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Subject: Resume Help ASAP! rss

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Terri K
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Ok, I am finding myself having to look for a new job now... as if that isn't scary enough this also includes updating my resume... of which I am no good at.

What I am hoping to find is someone who *is* good at this sort of thing, someone who I know a little, at least, because I will be sharing a lot of info to help get a good resume made.

Ideally I need it by tomorrow (have I mentioned I procrastinate too well? No? Well, I meant to!), but that can slide some... Definitely need it done by early next week.

I had shopped around for resume services online, they are expensive. I can agree on an affordable fee, if that is what is needed. Although, I won't be able to pay until I get back on my feet and into a new job for a month or so.

edit to add:
I am just a lowly clerical worker who hates updating her resume. Nothing fancy is needed.

Can anyone help me out?

Thank you


P.S. Oh yeah, don't mind my avatar, it is up for a Werewolf game I am in blush
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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Some quick rules of thumb:

1) Keep it to one page. Seriously. One page.

2) Customize the buzz words in the skills section to the job for which you're applying.

3) Don't list skills for the sake of filling out your skills section. For example, don't add 'Windows' if you're applying for a computer programmer position (it's implied when you list 'MS Visual Studio' or whatever).

3) When you list your past experience, make sure it's relevant to your new position, and demonstrates (without lying) that you've been progressing at your chosen career so far.

4) In my experience, and this may be controversial, it is helpful to list (in 2 lines or less) your pasttimes and hobbies. It makes you into more of a real person.

5) Don't write it in notepad, VI, Emacs, or any other text editor (even LaTeX) unless you're applying for an EXTREMELY geeky position where they would appreciate the fact that you wouldn't touch word processing software with a 10 foot pole.

6) Everybody is (or at least thinks they are... or lies about it) good with 'people skills' and 'communication'. Be more specific than that when you describe your less technical skills.

More to come if I think of anything else off the top of my head...

Edit:

I'd also add that you should have a cover letter, which briefly explains your interest in the position and your gratitude of them taking the time to look things over and hopefully grand you an interview.

Here are some example resumes I found on the net (first site that came up in google, but I'm sure there are many, many other great examples)

http://careers.d.umn.edu/cs_handbook/cshandbook_resumeexampl...

Edit 2:

I should ad that this is in the case where you don't find somebody who will do it all for you. It's not too bad once you start looking at the examples and just take the plunge. Hope all goes well for ya.

 
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Morgan Dontanville
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Talk about what your workload was or what you've accomplished at your past companies.

For example:
Managed a constantly rotating team of up to 48 high profile freelancers on 8 monthly books, including books X, Y & Z.
Acquired 14 new accounts amounting to a 15% growth in annual revenue.
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J C Lawrence
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ejmowrer wrote:
Some quick rules of thumb:


Know your industry. Your rules of thumb are good for some fields and will fail miserably in others.

Quote:
1) Keep it to one page. Seriously. One page.


For instance in my field resumes average (and are expected to average) around 4 pages and I regularly see (and welcome) longer. Really.

Quote:
2) Customize the buzz words in the skills section to the job for which you're applying.


There's a school which says to tailor your resume individually to every position you apply for and there's another school which hews to the one super-hero resume. Again this in part is local market expectation. My preference is to have a general super-hero resume which is publicly exposed and distributed, and then send specifically tailored versions to particular positions.

Quote:
3) When you list your past experience, make sure it's relevant to your new position, and demonstrates (without lying) that you've been progressing at your chosen career so far.


Also be careful on your dates. Some fields prefer long stays at each position/company and others prefer rapid mobility. My own area tends to view anything more than 18-24 months in a position as sign of being stale/deadhead.

Quote:
4) In my experience, and this may be controversial, it is helpful to list (in 2 lines or less) your pasttimes and hobbies. It makes you into more of a real person.


I don't have enough data to know, but this seems to be a regional preference. I've been at companies where they were a source of laughter and ridicule, places where they were simply ignored as irrelevant (and thus a partial sign of the candidate's lack of focus and communication clarity), and ones where they were seriously considered elements of the candidate's presentation. Make sure you know your audience.

Quote:
5) Don't write it in notepad, VI, Emacs, or any other text editor (even LaTeX) unless you're applying for an EXTREMELY geeky position where they would appreciate the fact that you wouldn't touch word processing software with a 10 foot pole.


Agreed. Your resume should be well presented. Part of that means that it should be well typeset. LaTeX is a fine tool for this. Framemaker, Pagemaker, Word, Quark and any of a wide variety of other tools may be well used for this.

ObNote: LaTeX is not a text editor. It is a macro set for a typesetting application.

Quote:
I'd also add that you should have a cover letter, which briefly explains your interest in the position and your gratitude of them taking the time to look things over and hopefully grand you an interview.


In some 50+ jobs over the years I have never used a cover letter. I understand they may work for some people. I doubt it. Hundreds of resumes cross my desk every year. I very rarely to never see a cover letter. If there was one it was inevitably stripped off and discarded by HR, unread, long before any hiring manager ever got a chance to see the resume.
 
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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I know exactly what LaTeX is. The reason I mentioned (as an aside) is because it's easy to use LaTeX poorly and I've seen this done more than once or twice.

From their site: LaTeX is not a word processor! Instead, LaTeX encourages authors not to worry too much about the appearance of their documents but to concentrate on getting the right content.

As for the length, one page is just a rule of thumb. In the average case, you can say what needs to be said in a page (not including references or cover letter). Often when it goes in for 3 or 4 pages, it's because you're rambling or including irrelevant information. It may not be true for the realm of all possible industries, but it's a safe bet unless you happen to know that they want to know you worked on in college 15 years ago.

Good point about the grammar and spelling. I can't imagine an industry that requires a resume where typos and incoherent sentences don't damage your chances at an interview.
 
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Melissa
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Although we do resumes a bit differently here.

I have sent you mine, if that is any help.

M.
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Jorge Montero
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One page really doesn't cut it in some fields. Take Java business programming: If all you do is write 4 sentences per employer, it's going to be pretty difficult to separate one resume from another. The last time we had an opening, there was a big pile of virtually indistinguishable resumes filled with people with 4 years of experience. Should we just have interviewed 10 of them at random?

As you hire someone with more experience, eventually one page doesn't tell you much other than time spent at each employer, which can be deceiving. Without space, how can someone transmit that they worked on many different things that didn't warrant a position change?

The resume should be as short as possible, but without leaving truly relevant data behind.


 
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Terri K
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Oh my! I should have mentioned I only had a handful (maybe a smidge more than a handful) of clerical jobs since getting out of retail. I don't even know what LaTeX is. It wouldn't be a huge thing to do up a resume for me. I just remember the pain the last couple of times I needed to update my resume.

Wow, impressive Melissa! and while some fields do CVs like that, mine doesn't, sadly. Thanks so much for trying though!
 
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Randy Cox
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I agree with the one-page limit. I've heard that from many professional resume consultants and job placement recruiters. If you know what to say, you should be able to do it in a single page. The goal is not to give them all the info--that would take a book--it's to get them interested enough to call you in for an interview (or at least a phone interview). If you beef up enough about your experience (a la SisterRay's example), that will get their attention.

Note: this may not work in the academic fields, as they have their own "look at me, I have a pedigree"/C.V. system that only works in places where people, well, don't work.
 
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Penny
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If you are willing to relocate to CT, go to http://www.careersathealthnet.com/

I work in Healthnet, a Health Care Management company. There are probably positions you previously held available or something new. I know the Underwriting department is hiring an Executive Assistant. Anyway, good luck on your job search!
 
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J C Lawrence
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ejmowrer wrote:
As for the length, one page is just a rule of thumb.


Agreed.

Quote:
In the average case, you can say what needs to be said in a page (not including references or cover letter). Often when it goes in for 3 or 4 pages, it's because you're rambling or including irrelevant information. It may not be true for the realm of all possible industries, but it's a safe bet unless you happen to know that they want to know you worked on in college 15 years ago.


Yeah, relevancy and correct focus are key.

I haven't counted but I'd guess that I've held around 75 jobs in the last 25 years (I've done a lot of consultancy and multiply simultaneous positions). I'm surely not going to recite the entire litany on a resume. Instead I cherry pick as applicable, but it does make controlling length difficult, especially for a general purpose resume.

The biggest thing to remember about a resume however is its purpose. The purpose of a resume is to get you an interview. That's all; just an interview. Once in the interview your personal and communication skills will dictate the rest and the resume can be safely ignored. As such a resume is a piece of sales literature, selling you to prospective employers. It is effectively identical to the handouts at car dealerships touting the latest model of the XYZ car. Their goal is to get you to visit a dealership. Your resume's goal is to get you into an interview. The goal is first contact. After that it is just a sales closing exercise.
 
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Melissa
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Something that is popular here - particularly for government jobs and jobs in large organisations - is a selection statement. You send a brief letter, a selection statement and your resume. A properly written selection statement makes it very hard for you NOT to be interviewed for a role.

The selection statement addresses the Key Selection Criteria or core skills advertised as part of the job description.

So, for example, if the KSC is "Advanced user of MS Word" you would include a paragraph under that heading saying something like
"I am a highly proficient user of MS Word, understanding and using features such as formatting styles and Mail Merge. In 2006, I developed templates for Company X which were used for all customer correspondence. In addition, in my role at Company Y, I was frequently called upon to edit other people's correspondence and provide 1:1 training for colleagues."

(The important thing here is that you are showing some outcomes and not just saying that you can do something - you can also use it to highlight other attributes like being a team player)

A Selection Statement typically runs over about 2 sides, depending on the scope of the role and the number of KSC.
 
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The Steak Fairy
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Terri, everybody is giving you excellent advice (except for Eric, who misspelled pastime, which, were I reading a resume and saw that mistake, would cause me to immediately throw it away) from the standpoint of highly professional, tech-savvy career path worker bees. What you need is the human touch. Something that says to whichever insipid drone is in charge of hiring clerical staff, "I am Xandryyte, queen of werewolf at BGG" but without actually saying anything remotely resembling or, in fact suggesting same.

Here is a sample resume for a clerical worker that you may freely steal from should you so desire:

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Roberta Fontflicker
107 Center Ln
Framingham, MA 01702


I wish to utilize my inhumanly varied and frighteningly well-honed skillset to further the advancement of whatever organization is most willing to treat me as a valued member of its labor force by backing up its appreciation with cold hard cash and edgy benefits.


Skills: There is nothing I cannot either already do or easily learn to do. I am the very best candidate you will ever have.


Employment History:

2500 BC to Present: Assisted a small man I met at the bazaar with an experiment designed to prolong the human lifespan indefinitely.

Pastimes:

I enjoy model rocketry and fly fishing.

References:

The small man is dead, sorry.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Honestly, Terri, there are tons of really fine resume writing guides at your local library, and it costs you nothing but a little time to go sit quietly in the library with one or two of them and hammer something out.

If you don't have a local library, then I suggest you take Kittyangel's advice and move to Connecticut, where they must have at least one or two. Good luck with the job hunt, and don't let something as trivial as a resume block you mentally. If it's typed neatly and doesn't make the reader grimace for any reason, and it has your name and phone number on it somewhere, you're half way there. If you are really stuck for ideas regarding career highlights, think of the stuff you've done that saved some money, or for which you received praise and/or thanks, and highlight those. If none of that stuff exists, then focus on the things that made YOU proud. (For example, although nobody ever gave me a nickel for it specifically, I wrote a CMS software tracker called SPITE that was probably the best acronym I ever devised. Unfortunately nobody gives a damn about my inhumanly varied skillset, so I retired years ago.)
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Terri,

I was laid off from my job 18 months ago. (They rehired me four months later.) Anyhoo, the company paid for classes in interviewing and resume writing. One-page resumes are a thing of the past, unless you're just starting out. In the U.S., workers are treated as a disposable commodity, so it's not unusual to change jobs more frequently anymore. With layoffs, etc., it doesn't carry a stigma like it used to. Two pages are fine, just don't go over that. Include all recent employment and any older jobs that seem pertinent to the job that you're applying for now.

Sit down and write a list of all your useful skills. Then do another list of accomplishments (use numbers as much as you can), organizations, any awards, and so forth. Pick the impressive ones, and add them as a section to the resume. You're "selling" yourself to the company, after all.

Don't be afraid to do several versions, each tweaked for a particular job type.

Always have references. Pick people that think you walk on water, but won't sound like morons when interviewed. I'm convinced that I was hired for two jobs because I picked kick-ass references.

SPELL CHECK AND GRAMMAR CHECK! Do it several times. Have someone else read it too.

Good luck with your job hunt!



 
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MisterCranky wrote:
Terri, everybody is giving you excellent advice (except for Eric, who misspelled pastime, which, were I reading a resume and saw that mistake, would cause me to immediately throw it away) from the standpoint of highly professional, tech-savvy career path worker bees. What you need is the human touch. Something that says to whichever insipid drone is in charge of hiring clerical staff, "I am Xandryyte, queen of werewolf at BGG" but without actually saying anything remotely resembling or, in fact suggesting same.

Here is a sample resume for a clerical worker that you may freely steal from should you so desire:

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Roberta Fontflicker
107 Center Ln
Framingham, MA 01702


I wish to utilize my inhumanly varied and frighteningly well-honed skillset to further the advancement of whatever organization is most willing to treat me as a valued member of its labor force by backing up its appreciation with cold hard cash and edgy benefits.


Skills: There is nothing I cannot either already do or easily learn to do. I am the very best candidate you will ever have.


Employment History:

2500 BC to Present: Assisted a small man I met at the bazaar with an experiment designed to prolong the human lifespan indefinitely.

Pastimes:

I enjoy model rocketry and fly fishing.

References:

The small man is dead, sorry.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Honestly, Terri, there are tons of really fine resume writing guides at your local library, and it costs you nothing but a little time to go sit quietly in the library with one or two of them and hammer something out.

If you don't have a local library, then I suggest you take Kittyangel's advice and move to Connecticut, where they must have at least one or two. Good luck with the job hunt, and don't let something as trivial as a resume block you mentally. If it's typed neatly and doesn't make the reader grimace for any reason, and it has your name and phone number on it somewhere, you're half way there. If you are really stuck for ideas regarding career highlights, think of the stuff you've done that saved some money, or for which you received praise and/or thanks, and highlight those. If none of that stuff exists, then focus on the things that made YOU proud. (For example, although nobody ever gave me a nickel for it specifically, I wrote a CMS software tracker called SPITE that was probably the best acronym I ever devised. Unfortunately nobody gives a damn about my inhumanly varied skillset, so I retired years ago.)



ya there is a library right down the street from my house. =p

Anyway, another thing I was going to suggest is to look online for job postings of positions you are interested in applying, and "steal" their wording. One thing I've noticed is that even though the task itself isn't that significant, if you word it nicely, it sounds impressive. For example, sometimes I help underwriters do pricing for new groups' quote on medical/rx products. If I just say pricing, it sounds simple and not impressive, but if I say, assist underwriting department to strategically analyze and assess pricing medical and prescription benefits of new and renewal groups. well something like that, it sounds better even though it really is just saying pricing. (well pricing is an "art" in its own, it sounds easy but it's actually not).

Anyway, so elaborate about your experience and make it longer with bigger words etc. You can find these nicely phrased sentences in any website's career page under qualifications, or probably even just search monster.com or something.

If all fails, move to CT. People pay to come and see the foliage, you can see it on the way to work. lol
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Eric "Shippy McShipperson" Mowrer
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MisterCranky wrote:
(except for Eric, who misspelled pastime, which, were I reading a resume and saw that mistake, would cause me to immediately throw it away)


Luckily I wasn't writing a résumé, which I've noticed you've gone and used one of the less common spellings for. Shame on you and your assholery, Cranky. It's slipping. People don't take you serious unless you're really on top of your game. Now say something irritating or uncalled for and recover, before you're left with a stain on your reputation that won't come out with mere spelling and grammar corrections.
 
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The Steak Fairy
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Oh, poor little Eric, did somebody point out your spelling error? How will you EVER recover your tiny little bit of credibility? Boo hoo hoo.
 
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Randy Cox
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ejmowrer wrote:
Luckily I wasn't writing a résumé, which I've noticed you've gone and used one of the less common spellings for.

Can one end a sentence with "for?"

Anyway, accent marks do not exist in American English. For that matter, they're pains in the ass when typing any language. Therefore, it's prefectly acceptable to write "resume." I ain't got no stinkin accent marks on my keyboard.
 
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June King
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Oh please, insisting people not end their sentences with prepositions is so "schoolmarmish." gulp Sometimes, using supposedly "correct" grammar sounds just plain awkward. Take split infinitives, for example. Without them, we'd never have, "To boldly go where no man has gone before." Done the correct way, it would have to be, "To go boldly, where no man has gone before" or "Boldly to go where no man has gone before." Which one sounds better to you?

Are you from the U.K., Randy? The use of "one" as a pronoun isn't common in U.S. English.
 
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I didn't get the same sense of insistence from Randy as did you, June...he ended his first sentence with a preposition, after all.
 
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Terri K
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Well, it was worth a shot, but I am not getting the kind of help I was hoping for. And since this is going a wee off topic, I will request this thread to be locked and try elsewhere.

Thank you all VERY VERY much for the good suggestions, though! For reasons I won't be delving into on a public forum, I am looking for someone who will do my resume with lots of input from me to get it done nicely.

Thank you for the well wishes too!

 
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Locked at the request of the original poster.

-MMM
 
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