Resume Writing - Two Tips Before You Start

In this current economic climate, job insecurity and a climbing unemployment rate means more resumes are flooding in to answer job ads. Since sending a resume takes just a click of the finger, you can just imagine how many people send their resumes to jobs that they don't qualify for. But you qualify...why don't you ever hear back? It may have nothing to do with the way you say it. It could be as easy as this: THEY DON'T KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

There are lots of opinions on the subject of writing resumes. These tips have nothing to do with how you say what you do. They have to do with getting your resume to first base: under the nose of a live human being.

First, you need to name your resume with your NAME. I'm talking about the name of the document, which has to be simply, your NAME. So the first DON'T is this: DON'T name it "Resume" or even worse, don't call it "Resume 6" or "Tech PR Resume" or something like that, which would indicate that this version of your resume is slanting your experience in one industry or discipline, and that you have several versions floating around. I'm not saying here that you should not emphasize different areas of your resume for specific jobs. I'm just saying that you shouldn't let everyone know that. Every hiring manager dreams about that special person out there that has everything they're looking for in the perfect proportion. Definitely show them that you are that person by adjusting your resume for the job. But don't advertise that you're morphing yourself into a "square" but also could be a "round" for another job, by naming each version of your resume. Just name your document with your own name, and use a sneaky code of some sort (not too obvious of course) to help you quickly determine, for your own records, which version you're sending. Keep in mind that the name of your document is not a field used only for your own internal filing. It is the name of the document that also gets filed in the potential employer's system.

Big DON'T #2: Don't put your name and address in a header. It's true that headers make the resume look more professional. But think about whose hands we want this resume to get into before using headers. Headhunters and HR professionals use software programs that pull information off resumes and put it directly into a database. The resume is saved and inserted in the record with the information pulled from the top few lines of the document. Information in a header is not 'seen' by these programs so your resume is saved with no name and address on it. Your great credentials are stored in the database that way: a homeless soul with no name.

Keep in mind that especially in times like this, an HR person or the hiring manager may be receiving hundreds of resumes and it's overwhelming. Make it easy for them. When there is a volume of responses, something that could take as much as two minutes to correct is not worth it and they'll just hit delete. It's sad, but true. And that my friend, may be why you never hear back even though you were perfect for the job. They didn't know who you were.


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