A word about that rez...

You've submitted your resume to a hundred hunters of heads but haven't heard back from one. It's not because they don't love you, it's just that we're pretty damn busy and can only respond to those that fit current assignments. I get as many as 100 a week, sometimes more if I'm posting to on-line services. Each deserves no less than an hour, but a little math will show you that even working an 80 hour week would only give me time to contact 80%; and we all know it's that other 20% that are doing 80% of the work we need to place!

So, if ya wanna get placed (and not mis-placed)  start with a few basics. First, forget about the fax machine. Most employers want digital versions of your resume for easy filing and distribution, ditto for me. Spend a few bucks and hire a pro to write your rez and put it in Microsquash Word .doc format.  There are tons of places where you can get a free e-mail address if ya don't already have one.

The format should be chronological, beginning with your most current gig and about three or four lines of responsibilities followed by no more than five bullet points of accomplishments that tie directly to those responsibilities. I know, I know....you're saying how can I put X number of years in three lines and five bullet points. You can't, so don't.  Besides, resumes are bait, tell just enough to get a bite and let the interview be your chance to reel in the big one.

Two pages is my minimum, after three I get bored. If you haven't done enough to put on two pages, get busy or narrow the margins and increase the font size. And about that font....remember we're reading these on a monitor, so nothing less than 11 point, serif fonts (Times New Roman) are easier to read than san-serifs (Arial), but either will do. Stick to one font and use bold and italics to emphasize dates, titles, company names and the numbers.

Numbers are muy importante. Quantifiable accomplishments get interviews because the reader wants to know how, who else was involved and if you can do the same thing for them. If you aren't already tracking your accomplishments and the numbers that go with them (sales increases, expense decreases, people you've hired and promoted and time you've helped save....) start. You'll need it for your next review, and if that doesn't work your gun will be loaded when the recruiter calls about a new gig.

Don't fax or mail hard copies if you've already sent an email. It creates "double duty" since someone has to find out if you're already on file.  Click the receipt request button on the e-mail to confirm receipt of your doc and  follow up with a call.

I read cover letters last.  It's that third page boredom factor creeping in. If you feel so compelled that you have to right one go back and review your resume and ask yourself why you need a cover letter to embellish it.  If your twisted, creative and have something to say by all means put on your marketing hat, pour a glass of your favorite brew and crank one out. Many a time I've only received a letter and felt it so intriguing I just had to beg for more.

If you really want to be a hero don't save your resumes as "resume.doc" Duh! Do us all a favor and save your resume as the name you like to be called. For example if your name is don Roberto Angelinni de Silverstein but everyone calls you Bob Smith, save it as Bob Smith.doc.

And, damn it, don't zip it! It's a tiny file and nobody's impressed by your technological know how, 'specially since most of us are on cable or DSL modems and have successfully dispelled the myth of size when it comes to hard drives. If you're e-mailing from an Internet Brothel (cyber café, Kinko's or some skanky pay phone hooked up to your laptop....) put a condom your computer  (www.symantec.com) and run a virus check.

One final thought. Remember resumes were invented by employers as a means to screen people out, not screen people in. Half empty vs. half full. I take a contrarian approach, half full, and would love to find a reason to at least call you back. 

Of course this is only my opinion, but it's one I value highly.


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