RE: Resume format

Subject: RE: Resume format
From: "Justin Cascio" <justin-paul -dot- geo -at- yahoo -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2002 03:22:01 -0500

> > * Do you think it's a good idea to sort the meat of a resume by
> skills
> > rather than by employers?
> Only if you goal is to win a creative writing contest. Do you
> think it is a good idea to answer all the interviewers'questions
> in Latin?

Brad, if you want me to take your opinion seriously, you're going to have to
give me a better analogy or explain this one. Tell me why you think sorting
my skills under logical headings rather than client sites on which I used
the skills is "creative writing" and as helpful as speaking Latin.

> > * Should I have even the most basic tools on my resume,
> Absolutely. The person hiring you does not have to be smarter
> than you.

I don't think this has to do with intelligence of the hiring manager as much
as it has to do with relevance. Is it relevant to indicate that I know how
to use a copier or a calculator, for instance?
> Who do you think is the better expert at finding a job and in
> what the employer expects? You or the recruiter. If you think it
> is you, find a different recruiter or get an immediate attitude
> adjustment.

In this case, I have specific doubts about this woman's ability to forge
business relationships on my behalf, and I gave those reasons: that she
intended to edit my resume for typos, formatting, grammar, and spelling,
when all of her correspondence with me indicated that she was the last
person who should be making those changes. In this case, while I didn't
phrase it this way at all, yeah, I do think I'm the expert. Suggestions that
I get an "attitude adjustment" aren't serious or helpful, Brad.
> > * Was this recruiter definitely rude and defensive, or is it
> just my
> > neurotic opinion?
> Actually, you must be a good candidate for her to put up with you
> as much as she has so far. She is probably putting it down to
> your inexperience at job search - most people are lousy at it,
> because they don't do it as a profession and they are extremely
> stressed and self-conscious while doing it.

While I understand your projection of what the recruiter might have been
thinking and feeling, I don't see what I've done to be such a horror to put
up with. Can you explain? And while the recruiter would have to have read my
resume to know this, I'm an experienced contractor, and very used to
marketing myself to employers and placement agencies.
> You might ask her to send you a couple of a resumes done in the
> style she likes, with the name removed. I'll bet you can imitate
> it and wow her.

That's a good suggestion. Unfortunately, what I'm doing in asking these
questions is Monday morning quarterbacking. I'm trying to see if I can still
save this relationship, and avoid having this problem in the future. I have
never had a recruiter problem like this one before: most recruiters I meet
are personable, sales types.
> You are thinking about her 'don't screw this up for me' She is
> thinnking the same thing about you, with more reason. She has
> seen hundreds of people like you. You have seen one person like
> her.

While I completely agree with you that we're both probably thinking the same
thing, I don't agree with the last part. Yes, she's seen more candidates
than I've seen recruiters, but I don't even think the ratio is 100:1, much
less the actual numbers. I've been contracting for a while.

> When you get on an airplane, do you check the pilot's and
> copilot's tech writing skills? Do you question every step of
> thier procedures?

Only if they're trying to rewrite my resumes.
> If I were you, I would call her back, apologize, and ask for her
> suggestions and assistance.

Why do you suggest I apologize? I was courteous with the recruiter in every
one of our interactions. I don't think objecting to a change once (not
making a federal case out of it), while remaining open to her argument, is
anything to apologize for. After every revision, I ended my email with a
statement to the effect of, "please let me know if I can make any other
revisions." I used to sell hardware, and sometimes my customers were jerks,
but I was still polite and helpful. Now I'm selling my skills, and I do the
same thing.

> And if you are
> smart, ask for interview tips and techniques. Do just what she
> tells you to and don't argue with her.
> Then when she gets that stellar job, she might tell you a year
> down the road about some other opportunity that you would never
> know about otherwise. When you get that job, send her flowers.
> When other people talk about sending their resumes out, if they
> are good, send them to her. She could make a million dollars
> difference to you over the course of your career - and hers.

This is some good advice. Thank you.

Justin Cascio


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