SAGE ADVICE FOR RESUMES, INTERVIEWING, AND MORE!
- By bruce w clagg
For many, not so great. For others, it’s terrific – they still have their job, got promoted, or landed a new one!
There is no question that if you follow the federal government’s, monthly ‘unemployment rate,’ the percentages have dropped to (supposedly) the lowest point in recorded history. Presently, 3.6% of Americans are unemployed through May 2019. Really? There are several different formulas the government could use, however generally the one provided to the media, etc. is the lowest percentage of those truly unemployed and those actively looking for work. I have greater trust in other formulas at their disposal.
Go back 20 years and think of a time when fresh graduates would easily find an entry-level job and make their way up the ladder for the next 30-40 years before retiring. This almost never happens in the today’s job market. Earlier, employees used to stay-on with their employers for a long stretch of time, that age discrimination in hiring was not an issue.
These days, employees normally remain with a company for around two years before searching for something new. This turns into an issue for employment seekers who are 50+. When they apply for another job, the employer might ignore their profile because of the fact that they just have around 10 or 15 years before retirement. This is age discrimination. To avoid this, your best option is to remove data on your resume that gives the hiring manager an idea of how old you are. More importantly, don't take your resume so far into history that (a) the industry has changed, (b) technology has overtaken those positions and (c) more recent duties are similar, or identical. All it does is show 'age' without skills and achievements that are portable to what you would love to do next.
Unless you are not paying attention, the national economy, job growth, and employee compensation have risen in the shortest amount of time in my lifetime!
A number of industries, cities, and states now find that they are willing to pay all, or some portion of relocation expenses, closing costs, and sign-on bonuses for skilled workers to join their team. They have more jobs available than qualified applicants!! Nationally, at present, there are more job openings than the number of people receiving unemployment benefits!! NOT IN MY LIFETIME DO I RECALL THAT HAPPENING!
Resumes. Some Things Seldom Change.
As a former VP/GM and hiring authority, I’ve been looking at resumes since 1970. 1970! There were no PCs, laptops, iPads, cellular phones, handheld calculators, Internet, flat screen TVs, cable TV, less than a dozen U.S. car manufacturers with, perhaps, only about five different models, FM radio was just broadcasting in a few cities, no CDs, no websites, no computer software, no apps, no Google, no InstaGram, no Facebook, and on and on. Yet the resumes sent to me today look and read, for the most part, just like those in 1970! …and people wonder why they are not getting any responses, or interviews? “The Times They Are A-Changin' ” – Bob Dylan (1963). Not quickly enough for resumes apparently! (Résumé, by the way, is French for ‘summary’)
Résumé Writing 101
We have all had to struggle through writing a résumé since graduation. It’s fun, isn’t it? How to start, how to format, what to type in and not type in, when to ‘end’ it, style and font size, text boxes/columns, page frames, graphics, acronyms behind my name, format (Word ’97, .pdf), etc.? YUK!
Let’s start with 101. “Résumé” is French for ‘summary.’ SUMMARY! Over the decades, Americans quit using the accents above the ‘e’ and simply type it as “Resume.” You may have heard of a ‘CV.’ From the Latin, Curriculum Vitae means ‘[the] course of [my] life.’ Those in Canada and Europe still refer to their ‘summary’ as a ‘CV,’ which it is generally not. It's a cultural thing. Few, if any hiring decision-makers (DMs) want, or need to know your life history. In America, DMs and those in Human Resources skim a resume for 3 to 7 seconds seeking a reason to read it further and possibly contact you for an interview, or quickly delete it. THIS IS THE SOLE PURPOSE OF A RESUME! Only great interviewing will earn you the job offer. Then, how ‘fair’ is that job offer and how desperate are you?
Hello! I'm Bruce Clagg,
Advanced Career Solutions
Advanced Career Solutions (ACS) is a professional resume writing services firm also providing unique, job interview training, LinkedIn Profile rebuilding, career counseling & coaching from the ONLY multi-certified professional* in Pennsylvania.
- Bruce Clagg, Rapid Employment & Career Management Coach
*The four Certifications are noted within.