RE: Resume format

Subject: RE: Resume format
From: "Sella Rush" <srush -at- MusicNet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2002 17:59:37 -0800

I got *extremely* positive feedback from my current resume.

A former resume started with bulleted general experience followed by work history. But I heard enough negatives about that style from hiring managers on this list that I decided to change it.

My current resume lists experience by employer with a brief description and sometimes bullet point "highlights" for each job. I did *not* specify which software I used per job unless it was relevant to a project I was already mentioning. A separate Skills section lists software and my proficiency.

Check out the "t-letter" article on the techwr-l web site. The idea is to answer each qualification in a job post with relevant experience. The article offers some good advice on how to do this, and while the article advocates submitting this letter in lieu of a resume, it worked very nicely as an accompaniment.

The important thing is to be specific. If the requirement says, knowledge of HTML, you respond "designed and developed XYZ corporate web site, using server-side scripting to streamline content delivery..." You might follow up each response with "primary software: ....".

One great thing about this qualification summary/t-letter is that it, and not your resume, is tailored to the job opening. But the big advantage is that any resume reviewer can quickly see how you match up with what they're looking for. It makes the process so much easier for them.

Although I only used the t-letter twice, both interviewers commented on how much they liked it, including the person who ended up hiring me.

BTW--re Office vs. Word/Excel/etc. I was conflicted about this also a few months ago, but I quickly learned there are plenty of people who don't know that Word, etc., is part of Office. I would definitely itemize, such as: "MS Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access)".

Re whether you're neurotic... The recruiter sounds a little anxious herself--maybe she needs this contract as much as you do? It seems like you could retain control over your resume while managing to do her a favor? If they send you a template of their format and you do all the work getting it into shape, could that work? Alternatively, could you ask to proof a final version before it goes out to the client?

Re basic tools--Word was my primary tool for writing and producing print documents, so although it may be a "basic" tool, it was certainly relevant. I wouldn't list Word with respect to my current job (it's a Frame shop), but would still include it in my general software skills list.
Sella Rush
technical writer
srush -at- musicnet -dot- com

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