Quick and Quintessential Career & Job Tips
Job-hunting tips from the March 18, 2002 issue of QuintZine.
One of our favorite quotes about resumes comes from Mark Nelson, former partner of Dale Dauten of syndicated career-column fame. Describing a two-page resume with long paragraphs and tiny type, Nelson says: “This resume is like a lonely guy who can’t get a date, so he sits at home and eats and gets bigger and bigger. I meet people all the time who think employers are going to get excited by lots of detail in their resumes. No. Instead, [employers] think, ‘Here’s a guy who can’t prioritize and who doesn’t respect his reader.'” Overstuffed and text-heavy resumes are a problem for many job-seekers. A good way to avoid them is to prioritize your resume content based on how well it answers some basic questions. For example, does your resume tell:
- What you can bring to the employer to improve the company’s service and increase its profits?
- What you have done recently toward that end?
- How you can make money for the employer?
- How you can save money for the employer?
- How you can introduce and improve processes?
- How you can lead and develop people?
- How you can solve the company’s problems?
(These questions came from career columnist Sandra Pesmen and consultant Nancy Bergman of Stanley Barber & Associates)
Layout factors that send resumes to the circular file included lack of readability, density of type (paragraphs rather than bullet points), and unnecessary length. Careless spelling and the presence of typos are also resume killers for hiring managers. Finally, employers wanted resumes to show a clear match between the applicant and a particular job’s requirements. A “general” resume that is not focused on a specific job’s requirements was seen as not competitive.
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