Re: Lengthy Resumes

Subject: Re: Lengthy Resumes
From: Roy Anderson <royanderson -at- MINDSPRING -dot- COM>
Date: Mon, 17 May 1999 16:01:23 -0400

Stephen McDermott wrote:
>
> I've gotten to the point in my career as a contract technical writer that I
> cannot list all of my experience on a two page resume. I have had a lot of
> short term contracts where the experience and exposure I gained are too
> valuable to leave out.
>
> But my early years as a technical writer are important to document also,
> showing increased responsibility for content, style, and distribution.
>
> ? - How do the veteran contractors condense their resume without shutting
> themselves out of a position because that key piece of experience was
> removed from their resume (besides tailoring each resume to a job)?
>
> Thanks in advance.
>
> =================================
> Stephen W. McDermott
> REMAC Technical Writer
> The Regence Group
> Phone: 253-594-7149
> Email: smcdermo -at- regence -dot- com
>

You ask, "How do the veteran contractors condense their resume without
shutting themselves out of a position because that key piece of experience
was removed from their resume (besides tailoring each resume to a job)?"

My short answer is that you really don't have an option other than to tailor
your resumes to specific job opportunities. It's the only way to ensure that
key elements are included.

As someone with thirty-three years in information technology--and five years
in online help development--I encountered your "wealth of skills" problem
early on in my career. Even with tight formatting, my chronological resume
expanded to three full pages! I had no option but to switch to a briefer
skills-based resume specifically tailored to each job opportunity.

Keep your skills-based resume tight and oriented to the client's needs.
Don't waste precious resume space and time tooting your horn about matters
of little or no interest to a given client/employer.

I also customize each cover letter to a specific opportunity and support my
cover letter with the tailored skills-based resume. The objective is to
generate interest. You can add details later if the client/employer invites
you for an interview.

To aid matters, I maintain very detailed resumes for my three primary areas
of expertise: online help development, mainframe programming, and management.
I cut and paste from these as each situation warrants. It makes the task of
creating tailored resumes much easier. I also create hard drive folders for
each resume submitted so that I can track correspondence related to that
submission. For example: C:\Resumes\FBI X-Files Agent Resume-980712

I add a summary to the bottom of page two which simply lists past titles and
companies. Don't include specific years on a skills-based resume or you'll
date yourself. As I have learned to my chagrin, there is substantial age
discrimination in today's markets.

In your cover letter, provide a range in months or years. For example,
"Six years experience as pointy-haired boss." You're just trying to get
your foot in their door.

I read one claim that hiring managers typically only spend one-three minutes
per resume. Based on my experience, that seems reasonable. You must capture
a potential client/employer's attention in that short period. Distributing
a lengthy resume filled with irrelevant information about past jobs is not
conducive to your best interests.

Never provide extraneous personal details which might cause you to be
excluded from consideration because of a hiring person's prejudices.
Never disclose any information which may provide clues about your age,
religion, national origin, hobbies, favorite music, and so forth in a
resume. Stay focused on your task of matching job requirements to your
experience. If you encounter discrimination in the interviewing and
hiring processes, that's tough, but you can deal with as the law permits.
Never give a hiring manager a reason to toss your resume because of
extraneous material.

I've learned from experience not to highlight my managerial experience ("I
was the world's greatest manager!") if one is applying for a position as a
worker bee. Managers do not like hiring former managers ("I don't care how
you used to do things in your shop" and "I don't want to bring potential
competitors on board") for their staffs. Stress your worker bee experience.
Things are somewhat better if one is offering contracting services to a
client. Clients tend to appreciate former managerial experience, provided
you make it clear that you're willing to play second fiddle to the client's
management.

Good luck to you.

Roy

From ??? -at- ??? Sun Jan 00 00:00:00 0000=




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