The bottom resume format is one that I recently suggested was not good for the 21st century. For that matter, it wasn't good in the last century either.
I was asked if the bottom example was the only format that is ineffective. The person who asked this question paid for "professional" resume assistance before they came to me and he/she has not been getting desired results in their job search.
The top example is not the resume of the person who asked this question. This resume sample is one that I found on a professional resume writing website posted as a sample of the writer's work.
This format was good in the 1980s and 1990s. Times have changed. We're in a different century now and the rules of the game have changed.
While this format is nice looking, it is very ineffective for many reasons. I chose this example because I see resumes like this come to my own Inbox every day.
This is a tidbit of my resume writing advice.
You have 10-15 seconds to communicate:
- Who you are
- Where you are
- How someone can communicate with you
- What you’re great at
- How you’re educated
- How you’re credentialed
- What you do today
Ideally this is accomplished on the first ½ to 2/3 of page 1 of your resume. This is the first 2/3 of a resume that came to me yesterday. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, get help.
Resume writing is a complex topic. This is especially true if you are a technology professional. Your resume needs to be a blend of Technical Writing, Business Writing and Creative Writing.
Too much of any particular ingredient and your resume will likely be ineffective. If you choose to work with a resume writer or a resume coach, determine if this person's clients have achieved desired results lately.
As a coach, my job is to guide, to inspire and to help my clients see what they sometimes can't see. There is nothing better for me as a coach than to receive this kind of feedback from one of my clients.
"I believe you are training me to be great - I like it a lot!"
Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810
Put your resume in front of a few people who don’t know what you do.
Tell the reviewer they have 10-15 seconds to review your resume.
This test is most effective if the reviewer does not understand what you do for a living.
Your resume should be so clean, clear, logical that the reviewer does not need to interpret anything in order to capture a basic understanding of what you do.
After 10-15 seconds, your resume reviewers should be able to tell you:
- What you do
- What you’re great at delivering
- What you’re passionate about
- What you want to do more of moving forward in your career
- How you’re educated and credentialed
- What you’re doing today
In this test, if your resume reviewers can’t answer address the topics listed above, chances are very high that a busy, data-overwhelmed gatekeeper who receives your resume won’t be able to gather the information they need to make a decision regarding your candidacy in the time they have allotted to review a resume.
If your resume happens to get to the hiring decision maker, it’s safe for you to assume that they are data-overwhelmed and too busy to give your resume the kind of attention you want them to devote to your resume. If the first impression your resume makes isn't the right impression and that impression isn't made in a matter of seconds, your participation in the job seeker game is frequently over.
The results listed above are achievable.
Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810
My 1 Hour Resume Coaching service allows my clients to walk away with a new skill. As this testimonial states, I "teach" my clients how to build a resume that is both strategically written and written with the resume's audience in mind.
"I recently found myself dusting off my resume after eight years as I was looking for new employment and not knowing where to begin in this new job market. Colleagues and friends recommended for me to reach out to Jeff Snyder. Jeff's aim is to teach you "how to fish" versus doing the fishing for you. Jeff taught me how to strategically write my resume and also took the time to make sure I understood it. I am thankful to have been introduced to Jeff and I would highly recommend Jeff to anybody seeking to get their resume at a world class level for an executive job." IT Security, Privacy Manager
This is a once in a lifetime story to share. Twenty Three years into my recruiting career back in 1992, I filled an HP 3000 / COBOL Systems Analyst job. The person who stepped into that job made the most of his opportunity As it turns out, I planted a seed that turned into a substantial tree.
My placement lasted until June 1, 2015. No, the person I placed was not still an HP3000 COBOL Systems Analyst. He left the company I placed him in as an Executive Vice President who had an office next to the CEO’s office.
Though I physically moved 1,000 miles away from where I made this placement, the EVP and I have maintained a long-lasting relationship. Because he hadn’t written a resume in 23 years, the EVP came to me to get help with his marketing and branding. Specifically, we've worked on Resume Coaching and LinkedIn Coaching together.
I helped the EVP to write a resume that clearly shows what he has been great at delivering over the past 23 years. We also focused on where he wants to take his career next in his current resume. Interviews are being granted and my EVP friend will soon land on his feet in a fresh new role.
Am I claiming responsibility for the EVP’s success? No, I am not. What is exciting is that I’ve had the privilege of planting a seed that grew. That’s what I get to do when I place someone in a job and/or when I’m privileged to help someone with their career from a career coaching standpoint.
The Photo: I chose this photo to demonstrate how unique each one of us are. When a person stops to learn how they're built and how that uniqueness translates into performance, that's how they determine what they can be great at delivering.
The title: I believe that everybody potential to be great at something. Some people I encounter have figured this out. Most people on the other had go through life doing what they “Can” do and they never stop to figure out what they “Should” do. The story you’re about to read focuses on someone who is settling for “Can” when he could be focusing on “Should”.
Tom's Phone Call
Tom told me he was calling because he would be in Chicago next week. He was hoping his local status to my client’s offices might make it possible to capture an on-site interview while he was in town.
So far, everything between myself and Tom was moving along smoothly. Tom told me his resume was sitting in my Inbox. I hadn’t gotten to my Inbox yet on this particular day. I found Tom’s resume, opened it and this is where the story starts to get rocky.
I'm A Perfect Fit
Tom told me on the phone that he was a “Perfect Fit” for my client’s opening in Chicago. My client needed to hire an Application Security Architect and I’ve filled this type of position with this particular client before so I know exactly and precisely what will cause my client to extend a job offer.
I quickly scanned Tom’s resume and saw the words “application security” one time in his resume. This is a problem because an Application Security Architect needs to live, eat and breathe Application Security and Secure Software Development.
Tom’s resume covered just about every information security acronym or buzzword I’d ever seen. In the 10 seconds I devoted to quickly reviewing Tom’s resume because he was still on the phone with me, I couldn’t have told you what Tom was great at if my life depended on it. The resume had no focus whatsoever.
Rather than trying to get Tom to clearly and concisely tell me what he knew about Application Security and Secure Software Development, I asked him what he was great at delivering. His answer surprised me as he went down a path of wanting to manage a small group of highly technical information security professionals.
Now I'm Confused
Now I was really confused. Tom has been an independent consultant for the past 8 years. His resume shows no evidence whatsoever of experience where he managed, led or guided a team. Even more confusing was the fact that when given the opportunity to tell me what he was great at, Tom didn’t say anything about Application Security or Secure Software Development.
Get Some Help!
I asked Tom if he had ever considered getting help to create a resume that was clean, clear, logical and a resume that clearly communicated his accomplishments, contributions and his value. He told me he’d invested in resume writing help before and he didn’t think it was worth anything.
I asked Tom to tell me about his success when he sent out the current resume. He told me that he wasn’t having any success. He again started talking about wanting to manage a group of information security professionals. His resume on the other hand focuses entirely on technology, bits and bytes.
Did you catch what I just shared?
Tom told me he wasn’t having success. In the most polite way I could, I tried to tell him why. Tom didn’t want to hear the truth and he had no interest at all in considering a solution that would make him have to consider a change in his actions and behaviors.
Behavioral Change is Really Hard!
Behavioral change is one of the most difficult endeavors an adult can face. In Tom’s case, he will unfortunately continue to fail to reach his goals if he does not stop to get help with resume writing and personal branding. Tom may very well be a brilliant technologist. He is not a brilliant marketer. I wish Tom had gotten out of his own way to let me help him.