Book Review: Power Resume and Real Resume
From time-to-time, as we receive career-related and job-hunting books and other resources from publishers, the staff of Quintessential Careers will review them to help you make better decisions about the best books to use in your career and job search.
40 Minute Power Resume, by Beverly Hill. Paperback — 250 pages, Renaissance Ink Press; ISBN: 0967690609, $19.95
Real Resumes for Career Changers: Actual Resumes and Cover Letters, by Anne McKinney (Editor), Paperback — 192 pages, PREP Publishing; ISBN: 1885288174 ; $16.95
More than a decade ago, when Beverly Hill was downsized from the company she was working for in Saudi Arabia, she sent resumes to companies in Orlando, enticing many of them to place overseas calls to her. Back in the States, Hill found that employers were as interested in having her prepare their resumes as they were in hiring her. Eleven-thousand resume and career-coaching clients later, Hill gathered the wisdom she had attained from her years of preparing resumes for others into 40 Minute Power Resume, a volume packed with some great tools for writing a powerful resume.
We like her chapter on Resume Eliminators. Too often, job-seekers are oblivious to those little things on their resumes that can land the resume right in the circular file. Hill also shows exactly how to target a want ad with a resume. She offers a nifty formula for developing a personal profile. For those who want lots of good keywords on their resumes, Hills lists of areas of expertise/skills/knowledge for numerous career fields are invaluable.
Hill also hammers home the idea of portraying what the job-seeker did in his or her past jobs in terms of accomplishments — especially quantifiable achievements — instead of the tired and ineffective “duties and responsibilities” approach. In our work with students and other job-seekers, we’ve found the accomplishments concept one of the most difficult to convey. Hill even provides a list of dozens of ways that accomplishments can be quantified. The back of 40 Minute Power Resume contains forms that the job-seeker can use to develop Hill’s brand of resume.
While we found Hill’s “Express Power Quick Tips” a tad confusing and repetitive, we recommend this book; its tool chest of words, phrases, and samples are well worth the purchase price of the book.
We were less impressed with Real Resumes for Career Changers even though we really wanted to like it because it’s such a great concept. We found the author’s cover-letter examples wordy, often with ponderous explanations of negatives in the job-seeker’s employment history. The resumes are unimaginative and contain, in our opinion, some major gaffes, such as almost always listing one’s education first on the resume, even when the person graduated college 20 years ago. The opening section of the book, which provides a “big picture” overview of job-seeking is helpful, although we found it a bit out of step. The book wisely suggests researching companies as a major component of the job search, but for a book published in 2000, the emphasis on print resources while giving short shrift to the vast resources of the Internet adds to the book’s old-fashioned feel.
Check out all our book reviews in Quintessential Reading: Career and Job Book Reviews.