Posts tagged: resume

The Irreverent Resume

Yes to irreverent, NO to  idiotic.

When I saw this article, “Resume Blasphemy” I thought, how great! I love this idea.

Instead of listing… where you went to school and worked… the author suggests you write how you would do the job including:

  • “A clear picture of the business of the employer you want to work for.
  • Proof of your understanding of the problems and challenges the employer faces.
  • A plan describing how you would do the work the employer needs done.
  • An estimate of what/how much you think you could add to the bottom line.”

Imagine you are the hiring manager and instead of skimming boring resumes, you get to read through descriptions of various approaches to the advertised job. This is at the heart of behavioral interviews but it goes farther because it requires the applicant to do all the work.

My suggestion… whether you send the irreverent resume or not… write it! Imagine how prepared you will be for that interview.

Photo Credit: How to…

6 seconds = How Long Your Resume Gets Looked At…

Have you ever been on the hiring side of a resume? It’s not fun.

You often feel like this guy. Overwhelmed by ‘paper’ and buzzwords that don’t tell you anything.

Before you spend more time and get more opinions about your resume, check out this article, “How Recruiters See Your Resume…” Take a look at the heat map associated with this article.

It tells us that the more structured your resume, the easier it is for those 6 seconds to be productive and get you into the consideration pile vs. the no way pile.

The goal of the resume is to… wait for it… get you an interview! Be sure to think of it that way. It’s not to document your entire work history.

By the way, how’s your Linked In profile? Do you have 300 connections? Do you belong to several groups? Have you uploaded your PowerPoint presentations? Do you answer questions? Make sure you include a live link to your Linked In profile from your resume.

Now go forth and streamline that resume!

Image credit: Career Insider

Why Less is More

In a world of specialization and customization, it’s hard to imagine that less would be more. On the other hand, there is so much NOISE – so many messages, topics, blogs, channels, tools – it’s all a little exhausting.

So what can we take away from the new Ivory soap campaign that reminds us of its simplicity? It’s just soap. No special smells, additives, packaging. Just soap.

If you are a job seeker or even an individual looking to brand yourself, the question of how much to share is often an issue. Is a two paragraph cover letter enough or is that too short? How many Linked In recommendations are appropriate?  There is no simple answer but here’s a note from my inbox today… “We’re hiring at my company and just today I saw 3 resumes…

#1 –   was 9 pages long

#2 – was 10 pages long in 9 point font

#3 – included a 1 page summary of the books the person has read.”

The author’s advice, “Don’t do that.”

It’s hard to believe that with all the resources available that anyone is still doing stuff like this. Edit, focus, get someone to read over your material. Please remember, less is more.


Go Ask Alice – She Followed Directions…

The world of marketing is full of musts.  You must tell the story, you must use a powerful image, blah, blah, blah.

Well, one must that many people ignore is the ‘CALL TO ACTION’. Yes, that’s right. Once a customer comes to your website, store, whatever… you need to tell them what you want them to do. Sounds pushy, maybe… but any good sales person will tell you that asking for the business is one of the most important parts of closing the sale.

Typical resumes do not include a call to action but why not? Do we make it a ‘no-brainer’ for someone to contact us, either by email or by phone? Do you put a QR code on your resume that leads to your website, blog, or a video of you describing your fabulous skills? Is your email link live? Are each of your company/organization links live?

Here’s a very cool article on 10 effective ways to build web-based  ‘calls to action’ that can really make a difference.

Remember, don’t try harder, try different. Make your resume stand out.You can do it.

photo credit: Web Design tuts+

Insanely Cool Resumes

Ok, you need to have a resume if you are looking for a job and all those things the ‘experts’ tell you about resumes are true.

-Tailor your resume to the job

-Don’t ANNOUNCE that you are dinosaur (older like me)  or just out of school

But you don’t have to use the same old format that everyone else uses. You can (and should) be creative with your resume.  For instance, make sure that you have live links in the electronic version so the person reviewing it can easily  link through to company websites or other content.

Orange resumes is a cool site that helps you create resumes that show a potential employer how you are different. As you look through the samples, you’ll see that you can create something “different” that is also very good, appropriate and even enhances your positioning.

I know you’re saying, but those resumes are for creative types and I’m an

enginneer/finance person/blah blah

Let’s go back to the goal of your resume… hmmm… The goal is to get an interview.

If you create an interesting, results-oriented resume that also shows you are creative and the organization doesn’t want to talk to you, then maybe you don’t want to work there. Just sayin….

Photo credits: Orange Resume



Wanted-Old Dog Looking to Learn New Tricks: Reverse Mentorship

There are 2 kinds of households – those that have a teenager at home who can help with the computers and those that don’t (OK, there are some households that have an adult that understands technology but they don’t count!)

Many of us don’t see the world through the filter of a connected/electronic world. We weren’t raised on instant messenger in high school nor did we become social beings via Facebook in college.  Someone moved our cheese and now we do need to understand and embrace technology and the ‘socialness’ that is the new world of business and commerce.

I advocate for ‘reverse mentorship’– the pairing of a ‘digital native’ (younger/wired person) with a senior executive in order to create synergies, teach each other, learn and grow a company.  The executive gains insight about how technology is affecting the world and the younger person gains experience and guidance. The key to making this work has less to do with interpersonal skills and more to do with the openness of the executive and how ‘coachable’ the younger person is. Setting goals, having lively discussions and respecting each other are all part of the process to help our companies keep up with global competition.

Alexa Scordato, piloted this idea at her first job at Mzinga and has gone on to talk about it at TEDxBoston.

Leaders need to embrace new ways of listening and engaging customers and how social is changing all aspects of the enterprise. Regularly hearing unfiltered feedback (not through sales reps or customer service) direct from our customers and prospects is an exciting proposition. The question is… when we have it, what will we do with it?

Please share who are you learning from these days.

Image Credit:  Taschek  Tales

Simply Irresistible – Show Them How Great You Really Are

I’m always surprised when I ask a person who’s been working professionally for 15+ years if they have a bio and they say, “No, I’ve never needed one” or “I’m not sure what I’d use it for.”

Stable employment can breed complacency.

If there is a silver lining to our current unemployment situation it is that many people now know they need to continually network proactively. An essential tool for networking is a bio. Whether you are providing background information about yourself for a committee position at your church or a board at a non profit; a bio makes it easy for people to get a good glimpse into who you are and what your experience has been.

A bio is different from a resume in that it is a narrative. The goal is tell a story about yourself that helps the reader understand where you’ve worked, what interests you and what is special about you. It only needs to be 4-5 well written paragraphs.

When someone asks to meet me for networking and they send me a resume, I assume they want to ask me for a job. But when they send me a bio, I learn interesting information about the person and I can build a conversation around things I read. I have more information about how I might be able to help.

I happen to be a published author (poetry and non-fiction.) My publications are not related to my work experience but I can highlight this work in my bio. It helps me to let people know my various skills and interests in a short, readable format. I can also highlight the foreign languages I speak or the charities I’m involved in. These help me be human and memorable.

Make sure you have several trusted people read your bio. Writing a concise and compelling story is not easy. Everyone has a story. Be sure yours is less blah, blah and more hmm, that’s interesting.

What is it that makes you unique?

“What Was I Thinking When I Put That on My Resume?”

My friend asked me to review her online presence. She is new to the job market so I started by looking at her resume. She was using an AOL email address. In my world, even 5+ years ago, AOL was for people who had technophobia. In 2009, a dated or inappropriate email address is a big problem for a person looking for a new position.

If you have an outmoded email address, I suggest you go to Google and sign up for a Gmail account. Here’s why:
• It’s good to have 2 email addresses, including at least one that you can always access from wherever you are (not just from your home computer).
• Gmail doesn’t identify your geography. My road runner account does. Big deal? Maybe not, but do you want to be eliminated at the email address from a hiring manager looking at your credentials?
• It’s the email address that many professionals have.
There are other services beside Gmail, pick one and go for it. I have a twitter, Linked In and regular email account. What do you think this says about me?

Next I looked at her Linked In profile. No photo. Hmmm. Her profile did not look as professional as those with photos. If I’m the hiring manager I’m wondering, “Is she hiding something?” Is she older? Post your photo or not, it’s up to you. But realize the ramifications if you don’t post a picture may be negative. I hear excellent Linked In advice to fill out your profile completely. I haven’t done that yet. I’m at 80+% I need to finish it by getting recommendations. Making sure it’s complete will help you get ‘found’ when companies are looking to hire.

The link below is written by an HR person took a pile of 850 resumes and whittled it down to 15. Here are some of the criteria that she used.
• Any resume (about 20%) that had misspellings was tossed out.
• Any unprofessional Linked In or Facebook entry was tossed out.
Take a minute and read her informative story.

I just read a story about a woman who reported to her first day of work to her new supervisor’s office and on his desk was the thank you note she had written to him. He told her that she was the only person who had hand written a note and it really impressed him. A handwritten thank you note may not get you the job, but it may be one of the differentiators between you and your competition.,0,5975459.column