After working for 12 years with my last company, and finding myself suddenly in the job market, I’m panicked! I’m out talking to people and they all want to see my resume. That’s natural, but I don’t have a resume. The last time I wrote one was 1997 and technology has sure changed since then.
Step One in your job search needs to be a really well written resume. Invest the time to do it right. Remember that the purpose of the resume is not to tell your whole life story, but rather to convince the person reviewing it that you deserve an interview.
The resume for me was starting over; trying to remember all of those relevant projects that I’ve completed to demonstrate achievement and show value to my potential employers. THAT is hard work. A great source for this information is past performance reviews. Fortunately, I had copies.
If you don’t have an updated resume, make that top priority. Don’t put yourself in my shoes, where you find yourself on the street and have to start from scratch with resume content. I wasn’t prepared, but I’m offering this free advice to make sure you keep yours up-to-date annually. It is a great exercise in documenting your past year’s achievements so that if and when you need it you are ready to start a job search campaign right away.
If you’ve read my other posts you know that I met with a Career Consultant, a person whose job it is to help me find a job. A Career Consultant is not a recruiter, but someone skilled in helping you prepare for the giant challenge ahead. She helped me write my resume. Now mind you, I had to come up with all of the raw material – companies, titles, dates, job descriptions, achievement statements, etc, but she formatted it into - what I’ve been told by some HR folks that I trust - a very ‘glanceable’ resume.
‘Glanceable’ is a term coined by my friend Andy, who owns his own recruiting business. In addition to my Career Consultant’s advice, I’ve taken Andy’s comments and revised and reordered the content to make a very presentable resume. Andy told me that you’ve only got about 15-20 seconds to make an impression with your resume to a Hiring Manager. What you say up front has got to be the most important.
Here’s a News Flash: Resumes today, by most medium to large companies, are read by computers and filtered before they even make it to HR. Human Resources don’t seem to be so Human anymore. Make a list of keywords that are most relevant to you and get them loaded up top to help with making a match in what is called Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). I’m certainly no expert on this new technology, but read up on it and adjust your resume style and content so that your resume makes the cut to be seen by human eyes to improve your chances of landing an interview. That, after all, is the purpose of the resume.
I've found it very rewarding to help so many people with job search advice that I want to keep finding new ideas to write about. If you find this helpful please provide Comment and freely distribute the InformIT Blog address to others who you think might benefit. If you have ideas for topics or ways to get the word out I would appreciate your suggestions.
Finally, if you’ve been following my blog for the past 2 weeks and were wondering if I was real or a figment of the marketing department's imagination. I can assure you that I’m sharing my real world experiences right as they are happening and trying to provide you with the benefit of my experiences in hopes that you can cope more quickly than I’ve been able to and to prepare faster with job search advice.
The Laid Off IT Guy!
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