And more on my 2012 job search and what I learned . . .
Resumes are vitally important to a good job search. In fact, they’re even more important because:
- They communicate a level of skill. A bad resume and a bad cover letter just make you look bad. There’s no excuse to have a bad one with so many tools out there.
- They communicate about you. If you’ve ever seen a dull, inhuman resume, you know no one cares because it’s a pile of text. A resume and cover letter say who you are.
- They help out recruiters and HR people. Your resume is not there to convinece people to hire you, it’s there to help people hire you. Keep that in mind (the convincing part is part of the whole job search picture). The resume should help people get a handle on you.
- A good resume is also scannable and analyzable, be it by software or people. That’s part of #3.
I knew I was onto something in my job search when people complimented me on my resume. I’m not bragging – this has been the results of years of perfecting it. It let me know I’ve been on the right track.
It also tells me that these people have seen some terrible resumes.
So here’s what I found works:
1) A format of it’s own. Unless you’re an artistic type, your resume doesn’t have to be all fancy, but it shouldn’t be a dull pile of points. Add some lines, boxes, spacing, etc. to make it look like something. Newspapers, newsletters, guides, instructions all look like “something” – you need to find a something for your resume.
A quick trick here – find a template that works. Is your resume better like a newsletter, manual, guide, chronology, etc.? Find something and make it work.
2) Communicate a narrative. This is something I heard several times – your resume must coherently tell your story. I’ve written on this extensively, and am telling you again.
If you don’t know your story, find one first. But a resume must illustrate what you’re telling about yourself. If there’s no story, there’s your problem.
“I want a job” is not a story, or at least not a unique one.
3) Hit the high points. A resume must include the skills, titles, buzzwords, and so forth that say you can do the job you applied for. Make sure they’re in there.
4) Helps the recruiter. Look a recruiter is there to get the right people into the jobs. Ask yourself what they want to see, put yourself in their shoes, truly feel what it’s like to be a recruiter. If you can’t do that (more on that later), then you will have a problem.
As alway’s there’s my Epic Resume Go guide!
Steven Savage is a Geek 2.0 writer, speaker, blogger, and job coach for professional and potentially professional geeks, fans, and otaku. He can be reached at http://www.stevensavage.com/