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April 3, 2020

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Virtual Job Club Day 10: Resume Revamp Part 2

We hear your frustrations — we feel your pain. Unless you’re being paid to do it, resume writing isn’t something that any of you want to bother with. Yet, we know it’s a necessary evil, so to speak. Instead of complaining, we’ll roll up our sleeves and get the doc in tip top shape.

So many of you dialed in yesterday for Part 1 of Resume Revamp (if you missed the call, you can hear the recording here) — and you’re now making necessary changes. Bravo!

Some of you told us that you’ve spent big bucks having your resume written, but you haven’t gotten a single interview. There’s a HUGE bridge between a great resume and landing an interview. The best paper in the world doesn’t guarantee a call. You have to market that resume and make yourself known. You have to take the right steps to get your resume noticed. We’ll cover that and more next week.

But first, you need a strong resume. So today we’ll tackle Part 2 with expert advice from Robin Schlinger. (Not only is she a pro at all resumes, she specializes in federal resumes.) If you have questions for Robin, post them here before 2PM ET and we’ll try our best to have them answered.

Press the play button below to listen to this 20 minute call on Resume Revamp Part 2.

Tell us, in general what is the hardest part of writing your resume? If you had to boil it down to one thing, what is it? That will help us to help you with solutions.

Finally, ENJOY THE HOLIDAY WEEKEND. Take time off to have some fun — and we’ll see you back here on Tuesday.

Be safe and enjoy!
Tory

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Comments

  1. DN

    Robin,
    How do I add a sabbatical to my resume?

  2. PSP

    What do you do if you do not have the numbers to quantify your results on your resume? I feel like I was ineffective at my job because I don’t keep track of the numbers.

  3. Susan Kaye

    In the last 2 weeks I have been sending out resumes with no cover letter. Yes I have been getting calls for interviews, but when I do research on the co. Find out thing from people who work there are for only 3 months and are leaving. Gave reasons cannot figure out what the co. does, not well run, and other things like that. After reading many things like that I have no desire to go on the interview even for a learning experience. My luck the place would hire me, and would find out the place is horrible. Then find a way to get fired so I could go back on unemployment.

  4. SM

    The most difficult part about rewriting my CV was customizing it for each job prospect, and reworking skills, responsibilities and accomplishments so that it would resonate with the decision maker for that job opportunity. It is not always easy or obvious to know what to edit, how to word something, what to emphasize, etc.

    It made sense to me to get past gatekeeper software to customize the CV before posting. But you can’t just include keywords, it has to be authentic. How do you know what works and what doesn’t? If the CV matches up perfectly to the posted job details, what are the additional filters that prevent you from getting a call or a call back?

    Sometimes it seems like a lot of work and spinning wheels with very little to show for the effort.

  5. Lois

    I wish we could submit our resumes for revamping. What if the first five comments received free overhaul of our resume? That would be very cool!!

  6. REK

    The most difficult part of resume writing for me (once I get past the inertia of just not wanting to do it) is condensing my experience and accomplishments into a handful of bullets that accurately portray my strengths in a way that grabs the hiring manager’s attention. I am getting better at condensing, but could use some tips on how to make it compelling.

  7. AB

    What is the most important part of a resume? Where do the eyes of the recruiter go first?

    How long is too long?

    What are key words that should always be in a resume no matter what position you are applying for and that a recruiter wants to see in a resume?

  8. I.S.

    I’ve written a federal resume and it is 7 pages long. I inculded buzz words from the job descriptions and even included courses I’ve completed (my field of interest is Mgmt Analyst- I have an MPA). However, I keep getting responses from agencies that I’m qualified but not highly qualified- so my name isn’t submitted to the hiring manager? Do you think I need to change something in my resume so I can be among the highly qualified?

    Thanks.

  9. EE

    Biggest issue is inertia. And making the resume compelling.
    I need to come up with a way to state what I have been doing during my 3 years of not working in a traditional job. Maybe sabbatical is the way to state it. I took time off to reassess my life and ended up taking care of family members with medical issues and then got sick myself? This does not sound compelling to me. Help.

  10. KE

    The hardest part about writing my resume is the objective. Sometimes I don’t know how to write a good objective or if it is even necessary with my cover letter. I also feel like I have a lot of irrelevant part-time work experience from college on my resume but I feel like if I remove it then my resume would look empty and only include my schools, study abroad, internship and fellowship abroad (plus some activities).

    Here are some questions that I had from yesterday:

    1) What do you recommend for new grads/recent grads to put on their resume to make it more noticable?
    2) How should you list your volunteer activities on you resume? The same way you would list your jobs(with duties/achievements, etc.) or just a normal list under “volunteer experience” or something like that?
    3) Do you really need an objective on your resume? I heard from some people that you don’t need it.

  11. HR

    The majority of my experience has been in education and non-profit. I have worked on fundraising campaigns, written grant proposals and marketing pieces, but I cannot quantify exactly how much money was raised as a direct result of my efforts. Another problem I face is that sometimes a job that I did more than 15 years ago is more relevant than a current position, but I dare not go back more than fifteen years on my resume.

  12. Barbara Cann

    HR makes a good point. I have experiences prior to those shown on my resume that are unique to the ones now shown. These are most decidedly relevant, and have definitely given me skills and knowledge that have helped build the professional I am today. Is it ever advisable that this earlier experience be mentioned, and if so, how? Or is it something that should be left for comment in a cover letter?

    In general (the work of rewriting for specific job types aside) the most difficult is getting in the buzzwords! I’ve learned so many systems over the years, but on the job they’re never referred to by their generic type — CRM, SAP, etc.) so I’m constantly trying to dredge from memory clues that could categorize them by current buzzwords.

    And, after my big promise yesterday I’m trying to come up with a clever way to show my UNquantifiable skills in a chart or graph format so they pop.

  13. Victoria

    The way that the Ladders was able to customize my resume and make it personal was because of the questions they had me answer. They said it would take one hour. Well it took me a few hours in the evening and half of the next day to complete it. It was difficult but worth it. The questions made sense and helped me jog my memory and really paint a good picture about my sales roles.

  14. JF

    This is for I.S. Your Federal resume is usually going up against Veterans who earn those near and dear additional 5 and 10 points which is what is stopping you from getting referred. This has been happening to me quite a bit. Now, you are allowed to reach out to the hiring manager/HR folks listed and you can ask them directly. Some of them might ignore you completely but I have had luck with some of them returning my email/calls and they have stated while my resume scored 100, there were 20 veterans who applied who had more points.
    Your best bet to get into the federal government at this time is to network your way or perhaps hire on with a contractor who can put you on a fedgov contract and you wow them so much, they by name select.

  15. Barbara Cann

    Completely off topic, but — I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday weekend. Enjoy!

  16. Susan Kaye

    I did hear Robin Schlinger on the call today.Also I went into her website and did send her a copy of my resume and a note too. Maybe Robin can tell me what is the problem with my resume or something else that I am getting no calls.

  17. je

    There are two things I find equally difficult. One is the high number of temporary and contract positions I’ve had recently; it doesn’t really present a stable work history. The other one is my age; I’ve left the company I was with of 12 years off my resume because it was from 1970 – 1982.
    I can’t decide which of the two is the hardest to face.

  18. MMP

    The hardest part for me is achieving that laser focus I need. It was good to be reminded about the keywords–a lot has changed since I last went looking for a “real” job, and I think this tool will help a lot.

  19. sad

    the hardest part of doing my resume is making my summary match the job i want. i am deseparate to find a job so i put too much of my skills and education into my summary which makes me over qualifield for an entry level job.

  20. CR

    The hardest, most frustrating part of writing my resume is knowing what to keep, and what to get rid of! Arghh!!!

    When I target my resume with my objective, I look at all of my experiences related to that specific position and attempt to write the summary and focus on quantifiable accomplishments. I get stuck on how to market myself in a compelling, unique way. Overwhelming.

  21. KBH

    I think the hardest part of the resume is the executive summary and finding the right key words that will be picked up by the computers scanning the resumes.

  22. teetee

    Hi Tory,
    I just wanted to thank you for your help. As of Monday I will start my new job it is part time but it is a step in the door. I used some of the skills from your assignments in my interview turned my negatives into a postives. Will def keep looking at this and doing assignments cause I still need the skills to keep myself motivated.

    Thanks again

  23. mj

    There is no perfect resume format; it is based on an individual basis. I guess my resume will be change form B- to a A-. Now, my concern is the CV. It is a D for thinking about it and F for not having one. The library can be a good place to learn as well.

  24. Gwen

    My hardest thing in writing resumes is in how much to include. As a museum collections manager, I did all different types of jobs, from manageing and directing volunteers work to packing and shipping artifacts. Most jobs seem to have a lot of responsibilities and requirements. If I touch on each of them, the resume grows and grows. So how do I be brief but still let them know I can perform all of the duties and resp. of the job?

  25. DWS

    The most difficult part of writing or revamping my resume is to decide how long to make it. Everyone says one page only, and no more than 10 yrs. of experience. I have used more than one page and more than 10 years when I feel it would not do the job I was applying for justice.

  26. Answers to questions above:

    DN says: How do I add a sabbatical to my resume?

    ROBIN: Describe what you did during your sabbatical (if it was interesting, an interviewer would be curious).

    _______________________________

    PSP says: What do you do if you do not have the numbers to quantify your results on your resume? I feel like I was ineffective at my job because I don’t keep track of the numbers.

    ROBIN: If you can remember percentages – use them. Do the best you can to remember them – or perhaps contact a friend who worked with you. You can only do what you can do. In the future, keep a file with the numbers AT HOME so you will have them if you need to look for a job again. It is always better to have numbers, if you don’t think about what impact you had on the company or organization.
    _______________________________

    SM says: The most difficult part about rewriting my CV was customizing it for each job prospect, and reworking skills, responsibilities and accomplishments so that it would resonate with the decision maker for that job opportunity. It is not always easy or obvious to know what to edit, how to word something, what to emphasize, etc…

    It made sense to me to get past gatekeeper software to customize the CV before posting. But you can’t just include keywords, it has to be authentic. How do you know what works and what doesn’t? If the CV matches up perfectly to the posted job details, what are the additional filters that prevent you from getting a call or a call back?

    Sometimes it seems like a lot of work and spinning wheels with very little to show for the effort.

    ROBIN: Sometimes it is not obvious – it is a numbers game. If you are not getting calls back, you may want a friend or a professional to provide advice to you (You cannot always be objective when you are looking at things about yourself). Also, just answering ads is not the most successful way to look for jobs. Networking and looking for jobs not listed online are much more successful in general. Through networking you sometimes can find out what the company is really looking for.

    Lois says: I wish we could submit our resumes for revamping. What if the first five comments received free overhaul of our resume? That would be very cool!!

    ROBIN: I can’t revamp your resumes for no charge (writing resumes is what I do for a living), but I can provide a critique with comments that might help you revamp your resume. I would be pleased to do so if you email me.
    _______________________________

    REK says: The most difficult part of resume writing for me (once I get past the inertia of just not wanting to do it) is condensing my experience and accomplishments into a handful of bullets that accurately portray my strengths in a way that grabs the hiring manager’s attention. I am getting better at condensing, but could use some tips on how to make it compelling.

    ROBIN: I like writing bullet statements using the following structure:

    by through using .

    For more information, I like the the book “Resume Magic” by Susan Whitcomb.
    _________________________________

    AB says: What is the most important part of a resume? Where do the eyes of the recruiter go first?

    How long is too long?

    What are key words that should always be in a resume no matter what position you are applying for and that a recruiter wants to see in a resume?

    ROBIN: All parts of the resume are important – but the eyes of the recruiter (in general) go to the top third of the page – so the summary must be compelling. This is just a rule of thumb so it depends on the recruter.

    I recommend one or two pages for most – very long Federal resumes work, long CV’s for academia work – and longer resumes (perhaps) for technical folks. You may want an addendum with more details to be used judiciously.
    __________________

    I.S. says: I’ve written a federal resume and it is 7 pages long. I inculded buzz words from the job descriptions and even included courses I’ve completed (my field of interest is Mgmt Analyst- I have an MPA). However, I keep getting responses from agencies that I’m qualified but not highly qualified- so my name isn’t submitted to the hiring manager? Do you think I need to change something in my resume so I can be among the highly qualified?

    ROBIN: To score highly for a FEDERAL resume (not just be qualified – but BEST QUALIFIED) for a federal job, you need to have EXPERIENCE in ALL the job duties, answer you are the EXPERT in all of the multiple choice questions on the online questionnaire and answer yes to all yes/no questions in the online questionnaire and have examples of your EXPERIENCE in your resume for everything you said you were the EXPERT in on the online questionnaire. Even then, if a Veteran (who is just as qualified as you – or slightly less qualified as you) or a Disabled Vet (who simply has to just qualify) applies for the job – and you are not a Vet – they will place higher on the list.

    If you want an independed review of your resume – send it to me along with a job announcement you want to apply for. I can analyze it for you.
    _______________________

    Continued in the next comment below

  27. Continued answers to the questions above:

    EE says: Biggest issue is inertia. And making the resume compelling.
    I need to come up with a way to state what I have been doing during my 3 years of not working in a traditional job. Maybe sabbatical is the way to state it. I took time off to reassess my life and ended up taking care of family members with medical issues and then got sick myself? This does not sound compelling to me. Help.

    ROBIN: Each case is individual. Sabbatical for 3 years is not necessarily the way to state it here. You may need to say something like Home Healthcare Worker with Dates. Describe the care you gave to your family member and yourself. However, without more information on what you want to do now and your situation – I cannot say if this is the best answer.
    ____________

    KE says: The hardest part about writing my resume is the objective. Sometimes I don’t know how to write a good objective or if it is even necessary with my cover letter. I also feel like I have a lot of irrelevant part-time work experience from college on my resume but I feel like if I remove it then my resume would look empty and only include my schools, study abroad, internship and fellowship abroad (plus some activities).

    Here are some questions that I had from yesterday:

    1) What do you recommend for new grads/recent grads to put on their resume to make it more noticable?
    2) How should you list your volunteer activities on you resume? The same way you would list your jobs(with duties/achievements, etc.) or just a normal list under “volunteer experience” or something like that?
    3) Do you really need an objective on your resume? I heard from some people that you don’t need it.

    ROBIN: Questions 1 and 2: I have a specific 2-page format I recommend for new grads – if you email me a copy of your resume for a critique and quote, and request the student format sample, I can send it to you. It shows my recommendations and how to list volunteer experience. It also shows how to list your jobs. You need to include them – they show a work ethic

    Question 3 – You don’t state an objective, you state the job title you are looking for on top of the summary. College placement office folks do not have their students put them on the resume – but the resumes through the office will be read by the recruiters automatically. When you send resumes out, there is no guarantee for that.
    _________________

    HR says: The majority of my experience has been in education and non-profit. I have worked on fundraising campaigns, written grant proposals and marketing pieces, but I cannot quantify exactly how much money was raised as a direct result of my efforts. Another problem I face is that sometimes a job that I did more than 15 years ago is more relevant than a current position, but I dare not go back more than fifteen years on my resume.

    ROBIN: See my previous answer on quantification for a resume. You can only do what you did. It is better to have the quantification – but if you don’t you don’t. You can get it in the future.

    You still can highlight experience from a longer time ago on your resume with a Career Highlights section on the top of your resume – where you list the more relevant experience.

    At the professional experience section of your resume, you do not detail dates or your experience in previous jobs – but you inclued a previous experience: title, COMPANY NAME for your other jobs to show career progression.

    Note, if you are applying for more senior positions, sometimes showing more than 10 years is OK – and you may want to go back 15 years.
    ___________________

    Barbara Cann says: HR makes a good point. I have experiences prior to those shown on my resume that are unique to the ones now shown. These are most decidedly relevant, and have definitely given me skills and knowledge that have helped build the professional I am today. Is it ever advisable that this earlier experience be mentioned, and if so, how? Or is it something that should be left for comment in a cover letter?

    In general (the work of rewriting for specific job types aside) the most difficult is getting in the buzzwords! I’ve learned so many systems over the years, but on the job they’re never referred to by their generic type — CRM, SAP, etc.) so I’m constantly trying to dredge from memory clues that could categorize them by current buzzwords.

    And, after my big promise yesterday I’m trying to come up with a clever way to show my UNquantifiable skills in a chart or graph format so they pop.

    ROBIN: See my previous answer how to show older experience. NOTE even though you show it this way – hiring managers will often discount it. In 1996 – (just 15 years ago) – Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn did NOT exist! Skills listed 15 years ago are OLD and not current. Also, if you are looking to go back 15 years ago, it is likely you were doing a job 2 or more levels below what you are NOW. Would YOU hire someone who had enough experience to be your BOSS to be your Secretary? THINK ABOUT THIS before downgrading your experience.

    I don’t include graphs in resumes for online submissions (or much at all). I am a graphics type (I bought the first copy of FREELANCE [the precursor in many ways to PowerPoint] for Mobil many years ago) and as an engineer believe in graphs. However graphs and charts are unreadible by Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). You can use the graphs and charts in resumes you hand out while networking or interviewing.

    Each graph is individual on a case by case basis.
    ____________________

    Victoria says: The way that the Ladders was able to customize my resume and make it personal was because of the questions they had me answer. They said it would take one hour. Well it took me a few hours in the evening and half of the next day to complete it. It was difficult but worth it. The questions made sense and helped me jog my memory and really paint a good picture about my sales roles.

    ROBIN: That is why you want to get a professional resume. I think you did yourself great justice by doing that – I tell my clients my questionnaire will take folks 4 to 10 hours.
    _____________________

    JF says: This is for I.S. Your Federal resume is usually going up against Veterans who earn those near and dear additional 5 and 10 points which is what is stopping you from getting referred. This has been happening to me quite a bit. Now, you are allowed to reach out to the hiring manager/HR folks listed and you can ask them directly. Some of them might ignore you completely but I have had luck with some of them returning my email/calls and they have stated while my resume scored 100, there were 20 veterans who applied who had more points.
    Your best bet to get into the federal government at this time is to network your way or perhaps hire on with a contractor who can put you on a fedgov contract and you wow them so much, they by name select.

    ROBIN: I agree. Your advice is right on!
    _______________________

    Barbara Cann says: Completely off topic, but — I hope you all have a happy and safe holiday weekend. Enjoy!

    ROBIN: Thanks.
    _____________

    Susan Kaye says: I did hear Robin Schlinger on the call today.Also I went into her website and did send her a copy of my resume and a note too. Maybe Robin can tell me what is the problem with my resume or something else that I am getting no calls.

    ROBIN: I got your informaition and will be contacting you about your resume.
    ______________________

    je says: There are two things I find equally difficult. One is the high number of temporary and contract positions I’ve had recently; it doesn’t really present a stable work history. The other one is my age; I’ve left the company I was with of 12 years off my resume because it was from 1970 – 1982.
    I can’t decide which of the two is the hardest to face.

    ROBIN: Temporary jobs are FINE – you can show more stability if you list your Independent Contractor (or title) and Dates – your job to engage in temporary positions and list them as such as accomplishments.

    I cannot provide the best way for you to handle the job you held for 12 years – from 1970-82 and how or if to list it on your resume without more information on your background and job goals. Note that was more than 40 years ago when you started, so holding a job for such a long time would probably not be that relevant today.

    40 years ago it was much more important to stay in a job for a long time – it is not really all that important in today’s market. In fact, it can be a negative not to change jobs every 4 to 5 years. The world is very different than it was in 1970.
    ____________________

    MMP says: The hardest part for me is achieving that laser focus I need. It was good to be reminded about the keywords–a lot has changed since I last went looking for a “real” job, and I think this tool will help a lot.

    ROBIN: If it has been awhile since you have looked for a real job, you will need a way to show you are current in the marketplace. Sometimes training can help. As I noted in the call – look for job announcements – or you can go to http://online.onetcenter.org – to get keywords for a job.

    sad says: the hardest part of doing my resume is making my summary match the job i want. i am deseparate to find a job so i put too much of my skills and education into my summary which makes me over qualifield for an entry level job.

    ROBIN: Why are you looking for an entry level job? I believe (very strongly) that unless you are changing careers – or have other factors – and you are experienced it is HARDER to find an entry level job than a job that matches your level of experience. There are MANY entry level folks looking for job (the unemployment rate for new grads is well above 20%). Would you hire your BOSS to work for you as your secretary????

    If you are changing careers – you will need a summary – but the resume is NOT generally what will get you the job – you will most likely need to do that through networking at first – and then use the resume itself to secure the interview.

    If you have 20 years to work and take a job $30,000 less than you earn today, it could potentially cost you $600,000 over that time.
    _____________________

    CR says: The hardest, most frustrating part of writing my resume is knowing what to keep, and what to get rid of! Arghh!!!

    When I target my resume with my objective, I look at all of my experiences related to that specific position and attempt to write the summary and focus on quantifiable accomplishments. I get stuck on how to market myself in a compelling, unique way. Overwhelming.

    ROBIN: If it is overwhelming, I suggest you may want to seek the help of a professional resume writer or a friend who can assist you in this task.

    Writing something about yourself is very difficult. Also, a professional resume writer who keeps up with the trends, has worked with many people over the years and knows what to include and not include in a resume can be helpful. Finally, a professional resume writer can be helpful in composing the powerful language needed to highlight your skills.
    _____________________

    KBH says: I think the hardest part of the resume is the executive summary and finding the right key words that will be picked up by the computers scanning the resumes.

    ROBIN: Writing an executive summary can be a challenge. You can look at resume writing books such as “Resume Magic” by Susan Whitcomb for examples.

    You can find the Key Words by looking at job announcements for the positions you want to apply for – or at http://online.onetcenter.org.
    _______________

    teetee says: Hi Tory,
    I just wanted to thank you for your help. As of Monday I will start my new job it is part time but it is a step in the door. I used some of the skills from your assignments in my interview turned my negatives into a postives. Will def keep looking at this and doing assignments cause I still need the skills to keep myself motivated.

    Thanks again

    ROBIN: Congrats!

    mj says: There is no perfect resume format; it is based on an individual basis. I guess my resume will be change form B- to a A-. Now, my concern is the CV. It is a D for thinking about it and F for not having one. The library can be a good place to learn as well.

    ROBIN: You only need a CV for certain positions (e.g. academia, research positions, medical) not for all jobs.

    The “perfect” resume is the one that gets you the interview for the job you want.
    _____________________________

    Gwen says: My hardest thing in writing resumes is in how much to include. As a museum collections manager, I did all different types of jobs, from manageing and directing volunteers work to packing and shipping artifacts. Most jobs seem to have a lot of responsibilities and requirements. If I touch on each of them, the resume grows and grows. So how do I be brief but still let them know I can perform all of the duties and resp. of the job?

    ROBIN: A resume is not about all of your job duties – it is about showing accomplishments doing the duties that are RELEVANT to your job target. If you are careful how you write the resume, you still can keep the resume to 2 pages. If you are having difficulty doing this you may want to seek the help of a friend or a resume writing professional.
    ___________________

    DWS says: The most difficult part of writing or revamping my resume is to decide how long to make it. Everyone says one page only, and no more than 10 yrs. of experience. I have used more than one page and more than 10 years when I feel it would not do the job I was applying for justice.

    ROBIN: There is no hard rule for 1 page – or 10 years. It really is situational. I often write resumes with more than 10 years of experience AND 2 pages long. See my previous answer on this.

  28. Maria

    I have lots of specific accomplishments but no specific figures I can use on my resume (i.e., $ I saved my employer, % of increased revenue due to my work, etc.).

  29. Maria: f you can remember percentages – use them. Do the best you can to remember them – or perhaps contact a friend who worked with you. You can only do what you can do. In the future, keep a file with the numbers AT HOME so you will have them if you need to look for a job again. It is always better to have numbers, if you don’t think about what impact you had on the company or organization.

    If you don’t have numbers – still state them – it is MUCH better to have accomplishments than not at all. However, think about the impact what you did had on the company or organization you worked with. In the end, these are the accomplishments you want to include.

  30. ST

    I honestly don’t think my resume is worded in a way to catch someones eye. I list pertinent information from my day to day task but i only get a few call backs for an interview. I must admit I haven’t had an interview in over a year…Not sure what else I can say.

  31. The hardest part for me is having to rewrite the resume to cater to different positions. I could save much time in this job search if I didn’t have to stop and do that for different postions. My biggest problem in this job search has been time to actually search so anything that could save me time I’m all ears! Also, need help blending all the areas of my life into the resume as each element has something to offer the other: paid career (Communications), Volunteer Job Club Faciltator/Founder online job club and my work with the families of the missing – advocacy, advisory and social network administration.

  32. shw

    The hardest part for me is making my resume compelling. I always send it with a cover letter stating that as a mature worker I am responsible, reliable, don’t text or FB chat, etc…. but as a print designer, it’s the work I do and not the resume (I think) that gets attention of potential employers/clients.

  33. More answers to questions

    ST says: I honestly don’t think my resume is worded in a way to catch someones eye. I list pertinent information from my day to day task but i only get a few call backs for an interview. I must admit I haven’t had an interview in over a year…Not sure what else I can say.

    ROBIN: If your resume is not working, you may want to find a person to help you with it. The purpose of a resume is to get the interview for the job you want. You may want to seek the advice of a professional, go to a job search group with a professional leader and/or get a book which can help you.

    Maureen Reintjes says: The hardest part for me is having to rewrite the resume to cater to different positions. I could save much time in this job search if I didn’t have to stop and do that for different postions. My biggest problem in this job search has been time to actually search so anything that could save me time I’m all ears! Also, need help blending all the areas of my life into the resume as each element has something to offer the other: paid career (Communications), Volunteer Job Club Faciltator/Founder online job club and my work with the families of the missing – advocacy, advisory and social network administration.

    ROBIN: The first step in a job search is to do the work to determine what you want to do in a job. If you pick out just one or two job goals at most (rather than trying to apply for everything), it will take you MUCH less time to tailor your resume – and your job search is MUCH more likely to be successful. You may want to seek out the help of a career coach – or you could read the book (and follow the advice of) “What Color is Your Parachute?” by Richard Nelson Bolles (more than 10 million people have read the book).

    There are no “shortcuts” to looking for a job. Looking for a job is work – and those that just do it, rather than looking for the the shortcut, tend to be more successful. The latest edition of Richard Nelson Bolles’ book has interesting statistics on what methods have the best chance of success. Determining what you want to do first is key!

    shw says: The hardest part for me is making my resume compelling. I always send it with a cover letter stating that as a mature worker I am responsible, reliable, don’t text or FB chat, etc…. but as a print designer, it’s the work I do and not the resume (I think) that gets attention of potential employers/clients.

    ROBIN: You are right. At the end of the day, it is the work you do that is the most important to potential employers/clients. All a resume is for is to get you the interview for the job you want. At that point, you need to prove the work you do will be a match for the employers needs/wants – AND if you get the interview – also check that the company meets your needs/wants.

  34. Alison

    The hardest part is what to put under my job description/duties. Then comes writing a specific summary and a specific objective to the job.

    The number one thing is what will stand out as a description aside from numbers. What duties have I completed that will really set me apart.

  35. Alison

    The hardest part is what to put under my job description/duties. Then it becomes writing a specific summary and a specific objective to the job.

    The number one thing is what will stand out as a description aside from numbers? What duties have I completed that will really set me apart.

  36. Alison says: The hardest part is what to put under my job description/duties. Then it becomes writing a specific summary and a specific objective to the job.

    The number one thing is what will stand out as a description aside from numbers? What duties have I completed that will really set me apart.

    ROBIN: Duties don’t set you apart – you should have them on your resume to show that you QUALIFY for the job – and without them, your resume will be rejected before it is even read. What makes you stand out is how you used your DUTIES to contribute to the company’s or organization’s objectives, goals and bottom line. I like to write statements such as:

    [Achieved what to contribute to the organization/company] by [what you did (your DUTIES)] through [using skills].

  37. MJD

    My hardest part of the resume is making my experience fit the job. It is always too wordy.

  38. MJD says: My hardest part of the resume is making my experience fit the job. It is always too wordy.

    ROBIN: You may want to work with a friend or a professional to help you edit your experience to match a nob.

  39. PAL

    My number one issue with my resume is highlighting my accomplishments. Since I am behind, I have read good advice from Robin’s responses tot others

  40. Debbie G.

    The hardest part of doing my resume is – well actually there are three things: feeling comfortable and confident tooting my own horn (I KNOW – this is the most important place to do it and it’s about painting an accurate and complete picture of what I can offer); the second thing is creating a focus on one position that covers what I want to do, I have led groups in all areas of a business and have been a President/COO of a small internet services company, but I know my resume doesn’t sell a particular position – it shows everything I have (and could) do; and the third thing is that I walked away from full-time work for a few years now and did a little part time consulting, but I haven’t been pushing a full-time career for a while, so I do have a gap that can feel uncomfortable explaining – even though I have continued to develop skills, work on a novel, consult on small projects, become involved in several networking organizations, etc. and have not worked full-time by choice.

    For some reason, there was no comment box on yesterday’s page, but here is my comment from yesterday’s resume call:

    I would grade my resume as an A-. To get it to an A+, I think I need to make accomplishments stand out more and maybe take away some of the responsibility laundry lists (based on Violet’s suggestions.) I also think it may be more general than it should be, so I need to do more work to focus it on a specific position… I have a lot of leadership experience in the small/mid size software and IT services companies, but it may be portrayed too broadly. Part of my issue is that I don’t want to necessarily work in the software industry.

  41. Debbie G.

    oops – based on the wordpress error message I just got… apparently I may have already left my comment for yesterday somewhere on the Day 9 page. I am playing catch up after a 9 day vacation away from the Net and didn’t remember I had already posted that one.

  42. BJ

    Narrowing down your resume to one page and supposedly customizing the points of the job position to be the work that you completed in the previous jobs. Either you did the work on the job or you did the work in the requisition. If the job requirements are the same then BINGO, but if the job requirements post qualifications that fall under the training of your degree then the work experience may be similar but not the same. EX: Accounting – Reconciliation, analysis, posting are all general functions. So, FIXED ASSETS experience uses all these functions, so reconciliations, analysis, and postings are all done under fixed assets.

  43. PAL says: My number one issue with my resume is highlighting my accomplishments. Since I am behind, I have read good advice from Robin’s responses tot others

    ROBIN: Thanks for reading.

    Debbie G. says: The hardest part of doing my resume is – well actually there are three things: feeling comfortable and confident tooting my own horn (I KNOW – this is the most important place to do it and it’s about painting an accurate and complete picture of what I can offer); the second thing is creating a focus on one position that covers what I want to do, I have led groups in all areas of a business and have been a President/COO of a small internet services company, but I know my resume doesn’t sell a particular position – it shows everything I have (and could) do; and the third thing is that I walked away from full-time work for a few years now and did a little part time consulting, but I haven’t been pushing a full-time career for a while, so I do have a gap that can feel uncomfortable explaining – even though I have continued to develop skills, work on a novel, consult on small projects, become involved in several networking organizations, etc. and have not worked full-time by choice.

    For some reason, there was no comment box on yesterday’s page, but here is my comment from yesterday’s resume call:

    I would grade my resume as an A-. To get it to an A+, I think I need to make accomplishments stand out more and maybe take away some of the responsibility laundry lists (based on Violet’s suggestions.) I also think it may be more general than it should be, so I need to do more work to focus it on a specific position… I have a lot of leadership experience in the small/mid size software and IT services companies, but it may be portrayed too broadly. Part of my issue is that I don’t want to necessarily work in the software industry.

    ROBIN: Before writing a resume – you need to determine WHAT you want to apply for. If you do that, and focus, you will have better luck with it.

    A resume is the time to “brag” on yourself. It is a marketing document to showcase and SELL you to an employer. If you have difficulty doing that, you may want to get a friend or professional to help you.

    BJ says: Narrowing down your resume to one page and supposedly customizing the points of the job position to be the work that you completed in the previous jobs. Either you did the work on the job or you did the work in the requisition. If the job requirements are the same then BINGO, but if the job requirements post qualifications that fall under the training of your degree then the work experience may be similar but not the same. EX: Accounting – Reconciliation, analysis, posting are all general functions. So, FIXED ASSETS experience uses all these functions, so reconciliations, analysis, and postings are all done under fixed assets.

    ROBIN: I am not sure what your question is. You may or may not need 1 page (2 pages can be OK). When you are changing careers you do need to use your transferable skills to apply them to the new career – it is good to identify similar skills and use the lingo of the new career path.

  44. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further post thanks once again.

  45. Fantastic blog! Do you have any tips and hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m planning to start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you advise starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for
    a paid option? There are so many options out there that
    I’m completely overwhelmed .. Any tips? Bless you!

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