Re: Resume Scanning

Subject: Re: Resume Scanning
From: "Susan W. Gallagher" <sgallagher -at- EXPERSOFT -dot- COM>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 1995 17:11:57 -0800

>George Allaman wrote:
>>>If you can
>>>think of a keyword that should be listed, why wouldn't it already be in
>>>the body of the resume somewhere? Can you give me an example? I have a
>>>feeling this is a stupid question - please humor me.

>And Sue Gallagher (that's me!) said:
>>...Because some of the words you'd want to use in your
>>keyword section may not appear in the resume.

Then Wolf Lahti wrote:
>This simply begs the question of why you didn't put those elements in the
>body of your resume to begin with. The whole point of resume writing is to
>list your skills, and listing *which* software you have experience with is
>so fundamental to this that the idea of having to add a special 'index'
>section to do so suggests you didn't do the base resume right. Make your
>resume do its job right; don't try to fix it with a patch-on.

Wait a minute, here, Wolf. My resume does it's job just fine, thanks.
And so do my manuals, but I *still* find the need to index my books
(rather than provide a concordance), just as I might (next time ;-) )
find the need to keyword my resume. Why you may ask? Because I may
use "delete" in my book but a user may be looking for "erase". And
I may use "online help" in my resume but the personnel director may be
looking for "hypertext" or "online documentation".

A resume, also, is supposed to be a sales tool. It's supposed to make
the reader ask questions about you. It's not supposed to be your life
story. So, realistically, it may not list *every* software package you've
ever used or *every* skill you have. Adding a keyword section that raises
the question "where did you use that software" or "when did you develop
that skill" will get you a phone call or an interview where elaborating
on everything you've ever done in your career might not.

Some "experts" (ala "What Color Is Your Parachute") advise not sending
a resume at all because it answers *too many* questions. Of course, you
need to do what works for you. In the last six months, I sent out fewer
than 20 resumes, most of those to search firms. From those few resumes,
I got 1 "we just filled the position but can we keep you on file" and 5
interviews. From the 5 interviews, I got 2 job offers (one of which I took),
1 offer for occasional contract work (which I'll follow up on) and 1 "why
didn't you tell me I didn't have time to go thru channels before I made
her an offer. She'd'a been perfect", so I figure what I'm doing is
working for me. :-) Your mileage may vary.

Sue Gallagher
Expersoft Corporation
San Diego, CA
sgallagher -at- expersoft -dot- com

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