Re: Resumes - writing your own

Subject: Re: Resumes - writing your own
From: Sue Ellen Adkins <sea -at- NETCOM -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 27 Dec 1995 18:44:20 -0800

Tom Potter wrote:

> Don't worry about the length of the resume; those who told us to hold
> it to one page never hired anyone.

I agree that one page is almost always too short. However, I don't expect
many resumes to exceed two pages. If you have exceptional depth in one area
(such as articles published), list several that represent your total
experience and state that a complete list is available. Of course, you want to
include the most relevant ones. (This is one reason why I don't like one-size-
fits-all resumes. They usually don't.)

A description of my resume and the reasons for the sequence may help others.
I start with my name, address, phone numbers, and e-mail address. (I'm
surprised that people still are impressed by an e-mail address.)

My OBJECTIVES are in the first section. Although my cover letter identifies
the position I want, I make sure that my objectives include the position. (If
the position is for an editor, I'll include editor as one of my objectives.)
I follow my objectives with a one-sentence summary of applicable experience.

My second section is ACHIEVEMENTS. Specifics are important here. "I wrote
the Systems Engineering plan for the XYZ proposal that resulted in a $xxx
contract." "In 199x, my user manual for ABC won the STC Silicon Valley
Chapter award for _____." "I led a team of 9 writers that produced a set of
12 manuals for the ABC project." I consider this section to be the bragging
my mother would do about my professional career. I want the reader to wonder
what else I accomplished

The next section is TOOLS AVAILABLE. (Thanks for the idea, Richard.) Because
I want off-site contacts, I have access to the hardware and software I list.
This is as close as I come to a key word summary. In addition to the expected
hardware and software, I include my connections to the Internet and other on-
line services.

EDUCATION is next; my achievements demonstrate my ability better than my
education does. My degree is in business; I list technical courses that aren't
usually associated with a business degree. I also include courses to
demonstrate my ongoing education. (For example, I start a course titled
"Electronic Publishing on the Web" in January.)

My EXPERIENCE section contains a chronological list of positions and
employer(s). Generally, the more distant the experience, the less I write
about it. What I considered an accomplishment 15 years ago doesn't even get
mentioned today. I also think it's unusual to describe in detail what should
be routine for an experienced writer.

> Bulleted lists and phrases do just as well as clauses,
> as long as they get the point across.

I agree with this! Design your resume to use white space. A conservative
resume doesn't have to be boring; bulleted lists add variety to grey margin-
to-margin text.

> One section which I think is very important and one which most
> resume writers omit is the HOBBIES AND INTERESTS section. I never
> thought about this until I ran across some resumes in which the
> applicants had the same hobbies as I. It made me take a second look at
> the resume. After all, someone who shares your interests
> will automatically get your attention.

I disagree with this. There are too many stereotypes associated with hobbies.
If I discuss them at all, it would be at the interview.

My final comment on resumes: Use action verbs and avoid the passive tense.
Let the resume state your capabilities as strongly as possible.

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