Creating an "Effective" Resume

Many people think that a resume is defined as a chronological history of your entire professional life. It would be nice if you could get all that on one page, but...

Trouble is, if you're the hiring manager, or, worse yet, the HR manager, you certainly don't have time to wade through all the details of the candidate's years of experience in the hope of finding a few crumbs of information relevant to your need.

So, you, the candidate, need to imagine you are the HR person screening the incoming resumes. What do you look for? What is it about this resume that attracts your attention? Does the content, right from the top, look like the position you have to fill?

If it does, there's a good chance it will go to the "YES" folder.

If not, the reader may get no further than the contact information at the top of the page, and click! your resume is deleted.

So here's my advice:

Right at the top: your name, phone number, and email address. No street address.

Next: Your objective: remember, you can and should tailor this statement to the position you're applying for. If you can truthfully use the words the company uses to describe the person they're looking for, go for it. Your job at this point is to make it crystal clear that you are the stand-out best fit for that position.

Third: Your qualifications: make it brief, succinct, to the point. Again, be truthful. No point in kidding yourself, or trying to be someone you're not. Bullet point layout is good, but not too many. Be sure they're relevant to the position advertised. If they're not, leave them out. This section may include your education.

Fourth: Your experience: again, relevant and brief is good. Recent experience is most relevant (assuming it's in line with the position you're aiming at. If it's not, make it really brief.) Older experience is less important, and, in most cases, after 10 – 15 years, is comparatively unimportant. Make sure there is continuity, year to year. If you took 3 years out to sail around the world, put it in, with few details.

Finally: Other stuff – awards, medals, clearances, distinctive experiences, etc., (one candidate mentioned that he had climbed Mt Everest).

You may wish to add: References available on request. (Make sure they are available!)

That's it.

Call (831-566-0676) or email me if you're not quite certain about this. Remember I offer a half-hour complimentary "get acquainted" session. If you decide to go forward, we can fine tune the resume, address effective interviewing techniques and style, establish a process together for keeping you on track, and greatly improve the chances of you finding and landing the position you're looking for.


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A young executive in the hospitality industry: The client had risen rapidly in a comparatively short time to a position of significant management responsibility in a high-end restaurant business. Although doing well financially, she was working long hours, the rest of her life was "on hold," and she felt "stressed out." She had created several alternative scenarios for herself, but was having difficulty making any changes on her own. However, with coaching help, within a few weeks she had developed an action plan, left her job, and was off on a much more satisfactory course, filled with new energy and enthusiasm!

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