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Your work is fabulous. I have sent the resume to only one company, and Monday I will begin working for that company. This is not just another job for me. This is a career move.
R. A., Advertising Professional and Retail Manager
My resume was a big hit. They even complimented me on how well it was put together! I was hired on the spot!
J. C., Property Manager and Sales Professional
YOU AND I WILL HAVE SOME ONE-ON-ONE DISCUSSION at the beginning. If you have a previous resume, e-mail it to me -- plus any updates -- in one of these formats: .doc, .docx, .pdf, .txt. If you have a previous cover letter, send it also, because this helps me get a fuller picture of how you present yourself. If you're applying for a specific job, send me the link or copy and paste the contents into your e-mail.
If you are starting from scratch, use the list of items in red, immediately below, as a guide for your rough draft. Don't be concerned with formatting at this point -- and don't be concerned about how the material sounds. I can take care of both these details. Attach the draft, or copy and paste the text into your e-mail. Provide:
Professional Experience and Accomplishments
Education and Professional Development
Licenses and Certifications
If you prefer to give your material by phone, I can block out some time to type it at the computer as you give it. In any case, the initial consultation and review are at no cost or obligation to you. Once we've had our discussion and I've reviewed your material, I will give you a firm price quote. See Rates page.
Finished resumes shouldn't exceed two pages. Cover letters shouldn't exceed one page. List the last 10 years of experience; employers are less interested in older history. Since an employer may not read the entire resume, I may decide to isolate your accomplishments and place them ahead of the work history. One example from my own experience:
Developed and implemented computerized database record-keeping system. This allowed entire department to retire its manual card-file system, greatly reduced daily record-keeping time, and enabled staff of 30+ to access records directly from their personal computers.
My aim with the finished resume is to focus on your accomplishments, not dwell on tactical day-to-day items. If you can give numbers and percentages, this adds even more weight.
I do most of my original writing in the Cover Letter, Professional Profile, and Core Competencies or KSA (Knowledge, Skills, Abilities) section, based on your input. The Experience section will be a blend of your writing and mine. Depending on the need, I may edit and rewrite this section lightly or more heavily.
I list references in a separate document -- except for federal resumes. When I come across "References Available on Request," I take it out -- it's passé. Keep your list ready in case an employer brings up the subject of references during an interview or phone visit. List contact information for each name shown.
Don't Get Personal
Omit hobbies, unless relevant to your job search. Omit reasons for leaving former positions, date of birth, marital status, health status, and children's names and ages. These details can wait for the application and interview stages. Even then, don't volunteer any items not asked for.
If you print your final documents, use a laser printer, if possible, and plain white 8½ x 11 paper -- no special textures or colors. If you send your document by postal mail, use an envelope large enough to keep the pages flat -- no folding, clipping, or stapling.
Executive and C-level resumes are much like typical commercial ones. They frequently require more time -- mainly because of the volume of detail and the need to review supporting documents such as questionnaires, awards, and letters of recommendation.
Recruiters and headhunters are in business, not to find jobs for people, but to find people for jobs. It's crucial that you have definite, concrete achievements to point to. Numbers and percentages matter a great deal. Employers want to know more than just what you did in the past. They want to know what you can do for them now -- and how you can make a lasting, positive difference.
A curriculum vitae, or CV, generally follows the pattern of commercial resumes, with several additional sections -- such as Teaching and Research Experience, Workshops Held, and Articles and Books Published. The CV may exceed two pages; I have handled some that were over ten. CVs are more common among academic, scientific, medical, and legal professionals.
Federal resumes are longer and more detailed than commercial ones. I'll need the link to the open position you are applying for so that I can review the job duties and qualifications and see which keywords and key phrases in the posting point to your knowledge and experience.
You'll ordinarily submit a federal resume through an online system that searches for keywords to match what's in the job posting. In this case, you won't use a cover letter; but for a person-to-person submission, you will need a letter. I will be sure you have a model letter as a starting point; you can adapt it to fit new situations.
The online form at USAJOBS sets a limit of 5,000 characters per job description. If your original is too long, I will trim it to fit. CPOL (Civilian Personnel Online) sets a limit of 12,000 characters for the entire work history. NASA limits total resume length to six pages, about 22,000 characters.
If you need to post your resume on the Net and don't know how to do so or don't have the time, I can post it for $20 extra. Give me the Web address where you would like the file uploaded.
Some Net postings and some e-mail transmittals require a plain-text, or ASCII, version of your resume. I regularly send customers a short list of simple instructions for making ASCII conversions; but if you prefer, I can easily make the conversion myself at no extra cost.
Copyright © 1997-2013 by Jim Hastings. All rights reserved.