Recently, I have been working on editing position descriptions for my department and also on editing employee resumes to make them in-line with position descriptions. It is not the most exciting part of my job. Although this time, it made me think and reflect on this mysterious connection between a position description and a resume, or an employer and a job seeker.
The last two definitely need each other. Sometimes, the employer is even in a bigger need than the job seeker. And the most used instrument which can bring these two together is a resume.
Oh, this sounds for me even more risky than a blind date. At least after a first blind date people expect to have many more dates before they commit to a marriage. Things are quite different for employers and job seekers. After a short looking at the position description/resume and a few rounds of interview, both sides are making quite a serious commitment to stay with each other for at least few months and possibly many years (multiply the number of days in your contract to 8 hours, and you will find that the number is often bigger than you actually see your significant others during your marriage life).
Of course, head-hunters can play their role and make the matters easier for both sides. And they often do. Unlike the mutual acquaintance or a family member who arranges the blind date, head-hunters very often know very little about the candidate – only the information which is on the candidate’s resume.
In old Europe (before the Instagram era), they used to send refined portraits of royal bride/groom when arranged royal marriages (Hi, Fiona!!). Isn’t that looks familiar? Nevertheless, attaching a photo to your resume is not advisable according to HR professionals.
Actually, here I can see a room for hope. Since the information, which your potential employer/head-hunter can use is from your resume; make your resume work for you. What does that mean, exactly?
Why are you writing this resume?
Answer the question – Why are you writing this resume? Do you want to find a new job? Obviously, yes. But really, is that so obvious?
Why do you want to find a new job? Because you lost the old one? – That is the most common reason, but there are many other reasons also. Are you tired of your current job? Or maybe, you are seeking a promotion? Are you looking for an entirely new job, new responsibilities? Did you complete your education and ready for a more challenging job? Or maybe, you are moving out of area and need a new job in a new place? What did you like about your old or present job and what you did not?
If you consider reflecting and answering on these questions, you will find interesting things happen.
For example, the situation when you lost your job and need a new one a soon as possible is completely different from the situation when you are tired of your current job, or from the situation when you moving out of area. The first one requires a quick action, while the second and third involve more thinking and reflecting.
In the first scenario (your project is closed, your company lost a contract, you lost your job and need a new one soon) you need to write your resume so it stresses out those your competencies, which are the most required on the market. That means, you need to do some research and find out which of your skills are in the most demand.
In the second scenario (you are tired of your current job) you need to figure out what do you like and, the most important, what you do not like about your current job situation. Yes, yes, not your job only, but the whole life-job situation.
You need to build your resume according to your findings
For example, if the commute is the problem, stress out your ability to work independently and also outline your telecommute experience and achievements. If you do not like to work in a big company, highlight your experience in small companies/labs and also your ability to multitask. If you hate particular responsibilities, do not mention them in your resume, or mention them only marginally.
In both cases, the good idea is to create your dream job description. I mean it, think about your dream job and put its description on paper. That gives you the employer perspective. Whom would you hire if you have that job in hand?
Then look at your resume and update it, so it fits your dream job. Post it on Monster and/or CareerBuilder. And look what happens.
MELISSA DITTMANN, gradPSYCH Staff, CV dos and don’ts – http://www.apa.org/gradpsych/2003/09/cv.aspx
Résumé Writing Tips from Tulane University – http://tulane.edu/hiretulane/students/resume.cfm