My latest collection of tips and tricks for making your work life more productive focuses on the biggest change you can make in your work life–finding a new job–and the ever present need for a resume. As fantastic a networking tool as LinkedIn is, don’t believe all the hype that it has replaced the resume as the primary tool for job hunting. You still need a resume. Here’s why.
Every HR department likes to have something physical to store in their filing cabinets. Yes, every personnel department I have seen still has physical filing cabinets. Every interviewer likes to have something physical to hold in their hands while they talk to you.
And even if you contact someone via LinkedIn, and they are interested in you, one of the first things they will tell you is, “Send me your resume.” Telling them to “Just look at my Linkedin profile, that’s my resume” isn’t going to cut it.
And you need a damn good resume, too. If the interviewer likes your LinkedIn profile, and likes you at first glance, a poorly written resume can still sink your chances of landing a job. Remember, the hiring manager is looking for reasons to screen you out, not include you in.
Let’s have a look at eight resources you can use to make your resume shine brighter.
If you’re the artistic type and want to do more than the plain vanilla resume in Word, you have a few avenues to investigate. Jessica Holbrook Hernandez lays out the options for you. Her suggestions include an Infographic Resume and a Facebook Timeline Resume. If you decide to get creative with your resume, make sure you also have an old-school resume handy. You want to keep HR happy.
The average recruiter spends about six seconds, maybe 15 if they are in a good mood, looking at you resume before they dismiss you and move on to the next candidate. Hundreds, if not thousands, of resumes pour in for every job wanted ad that is posted. Harried recruiters just don’t have the time to look carefully examine every resume. You can, however, tip the odds in your favor by eliminating mistakes. Carol Cochran offers help with easy fixes for common resume mistakes.
Smart money says the career objective is dead. Why? Because no one but you cares about it. When you apply for a job, the company doesn’t care your objective. The company cares about their own objectives and how you might help them to achieve their objectives. Do yourself a favor and delete the career objective from your resume. Right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait. When you’re ready to proceed,Lifehacker’s Mihir Patkar explains how to build a bullet-point summary of your qualifications.
When building your resume, it’s easy to fall into old habits and use standard phrases you remember using or seeing before. Times have changed and recruiters are now trashing resume that contain phrases they’re tired of seeing, such as “Proven ability to,” “Team Player,” etc. Why? Because they can. Your job is to use phrases that will catch the eye of a tired recruiter. Jessica Holbrook Hernandez of Great Resumes Fast offers suggestions on what to say in place of the worn-out phrases in this older but still highly applicable post.
When you’re writing your resume and you’re not quite sure how to do it, it helps to have an example or template to work from. Amanda Augustine, career expert at TheLadders, shows you a sample resume and tells you what makes this resume excellent. Now you, too, have a template to work from when building your own resume. You’re welcome. Now get cracking.
Not everyone has a steady career progression. Some people work a succession of temp jobs, which can make them appear to be unstable “job hoppers” to hesitant employers. The solution is to list these jobs under one work experience to unify them. Lifehacker’s Dave Greenbaum shows you how.
“Technical Content Ninja” sounds all well and good if you’re talking to coworkers about your latest technical writing project, but it would confuse potential employers who would promptly reject your otherwise excellent qualifications. Do as Dice’s Mark Feffer recommends and use standard job titles on your resume. “Ninja” hasn’t quite made it into any resume database yet.
If you’re a person of a certain age, or you think your age is your own business, then you should take pains to not broadcast it on your resume. For instance, do you list the year you graduated high school or college? If so, then you are labelling yourself and giving the twentysomething hiring manager the perfect excuse to not hire someone who is their parents’ age. Smarts, doesn’t it? Not to worry, because Careerealism’s Cheryl Simpson offers a few ways to age-proof both your resume and your LinkedIn profile.
Have some tips or tools to share with your fellow technical communicators, information developers, and content developers? Drop me a note: HelpFiles@TechWhirl.com. Send me a Tweet: @craigcardimon.