Posts Tagged ‘resume’

Oh I’ll bet you were….

March 9, 2010

I am increasingly amused while reading current resumes.  I know that in today’s competitive workplace you need to stand out and I am the first to say that a resume is a place to brag on and embellish accomplishments.  However, we are seeing a blurring of embellishment and downright misrepresentation.  The rule of thumb seems to be – exaggerate and confuse.

Rather than reporting being a greeter at Wal-Mart, the new resume shows “customer service coordinator for Fortune 500 company.”  The grease monkey at Jiffy Lube becomes a “petroleum distribution specialist.”  Yesterday’s taxi cab driver appears on the resume as a “transportation logistics manager.”  The credentials for an 18-yr-old McDonald’s worker become “Engineer for meat inspection and preparation.”  The kid who asked three friends to join FaceBook is now a “social media consultant.”

Keep in mind that today’s “VP of Personnel” was a likely a struggling college student herself a few years ago.  She probably knows the tricks of the trade, having presented herself as a “human resource specialist” rather than a babysitter.

The bottom line is this:  the purpose of a resume is to help you get an interview.  But in today’s workplace it plays only one small part in the hiring process – if any.  You can bypass the competition with:

  • An overview of a major project you’ve handled
  • Photos or examples of your work
  • Extraordinary letters of recommendation from people your prospective employer knows well
  • A website that showcases your talents
  • A blog that is compelling and engaging

If all you have is a great resume, you may be seen as simply one more person needing a job, whether you are a recent college graduate or a former CEO.  Be prepared to show how you are remarkable, amazing and spectacular. Then present yourself with confidence, boldness and enthusiasm.

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Gimme that job!

January 4, 2010

Ever wonder why some people get the cool jobs – even if you have better experience and credentials?  Here’s an example of a guy using creativity to snag a great opportunities. 

HeadBlade President Todd Greene was looking for someone that could handle social media for the company.  He said he was looking for someone like himself, someone who was passionate about the product.  He posted the job on Craigslist and got tons of resumes. But one stood out above them all, by far. Eric Romer was himself a “headblader,” and had been using the product and even blogging about it on his own. Within a day of the Craigslist entry going public, Eric put up the following web page:  HireMeHeadBlade. Now that’s a creative way to get the attention of an employer!

Want to guess who, out of the hundreds of correctly submitted resumes got the job?  Yeah – it worked.  Eric now has a new site up:  HeadBladeHiredMe  where he’s continuing to tell the story.

So what are you doing to stand out from the crowd?  I’m hearing of people sending resumes wrapped around an ear of corn, on a business card DVD, delivered with a dozen roses, or by standing in the boss’ parking spot at 6:40 AM.  Now is the time to be creative – pull out all the stops and let potential employers know why you are someone they won’t want to miss. 

Thanks to 48Days.net member Brian O’Keefe for alerting me to this story.

Resume “Objectives” and Other Ways to Waste Your Time

November 23, 2009

Here is a recent “Objective” on a resume submitted for my review:

“To support the growth and profitability of an organization that provides challenge, encourages advancement, and rewards achievement with the opportunity to utilize my experience, skills, and proven abilities.”

 Sounds great – would you like to hire this person?  But what do you know about this person?  Is he/she a candidate for flipping hamburgers or for a CEO position?  Does he have skills in supervising, organizing, planning, selling, marketing, etc?  Is she proficient in any computer skills?  We don’t know.  This “Objective” tells us absolutely nothing about the person.  It was a total waste of time on the applicant’s part.

Knowing that most resumes get 30-40 seconds look, you’d better tell the recipient something about yourself that would make them want to see you as a candidate.  IMMEDIATELY!  Begin your resume with a Skills Summary, Profile, or Expertise.  Here’s an example:

Skills Summary:

“Over 14 solid years in technology planning and management.  Experienced in strategic systems, organizing and overseeing projects.  Knowledgeable in R&D, product development, and financial management.  Team player in maintaining company policies and procedures.  Expertise with IT businesses, especially those with complex technical, logistical and implementation challenges.”

 Don’t waste your time with generic lead-ins that get you sent to the bottom of the pile.  Use your 30 seconds to convey your “unique value.”

From Chapter 6 – 48 Days to the Work You Love

False Resumes – You Did What?

March 4, 2008

dan-blues-brothers.jpg 

Robert Irvine, the star chef of Dinner Impossible has acknowledged fabricating parts of his resume that got him the position as host on The Food Network.  It seems he just added a few impressive details like cooking for Britain’s Royal Family and several U.S. presidents.  The Food Network said the chef has “challenged the trust of our viewers” and his contract will not be renewed. 

It turns out the B.S. in his “B.S. in Food and Nutrition” stands for something other than Bachelor of Science.  I know that in today’s competitive workplace you need to stand out and I am the first to say that a resume is a place to brag on and embellish accomplishments.  However, we are seeing a blurring of embellishment and downright misrepresentation.  The rule of thumb seems to be – exaggerate and confuse. 

Rather than reporting being a greeter at WalMart, the new information is “customer service coordinator for Fortune 500 company.”  The grease monkey at Jiffy Lube becomes a “petroleum distribution specialist.”  Yesterday’s taxi cab driver appears on the resume as a “transportation logistics manager.”  The 18-yr-old McDonald’s worker suddenly becomes an “Engineer for meat inspection and preparation”.

Keep in mind that today’s “VP of Personnel” was a likely a struggling college student herself a few years ago.  She probably knows the tricks of the trade, having presented herself as a “human resource specialist” rather than a babysitter.

The bottom line is this:  the purpose of a resume is to help you get an interview.  But it plays only one small part in the hiring process.  Be prepared to present yourself with confidence and to discuss your ability to contribute.

Incidentally, I suspect that Robert Irvine would have gotten the opportunity even without the misrepresentation.  Now instead of riding high, he is the butt of talk show jokes, rasing the money for his partially completed restaurant in St. Petersburg, FL is in jeopardy, and his reputation is forever tarnished.  As always, it would have been a whole lot simpler to just tell the truth.

Hey did I ever mention that I spent some time with Jake and Elwood of the Blues Brothers? They had all the time in the world for me — never seemed distracted and appeared genuinely interested in my story

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