SAGE ADVICE FOR RESUMES, INTERVIEWING, AND MORE!
- By bruce w clagg
The Resume: A Professional Dilemma
Since most of us only have to prepare a resume a handful of times during a career, it is a document that evokes tremendous discomfort. French for “summary,” it is generally a poorly prepared document that attempts to become an autobiography of sorts rather than what it should be - a vibrant piece of marketing collateral! The resume is, or should be, about MARKETING YOU!
A Professional Summary (I hate the word “resume” since I have reviewed more than 30,000 during my 30+ years as a VP/GM) is not a joy to prepare and, as many of you know, is about the most boring bit of writing that one could possibly read. As such, the average DM (hiring Decision-Maker) spends only 3 to 7 seconds quickly skimming for portable skills, keywords and achievements. If none/few are quickly exposing your market brand, portable skills and achievements that could be well utilized by the reader, into File 13, or Delete it goes.
Then, to add insult to injury, a Cover Letter is not addressed to the DM, but to “Dear Ladies & Gentlemen, To Whom it May Concern,” etc. and another wordy biography is presented. Results: less than 41% of Cover Letters are read. This assumes that your documents passed through the parsing software made to reduce the thousands of resumes received down to a much smaller, manageable number based upon, or the lack of, keywords, zip codes, area codes, items that disclose your age, et al.
As a former DM and a one of only two Certified Professional Résumé Writers (CPRW), Certified Employment Interview Professionals (CEIP), and Certified Professional Career Coaches (CPCC) within the entire state of Texas at present, I have worked directly with more than 900 coaching clients and authored thousands of resumes during the past 11+ years from virtually all industries and professional levels. In short, EVERYONE needs some help on the proper preparation and presentation of a true, Professional Summary!
I will provide more useful details about the correct presentation for an effective Professional Summary, however these are the major areas of detail:
1. The Visual Presentation and length/brevity
2. The Content and the usage of Active Language versus Passive Language
3. The Writing itself with poor choices of Style/Font, spelling, grammar, first-person versus third-person, margins, et al.
4. The Focus, or lack thereof.
Your Professional Summary is critical as it is the first shot at the position – the gateway to the interview and if it is not prepared correctly and sent correctly to the correct person, then it becomes one of thousands. This has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, or so as a $1,200 ad in the Sunday newspaper used to draw about 50 resumes and now the $250 Internet posting draws 5,000 to 15,000 in the first ten days! It’s a whole new world for the career seeker and you had better know how to play the game well as these poorly prepared resumes could stay on various hard-drives for quite some time and literally sabotage your chances of joining an exciting, vibrant organization any time soon. Food for thought…
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 certified professional* in Texas. - Bruce W. Clagg, Rapid Employment & Career Management Coach
*The four Certifications are noted within.