Writing A Killer Resume

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A Quick eBook I wrote on writing a resume.

A Quick eBook I wrote on writing a resume.

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  • 1. The YourResumeStinks.info Guide to Writing A Killer Resume! About Casey Case Casey Case is the owner of a resume editing and creation site known as YourResumeStinks.info. He is an internet entrepreneur who spent almost a decade hiring people on a large staff in the business world. He is currently working with teams on projects from as diverse fields as real estate, higher education, ministry, and entrepreneurship. If you have questions or need more resume advice, contact Casey at the addresses below, or add him as a friend on Facebook or Twitter! se ey Ca B y Cas r: Online Address/Phone Owne ks.info www.yourresumestinks.info PO Box 7992 S t in esume YourR www.caseycase.com Lawton, OK 73506 facebook.com/caseycase (580)713-6789 twitter.com/casey_case Skype ID: case.casey Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 2010 Edition
  • 2. Why A Good Resume Matters Table of Contents For almost a decade I have been reviewing resume after resume when trying to hire someone for a job. To be honest, in this Compiling Your Skills/Talents economic climate, I often have to be looking for good reasons to In this chapter: cull someone out of the hiring process because I have so many • What can you really offer? • It’s more than just duties. qualified applicants. • How is it relevant? Make no mistake about it - Interview skills are important, but if your resume is not eye catching, you will not even Putting It all Together have the chance to showcase yourself to any hiring In this chapter: managers, except for at jobs that no one wants. Let me help • Formatting doesn’t matter. • Concise and correct is key. you write the best resume you can. • Different jobs, different resumes. For More Help (Shameless Plug) - Final Thoughts If you need more help writing or editing your resume, In this chapter: visit my site at www.YourResumeStinks.info where • Cover letters are mostly useless. we can edit or create your resume and cover letter for • Modifying for specific positions. • Conclusion. a fee. We only take a small number of clients per week so we can keep it personal. 3 4 Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
  • 3. Compiling Your Skills/Talents Compiling Your Skills/Talents What Can You Really Offer? 3. What volunteer or other leadership positions have I held, and what were my specific duties? What do you have to offer a company? Before you can tell anyone This might take a while. Get it started and look it over again what you have done and what you can do for them, you have to tomorrow or later this week. Have a close friend or family member know those answers for yourself. Stop and think, right now. Can look it over and see if they remember anything you forgot. Call old you tell me what I would need to know about you to be able to supervisors if appropriate and ask them if they remember anything even consider hiring me? Can you tell me without pausing? (this can also be a good primer to ask someone to be a reference, Probably not. If you can, it is probably in general terms, such as “I as you just talked with them about your great accomplishments.) am responsible.” or “I served as general manager of...for 5 years.” Keep this list for future reference. These types of words and terms have no meaning to someone Once this is completed, come back to this book and continue. Or, who has to look through 200 resumes today; however, most if you just can’t wait, keep reading and come back to this spot resumes I see have some variation of these terms. once you have everything compiled! Do you want to get noticed? If so, you need to be specific. You It’s More Than Just Duties cannot do that until you have sat down and compiled your skills and talents. Go ahead - get out a piece of paper or open a word Take a look at what you have put together (and if you do not take processing document and start thinking. What have you done? the time to make this list, you will find it tough to continue from Specifically? Think about the following - here). Make sure your list is more than just duties. It is important 1. What were my specific duties in my past/current positions? for employers to know about your responsibilities, but it is 2. What outstanding accomplishments did I achieve in these more important for them to know that you acted responsibly. positions? 5 6
  • 4. Compiling Your Skills/Talents Compiling Your Skills/Talents For example, during my time as a Director of Student Housing, I your past positions is a paragraph, no one will read it. We will could put the following - discuss this further in a later chapter. “Was responsible for marketing three residential facilities.” Or I could put - How is it relevant? “Achieved an over 250% growth in on-campus residency through Now that you have your list, start culling items that are useless. creative marketing.” There is one very important question to ask now about all of the items on your list - “How is it relevant?” Did you know I won the 4- I can promise you, as someone who hires people in student H county rabbit show when I was in third grade? No (well, I guess housing, the latter statement will get my attention. Believe it or now you do), and you don’t care. Neither will prospective not, few will take the time to describe something like this in detail employers. (By the way, I’m not in the rabbit business anymore.) and will end up the pile of people who said they were “responsible for marketing.” Don’t be too quick to throw out awards or achievements outside of work, however. If an award can show your passion for a particular Now, take your list and expand it based on the “More than just sector, keep it on your list. For example, if you won an award for duties” principle. Find a way to put number and achievements to helping tutor students after class, and you are applying to be a those duties that help hiring managers know that you are good at teacher or some other job in the field of education, keep it. what you do. One caveat, however. In trying to reword your duties into specific achievements, make sure you don’t make them too Here are a few questions to ask when narrowing down your skills wordy. Look at my example above. While my improved statement and achievements - is a bit longer, it is still only 11 words. If each of the bullets under 5 6
  • 5. Compiling Your Skills/Talents Compiling Your Skills/Talents 1. Would I care to know that if I was a hiring manager? Chapter Highlights 2. Does this skill or achievement relate to the job I am looking for? 1. Brainstorm what you have done, and ask for help. 3. Is this skill or achievement already highlighted elsewhere? 2. Make sure your achievements are listed and not just your duties. If you are not sure about an item, keep it for now. It won’t hurt to 3. Keep only what is relevant to the job you want. delete it later if you see your resume is too wordy. However, if you Remember - It is important for employers to know about your have more than 25 items on your list at this point, you should begin responsibilities, but it is more important for them to know that to think about which ones are the most important to highlight. If you have less than 10, go back to the drawing board and come up you acted responsibly. This is the only way your resume will with some more. stand out in the crowd. 7 8
  • 6. Putting It All Together Putting It All Together Formatting Doesn’t Matter unimportant detail, and we want to make sure that it is easy for them to edit it later. If you spend too much time deciding on a It’s that simple. Formatting itself has little bearing on getting a job. template, you will not have enough time to make sure the content Your aim is showcase your talent, not your resume design. is correct. Many sites will try to sell you “their” template, and will tell you they have everything laid out just right for a hiring manager to see what While formatting is mostly unimportant, there are some things to you want them to see. Don’t waste your money. This is simply not keep in mind - true. In fact, these days, if you are applying for jobs online, you do 1. If you are applying in person and not online, do not place your not get to format your resume at all. You have to place the resume in some type of fancy cover sheet or binding. This just information into that particular company’s online form. makes it difficult for the company to file, and it will probably get Also, don’t stress about what template to use or what type of thrown away as soon as you turn it in. paper to put it on. I have never hired anyone because their resume 2. Do not use any colored paper. was on thicker paper or their word processing template suited my tastes. Most hiring managers will end up with a copy of your 3. Do not put fancy graphics on your resume or use any color text resume instead of the original anyway, and you will have wasted besides black. Fancy graphics may not hurt, but again, they are your money on that box of (expensive) heavy paper. a waste of time (unless you are applying to be some type of designer). Simply find a template in Microsoft Word or whatever word processor you use that is simple and easy to plug your information 4. Choose a standard, simple template from your word processor. into. At my company, we do not even change the templates of the Do not try to create your own or to create something that resumes we receive to review from customers, because it is an doesn’t fit on a regular sheet of paper. 9 10
  • 7. Putting It All Together Putting It All Together Concise and Correct is Key 1. Have someone else edit your resume. There are services like ours that will do it for a fee, but if you do not want to pay for it, As I mentioned in the beginning of this book, many hiring at least have a friend look it over. Make sure your friend or family managers will have to go over many, many resumes when hiring for member will give you honest feedback and not tell you it is great a position. We are often looking for ways to cut applicants out of because they don’t want to hurt your feelings. the process in order to save time. Here are some sure-fire ways to get cut from the process - 2. As a general rule, try to keep all descriptions of achievements to one line. This can help you to be as concise 1. Errors - if your resume has spelling or grammatical errors, you as possible. Also, sometimes going more than one line in a will often get immediately removed from the process, no matter bulleted list can cause formatting issues that can make you want how qualified you are otherwise. to pull your hair out. 2. Being too wordy or too long - if your resume is 5 pages long, 3. Keep it to one page if at all possible. Sometimes, this simply most hiring managers will not read it. Being concise is the name cannot be done, and it is not catastrophic if your resume is 2 of the game. pages. Keep in mind that a hiring manager will spend about the 3. Dishonesty - If it is not true, do not put it in your resume. Period. same amount of time on each resume, so the longer your As if just being honest wasn’t enough in and of itself, hiring resume is, the less content will actually be read. managers often have a way of sniffing out a liar. 4. Eliminate the “Interests” and “Objective” areas. Some As a boss, I have seen all three of the mistakes listed above and templates come pre-populated with these sections, but they are have cut people out of the process for it. There are several ways to completely unnecessary. Everybody knows your objective is to avoid these pitfalls - 11 12
  • 8. Putting It All Together Putting It All Together get a job. It just takes up space. Also, your future boss does not Chapter Highlights care that you like hiking. 1. Formatting is mostly unimportant. Pick a simple template and go 5. Consider eliminating other sections. If you do not have any from there. job-relevant skills or achievements outside of your previous jobs, 2. Keep it short - less than one line for each achievement, less than delete the section that most templates will call something along one page for the entire document, if possible. the lines of “Other Skills and Achievements.” Do not put information in it simply because it is there. 3. Eliminate unnecessary sections. 6. Offer references upon request instead of listing them. Unless 4. Be honest! otherwise requested, simply put a line that says something to the effect of “References available upon request.” This can save you some serious space. Remember - Your aim is showcase your talent, not your resume design. Design will go almost completely unnoticed; well Again, concise and correct is key! Try to keep it simple, honest, written achievements will not. and as short as possible. Is There Another Name for “Shameless Plug?” - If you need more help writing or editing your resume, visit my site at www.YourResumeStinks.info where we can personally edit or create your resume and cover letter for a fee. 13 14
  • 9. Final Thoughts Final Thoughts Cover Letters Are Mostly Useless 3. Make it no more than three paragraphs - I don’t think I have ever actually read a cover letter when choosing a. One paragraph can introduce yourself and let them know you someone to hire. Seriously. After having hundreds of cover letters are interested. come across my desk, I have ignored them all. Many companies b. The second paragraph can state a few quick reasons why do not even request them anymore. Some jobs still require that you you are qualified. submit one; however, and I suggest that you do so if it is an option, since it is one more chance to show that you are more interested in c. The final paragraph lets them know they can contact you the job than others because you took the time to write one. Let’s anytime for an interview and includes your preferred contact go over some quick advice on how to write a cover letter. information. 1. Use a simple business letter template in your word 4. As with your resume, plain white paper is acceptable. processor. Again, don’t get fancy. It’s a waste of time and could 5. Again, concise is key. In your second paragraph, do not list be an unwelcome distraction from your talent. more than two or three reasons why your are qualified. 2. Make sure the information is correct. When you include the There is not much more to be said about cover letters. Again, name, address, etc., of the company, make sure it is all correct. many online businesses will try to tell you that it is vital to have a While I haven’t really read any cover letters when hiring, I bet I great cover letter, but it is just untrue. Almost all hiring managers would have noticed if our company was misspelled. are going to skip straight to your resume, only noticing that you did take the time to write a cover letter, which might earn you some points. 15 16
  • 10. Final Thoughts Final Thoughts Modifying For Specific Positions This is also why I advise people to use simple templates. They are easier to modify on the fly. The bottom line - be prepared to modify Many resume creation sites will not tell you that it is not important your resume if possible for specific jobs, or at least have several to modify your resume when applying for specific positions. This is versions of it for different categories of jobs. because they want you to believe that their carbon copy resume is good enough for you to buy once and forget about it. This is simply Conclusion not true. Let’s review the overall advice - If your field is broad enough or if you are considering many 1. Take time to brainstorm your achievements. careers, then you should keep your list of achievements someone you can find it and modify your resume based on the job you are 2. Write them in a way that highlights accomplishments, not duties. applying for. This is why I told you above to hang on to your list. 3. Keep it as concise as possible. You may have to include some achievements for one job and other achievements for another. 4. Let someone edit your resume. For example, I might include my achievement above concerning 5. Be honest. marketing if I am applying for another position that requires it, but I 6. Do not use a fancy template. Keep it simple. might delete it and put something more relevant in its place if I was applying to be a computer technician. I know I have several 7. Write a very short cover letter if it is an option. versions of my resume for different types of jobs I am interested in, 8. Make sure you can modify your resume for specific jobs. as my interests and abilities span across three or four different fields. 17 18
  • 11. Final Thoughts Final Thoughts This is the first version of this book, so I would love to get comments, questions, and suggestions from you. Feel free to www.YourResumeStinks.info contact me anytime, as my contact info is on page two of this If you need more help writing or editing your resume, book. I also put just a little more info on the next page to plug our visit my site at www.YourResumeStinks.info. company one last time. I hope you will choose to use our services, but if not, I hope you can use these principles to get the job of your Why use us? dreams! 1. Free edits for a year! 2. 110% Money Back Guarantee 3. Personal touch - we only take a few clients per Best of luck to you in your job search! week so we can help YOU personally. 4. Cheaper than most other resume editing sites Casey Case Check us out - www.YourResumeStinks.info 19 20