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Who You Are, On Paper

08 March
by Careerminds
2 minute read

John Watters
Careerminds Consultant

MAKE THE RESUME EASY READING

"You'll find most of the relevant experience on page nine of my resume."

You need to think of the resume as your own personal billboard. If your billboard is clear, brief and well written, then people speeding by will easily understand who and what you are all about. The resume should emphasize your overall prowess, not overload the reader with details. One page is wonderful, two pages are fine, three pages are tiresome, and four or more pages are annoying.

MAKE REFERENCES COUNT

"I can't believe my reference said that! Are you sure you dialed the right number?"

Have at least four good references available that think highly of you. They should be business related and at least 3 should be from people you have reported to directly, if possible. Provide a short paragraph describing each reference and their relationship to you along with all the necessary contact information. Make sure you contact your references and let them know that someone will be calling. If they haven't been given time to think about your skills and talents, they may not be much help. Generally, I would ask a company to check my references after receiving an offer or at least after being given a strong indication that an offer will be made contingent upon the references checking out. Your references are busy people too and they shouldn't be bothered until things are serious, not to mention the confidentiality issues that may arise.

USE A BRIEF, POINTED COVER LETTER

"Please feel free to forward my lengthy resume with the attached detailed, single spaced, margin-less cover letter to anyone with insomnia."

When sending a resume, include a brief cover letter (two short paragraphs or less) as to why you thought the resume might be of some consequence to the reader. Focus is critical. Too often, and sometimes out of desperation, people write long cover letters explaining that they are interested and qualified in just about everything. It gives the appearance of uncertainty when you can't tell the reader exactly what you want and why in a short and succinct way.

 

HR Professionals and Recruiters: Any additional tips? Thoughts? Comments?

Job Seekers:  Was this helpful?

 

 

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Careerminds provides scalable, strategic solutions to organizations seeking affordable, web-based outplacement services. Using a Web 2.0 e-learning platform that delivers affordable, online career transition services, Careerminds provides a high-tech and high-touch blend of on-demand career transition education supported by senior-level career consultants to help displaced workers reenter the workforce quickly.

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