help at all, I'm a student (beware - limited knowledge). Anyway I found a cover page example on google, I like the format, very quick and snappy (leaving out the "I was" and "and then I" first person stuff). I can't find it but here's the gist:

    To so and so HR:
    Looking to apply this and this expertise in this way for this blah position. Received blah blah for maintaining a blah. Served four years in the army while doing this and that. Able to provide... (and so forth)
     
  6. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    I think Manton is on point. I would add that as a lawyer you should include bar and professional association memberships after education. And keep the resume to a page unless you are applying for an academic position.
     
  7. CTGuy

    CTGuy Senior member

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    I think Manton is on point. I would add that as a lawyer you should include bar and professional association memberships after education. And keep the resume to a page unless you are applying for an academic position.

    Good advice. Thanks Manton as well. I guess my confusion is that I think I basically stick with this type of stuff ie bad admission, schools attended, jobs etc. and I still am getting negative comments from friends. Maybe I should get new friends?

    Manton-- where would I find a resume consultant? At this point I am about ready to fork over the money to have someone else polish the thing up.
     
  8. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Manton-- where would I find a resume consultant? At this point I am about ready to fork over the money to have someone else polish the thing up.
    I found the one I used in a WSJ article.
     
  9. nootje

    nootje Senior member

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    A friend of mine gave me the advise to write it specifically for the job I would be applying for, so only relevant stuff... Then again, I needed it only once. Other times I got the invite via network..
     
  10. CTGuy

    CTGuy Senior member

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    I found the one I used in a WSJ article.

    was this them by any chance??
     
  11. Manton

    Manton Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    was this them by any chance??

    I am pretty sure that's not her, but I honestly don't remember. It was a general article that had a sidebar that listed three or four people. I chose this woman who was quoted widely in the story. I think she worked alone. I dealt with her directly. I can't remember her name.
     
  12. CTGuy

    CTGuy Senior member

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    I am pretty sure that's not her, but I honestly don't remember. It was a general article that had a sidebar that listed three or four people. I chose this woman who was quoted widely in the story. I think she worked alone. I dealt with her directly. I can't remember her name.

    Cool. Thanks for the advice though-- I think that hiring someone may be an option I had not previously considered. I may try to find someone local. As I said before I think part of my problem may be that I see the whole excercise as pointless so maybe my judgment is clouded a bit.
     
  13. FidelCashflow

    FidelCashflow Senior member

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    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.
     
  14. Xericx

    Xericx Senior member

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    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.
    I was going to mention this. Furthermore, I believe you should have a summary towards the top of the resume which highlights your major qualifications for the job you are applying to. They should be specific rather than general (i.e. don't say that you are a motivated self-starter).
     
  15. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    My current resume looks as the career services at my law school told me it should look. Seems simple enough.


    how many lawyers has she hired lately?


    the resume is your primary marketing device for marketing yourself. remember that the person reading your resume may have a few hundred on his/her desk for a single job opening.



    here is what a resume has to do - tell, in a page to two pages, why you are better than 90% of the other people for this particular job. the resume is meant to get you an interview, and to guide the interviewer to ask the questions that you want him/her to during the interview.

    good luck
     
  16. begadang

    begadang Member

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    Can someone explain to me what I am missing here??

    Ivy League degrees [​IMG]
     
  17. CTGuy

    CTGuy Senior member

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    how many lawyers has she hired lately?

    Well, maybe this is a foolish assumption, but I assume since he is in the business of getting law students jobs he has some sort of knowledge on the subject-- more so than anyone except perhaps an HR manager at a law firm...


    I guess this is part of what I don't get-- a friend of mine who works for a municipality was telling me that "how the resume looks" is really important to him. My response was -- are you telling me you'll pass over a guy who went to Harvard law because you don't like the font? I don't think he appreciated the comment. I guess in a field where so much is qualification driven and not really...marketing driven (for lack of a better way of putting it) shouldn't the reader be looking at schooling, job experience, honors/skills and not whether I used bullet points? I'm not arguing here since I clearly do not get it. I have to admit I got my job through working with the principal of the firm on a political campaign.

    Again-- I'm having a hard time seeing the how the resume does this and not what's written on it. I guess I see what you are saying in the broad strokes and I agree with you, but shouldn't what you're saying lead to the conclusion that the resume is basically a list of your education and accomplishments?
     
  18. Margaret

    Margaret Senior member

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    Again-- I'm having a hard time seeing the how the resume does this and not what's written on it. I guess I see what you are saying in the broad strokes and I agree with you, but shouldn't what you're saying lead to the conclusion that the resume is basically a list of your education and accomplishments?
    Sure, but the idea is to state your accomplishments in a way that is direct and compelling. If a hiring manager has a ton of resumes to wade through, s/he simply hasn't the time or inclination to slog through convoluted prose. And mundane lists of "job responsibilities" will not indicate the unique way that you distinguished yourself in those positions. And yes, font does matter, not only for the practical purposes of readability, but also because an inability to present a professional-looking document can be taken as indication of your lack of professional savvy - or worse, your laziness about making the effort to find out what's appropriate.
     
  19. crazyquik

    crazyquik Senior member

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    Just today I realized someone else had a better looking resume than me. Mine looks a bit...high school [​IMG]

    Guess I need to find a more "professional format"
     
  20. stackey

    stackey Well-Known Member

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    good post, that's what i need to know too
     

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