I’ve been avoiding writing a post about resumes because there are probably more posts on the subject than atoms in the universe. And, beyond the generalities, no two agree. Every resume expert will tell you something different.
None of them seem to do any good. A while ago, a local resume expert came to talk to my networking group, NoCoNet. She was introduced by a member who said that this expert had been very successful in helping him “fix” his resume 8 months prior. My first thought was that if it was so successful, why was he still here instead of working? That’s not all-together fair, the general economy and other factors surely played a role in keeping him unemployed. But a resume is a tool in your job search, and the general rule about tools is that if it doesn’t work properly, it should be replaced.
This is advice that I’ve had to give myself recently. Brazen Careerist recently unveiled a new service called Network Roulette – 3 minute speed networking with random participants via a chat panel. When I mentioned this blog to one chat participant, she said she would check it out because she’d been going on “lots of interviews” lately. It was said as a way of connecting to an individual in a similar place. Problem is, I haven’t been. I have been actively job seeking for 11 out of the last 15 months since moving to Colorado. Not counting the laughable job spam such as MLM insurance sales or a warehouse position that was really door-to-door vacuum cleaner sales, I’ve been on 4 interviews in that time. Three were in one month, and two (including the 5 minute interview at their job fair) were for Gulley’s.
Checking my records, I’ve sent my resume out over 250 times. That’s a success rate of less than 2% I’ve had my resume critiqued 17 times. I’ve tried with an objective & without, with/without a “marketing statement”, and a “summary.” I’ve listed education, skills, & experience in various orders. I’ve tried splitting “professional” experience from “general” experience. I’ve used action verbs, metrics & accomplishments where I’ve had them. And of course, 100 of the 250 (once I learned this specific tip) were individually written for the position I was seeking.
So I’m undertaking a resume mini series where I am going to throw out everything I’ve ever learned about resumes and start over. I’ll start with reviewing some of the best articles I’ve read on the topic & separating the generic stuff from the useful.
5 Warning Signs That Your Resume Stinks – American Career Group
Mistakes Job Seekers Make Series: Resumes – American Career Group
Explaining Short Job Stints and Employment Gaps – Recruiter Musings
7 Reasons Why a Potential Employer Won’t Read your Resume, and What to Do About it – New Grad Life
7 Things to Know Before Writing Your First Résumé – Career Rookie