Monday, March 09, 2009

Resume Writing.

Please welcome back "the mom" to "the blog". =) Her is her second post that is full of great tips for resume writing! Remember, she is an actual HR manager, so you are getting the scoop from the inside. Enjoy!

In the job search writing a resume seems to be the most frustrating or fun, depending on how you look at it.

Did you know this is really your marketing brochure, your introduction letter? It's purpose is one get you in the door for an interview - As an HR manager I scan through many resumes for one job so please help me see your strengths.

Here is an example:

We had - rather still have, a Senior Quality Engineer position open. I put an ad in the Charlotte Observer. The ad makes it to career builder, my cost for this to run this for one week was I believe $800. Still this is better than using a recruiter where I have to pay about 25% of the annual salary for someone else to find me the "ideal candidate".

So in my pre-screen, I had over 120 resumes pop in through career builder applying for the job. I first looked for local candidates so that I do not have to pay relocation. Then I look for knowledge, skill and ability. Out of those 120 resumes I received, I phone screened about 25 and to date we have interviewed 10. I am telling you this for a couple of reasons:

1. Catch the job before it makes it to the newspaper or Internet...If some one would have called me up and told me they are a Senior Quality Engineer before I even posted the job, do you think I might have talked to that individual before I spent the time and money? You bet!!!

And this individual would have showed "fire in the belly" for attacking his/her job search. I will talk more about how you tap into the hidden job market in my next post.

2. You have at most 30 seconds to get my attention!! Please do not make me guess what you want to do, or tell me you can do everything. The more focused you are the better chance you will have at getting me to scan your entire resume. Help me screen your resume in for the job...not out!

3. Use Buzz words that help me want to keep looking. Buzz words are industry specific. For example a Human Resources buzz words would be "strength in employment law", "employee relations", "problem solving", "organizational development", these are words that support my ability to be an HR Manager

4. Put what is hot to the top and what is not to the bottom or leave it off.

5. Refrain from using fraternities and other associations that are religious based unless you are applying for a job with a specific church. Unfortunately this can create biases in the reader.

There are two basic types of resumes...a chronological and functional.

If you have a spotty work history, a functional resume may serve you better. The eye reads right to left so if your dates of employment have gaps make sure you put the dates on the left side instead of the right.

Check out the link below...this is the resume of Lawrence - lucky leprechaun off of What are your thoughts? Would you invite him in for an interview? (This is actually a nice example of what I am talking about regarding resumes)

So this is just a few tips...In my next post...the hidden job market - how do you look for jobs? Interview tips and how do you negotiate stay tuned..



Jenny said...

Hi! Thanks for the tips! Can't wait to hear from you again.

Jen said...

Thank you for sharing very valuable information with job seekers. They will also find useful tips about writing a winning resume at

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