Since the stock market didn’t crash and cause a second financial crisis, accompanied by a dystopian zombie apocalypse, I guess that means life goes on, and we should probably revert our attention back to our careers.

By Jack J. Kelly

Today, let’s start by looking at your resume.  Don’t worry, this will be different than all of the other phony articles written by junior bloggers who have no idea about how to interview, and are more interested in the font than the substance. In fact, block out most of what you read online about interviewing. If you notice, the people writing these articles usually don’t have much experience to speak of. How could you be an expert in dispensing interview and career advice if this is your first job out of college? They speak in vague irritating, banal generalities.  So, if you expect an excruciatingly in-depth, cliché-ridden, boring, lecture of how to write a resume, you will be sadly disappointed.

Resume writing is one of the main areas of interviewing that people get the most stressed out about. They will go to “professional” resume writers, spend thousands of dollars, and waste countless hours drafting, writing, editing, proofreading, and rewriting draft-after-draft-after- draft.  Oh, and of course, the Resume Writing Authority will pontificate about the correct font, and the most current fashion in resumes; wait, let’s try Calibri, now Arial, how about Times New Roman, all the hip kids are using Garamond nowadays. While I am in a ranting mood, avoid career coaches and outplacement executive management consultants offering services as part of your downsizing package. Corporations offer third party outplacement services to work with you after being terminated to assuage their guilt. Usually, they don’t possess any real world experience relative to your background and will offer pablum and drivel that won’t get you anywhere.

Don’t listen to them, or worse, give them your money, it’s fake resume news.

A resume isn’t a magical document that, if you have the right style, page length, and hipness to it, all the doors immediately open to you.  The reality is simple; a resume is a marketing and sales tool. It is a written commercial to sell yourself.

Here are some easy tips to follow:

  • Ensure that you put the full title of your jobs, and offer clear, concise bullet points describing your responsibilities.
  • The bullet points should make it easy for recruiters, human resource professionals, and hiring managers to immediately recognize and comprehend what you do.
  • Use specific, industry relatable terms that can be searched online and via HR software systems.
  • Include the last 10 years of experience.
  • Focus on more bullet points for the current position and previous two jobs.
  • Later jobs could have less information.
  • The prime real estate is reserved for the most recent jobs to catch everyone’s attention.
  • Include your College degree and date (you could leave the years off if it makes you uncomfortable). Please be aware, if you don’t include the graduation years, people will think you have something to hide.  If you want to hide the years, in fear of looking too experienced, it is okay to do so.
  • Include certifications, licenses, and additional schooling.
  • Include charity work and other extracurricular activities, but don’t go crazy with weird stuff.
  • Leave out any activities that could be divisive. While you may feel everyone supported the same political candidate as you because you are so smart, sophisticated, and sensitive; they didn’t and probably hated that person, and will hate you too.
  • You can have multiple versions of your resume tailored to send out for jobs that require different parts of your skills and background.
  • Mentally, think of your resume as your way of making it crystal clear to hiring managers what you actually do, and how your experience, skills, and educational background will help them with their current needs.
  • We are in a “plug and play” job market where hiring managers only care if you possess the exact background, experiences, and skill sets for the job. If you don’t, they don’t care. It’s pretty cold, but it’s true.

Now, how easy was this? And it didn’t even cost you a dime.


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