Friday, April 27, 2012

All About Resumes

Wow; who knew that the method English professors use—the “so what?” question as a response to academic papers—could be a useful way for you to fine-tune and tweak your resume? The above link offers some advice on how to make sure the wording on your resume doesn’t simply appear to read “blah, blah, blah” when a prospective employer spends the 5.7 seconds that are average for skimming over each resume.
Generic resumes that you drop from an airplane like propaganda leaflets across the countryside are so 20th century. Here are some tips on how to tailor a distinct resume for each job you apply for. Yup—it sounds like work. But if you want to get the interview—you gotta do the work.
Gimmicky garbage? Or eye-catching standouts? It seems that the visual “infographic” resume is on the rise. Here’s an article with links to several places that will crank your resume through your choice of templates, and give you a product that looks like nobody else’s stuff. (Except the people who also cranked their resumes through these sites.) I don’t know—I guess you have to think about where you’re applying before you go for something this unusual.

I can give you fair warning as someone who has screened my share of resumes: beware. If I cannot compare your apples with other people’s oranges, I won’t consider you for the job. If you strike me as all flash and no substance, I will “circular file” your stuff immediately. And even if the information you convey is appropriate and snappy—woe unto you if I cannot photocopy or scan your material into a pdf, so I can share with colleagues who might be co-screening alongside me. If I can’t share easily—there’s no point in pursuing you, if there are many other equally qualified choices for me to choose from.

PS: Be aware too of the machines that pre-screen your resume. See my blog post for Feb. 16, 2012 on ATS software.

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