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I've had numerous requests for resume tips that we learned during the
previous life when we operated Top o' The Stack Resume Service.
We truly enjoyed that little episode in our life and didn't/don't find
resume prep a
chore at all.
Of course we use many of the same phrases/words in all the docs, but
it's not a "boilerplate" paper.
What goes in our own resumes?
With our years of experience (I'm 67, Tilly's not) we go
back through the list of jobs and *create* a resume that answers the
requirements of the advertising company.
We NEVER tell a lie in a resume, but as we've often said, *There's no
one else to pat us on the back and tell us what a great job we did. We
must do it ourselves.*
We have prepared standard resumes for ourselves on Tech Writing, AutoCAD
Editing, Overseas work, etc. Even so, each one is custom prepared to
match the classified ad.
We use a FUNCTIONAL resume that lists skills and number of years in
each. Never a Chronological one.
At this age, we never mention dates of graduation, and when we fill out
an application (despite the resume, most employers require it) we never
go back past five
Never include a picture. Employers who ask for that are using it to
discriminate! Do you look too young? Too old? Minority?
Don't be afraid to use I, me, and other first person pronouns. The
document is about YOU and those academic elitists who advise against
such practices probably haven't had to look for a job since 1960.
NEVER NEVER NEVER make the document more than ONE PAGE! The resume is
designed to get you the interview, not the job (despite my most recent
experience to the contrary). The hiring authority probably will spend
less than ONE Minute reading it.
Some agencies prepare a resume that's multiple pages, submitted in a
colorful binder with the agency and applicants on the front. Pretty,
but doesn't work! Usually costs you a couple of hundred dollars as
Functionally list skills/years/description with those headings across
the top half of the page. Education, certificates near the bottom.
Highlight (bold, never italic) words that correspond with words
published in their classified ad.
I try not to give past salaries, but am up front in stating a DESIRED
salary (50% more than I will accept). Most past employers will not tell
an enquirer how much you made! They have learned from lawsuits that
it's best to reveal only dates of employment. Some won't even tell
that; only that *Yes, he was employed here in 1994-1995*
I consider many things in my salary requirement:
I'll work for $5 less per hour if the morning/afternoon drive is very
short, or there is little traffic.
At 67 I'm not worried about health benefits, but for most of you it's an
The most important point for me in agreeing to go with an agency is:
How do they treat me while we're looking? Hard to get in touch with
after first communication? Don't return calls? Submit me along with 50
others? Try to find other contractors who have used the same agency, but
be very careful about the contractors' report.
FACTS ABOVE. OPINION BELOW.
I believe that agencies should pre-screen and submit no more than three
candidates for each position. You should consider mass submissions like
winning the lottery. Big-g-g-g agencies are notorious for this gaffe.
Many contractors that we've talked to (and read on this list) are
compulsively Politically Correct. Those people will NEVER tell you the
truth about an agency or employer. They are so full of platitudes that
it becomes truly sickening to listen to *I think you ought to give them
another chance*, *Don't believe what others tell you*, *Give them the
benefit of the doubt*, *Always clean your plate*, etc.
Others may be slammers. Those people SLAM everybody.
Try to get to know the source's general attitude about PC; it's an
indicator of truthfulness in reporting about agencies/employers.
writer -at- dhc -dot- net