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Tom Murrell wrote:
> So I focus my efforts on determining what it takes to make that cut and
> the interview.
Others on this list, besides Tom, have written about tailoring the resume to
the specific job advertised. It just struck me that this wouldn't have
worked so well for me in 1987, when I was a new college graduate in a lousy
job market/economy. Back then, I recall few jobs being listed at all. The
suggestions me were to create a resume that would appeal to more than one
potential employer, since I was mailing to multiple companies, hoping one of
them would have an unlisted opening. Shooting in the dark. Lousy results,
but it was hard to aim at a target that wasn't provided except through
family connections, etc.
One temp job I had as a receptionist (I know, I know, but times were lousy
for an English Major in Columbus, OH in 1987. They really were.) required
that I open and distribute mail. Many resumes were in the daily mail - most
of them unsolicited and greeted with scornful chuckles by the managers in
the office, without regard to the merit of the supplicants. Those resumes
that were solicited were quite general in nature because the want ad had not
been very detailed. Maybe things were quite different for high-speed
professionals like tech writers even back then, but these were engineers who
were begging for a job.
Because of the way the IT industry has taken off, we have the good fortune
to be able to target specific jobs. And we owe it to ourselves to take
advantage of these good times, and write more robust, directed resumes as
folks on this list are suggesting.
I do think a lot of us learned the vague, general resumes from a time when
no one wanted us (new college grads have a harder time listing past
accomplishments in business even now, I suppose). Should I always keep an "I
can do anything you want, just name it, I promise I'll be good" general
resume on file in case the economy goes south again? Does anyone else
remember those harder times, and what it was like to create a resume for
nobody in particular? Maybe I suffered alone!