What Killed Your Job Search Canary

What Klled Your Job Search CanaryIn the early days of mining workers would carry a canary into a mine shaft to check out the air quality. If dangerous  gases such as methane or carbon monoxide were present, the canary would die signaling the miners that they would be next if they didn’t leave the tunnel.

In today’s job market, if you’re sending out a resume that doesn’t fly, in other words a resume that’s not getting you calls or interviews,  you should take a lesson from the miners, come up for air and figure out how to improve your resume. More often than not, a bad resume will kill your job search.

The following are some tips to preen  your resume to perfection as you mine for your next opportunity. First the obvious, no spelling mistakes, no lies and no liabilities. The first two don’t require additional explanation, but as far a liabilities, job hunters from seasoned executives to first-timers, often err on the side of over-inclusion.

Remember, a resume is your marketing tool, there’s no need to include negative information. You want the document to be the best representation of your background, not your life story. If there’s a liability that you have to overcome, save that for the interview and be prepared to address it then (it’s a good idea to get some coaching on the best way to field awkward situations that might have happened in your past).

That covers what not to do. What you should include in your resume is a powerful marketing statement at the top, something that really sells what you can deliver. The resume also must highlight your success stories, especially if you’re an experienced executive. Quantifiable anecdotes about your achievements grab a reader’s attention and in the right hands (an expert resume writer), they tell a compelling story about who you are as a strategist, innovator and leader. They make decision-makers want to pick up the phone and call you and they’re what make a resume fly.

Obviously, you’ll want to have your professional history included in the resume with your company, title, date and responsibilities in reverse chronological order, with the most recent position first. And of course, your education if applicable.

Just follow those tips and your resume will sing and even soar, then when you go mining for your next opportunity you’re sure to strike gold.



The Evolution of the Resume

The Evolution Of The ResumeIn the beginning there was man . . . and man had a job, to be fruitful and multiply . . . and it was good. Finding a job was easy. Of course you had to be appealing to the opposite sex in order to fulfill your responsibilities, but while you may have needed to interview well, you didn’t need a resume. As humanity evolved, merely being fruitful and multiplying wasn’t sufficient. As the earth became more populated, the competition increased, to be fruitful and multiply one had to become more appealing and develop new talents to attract a mate, thus great hunters and gatherers were born. Again, the fruits of your labor were apparent without the need of a resume.

Still the world continued to transform and to survive in the ever changing landscape, men and women adapted. Merely hauling a bison body on your back or gathering grains and bearing berries would no longer suffice, now people needed to do more to compete for mates, they needed good jobs with benefits, that meant acquiring more modern skills and oftentimes an education.

Since the fruits of their labor were less obvious and it would be difficult and unwieldy to take your cave drawings to a potential employer, the resume was born. Evolving from a document written on parchment with a reed or quill pen, we advanced to paper, typewriters and white-out. We started with an objective statement and we sent out mass mailings.  Oh, but we have come a long, long way in the evolution of the resume. Objective statements (what I want) are passé and have evolved into marketing statements (what you, the employer wants that I have) and we’ve learned that mass mailings don’t work, we need to use our caveman instincts with a focused target to win in today’s job hunt.

The resume has transformed to the point that not only do we not put pen to paper, we may not even print to paper. With the advent of email and the Internet, sometimes your well-crafted, beautifully formulated document never gets printed at all. It’s created, sent and viewed entirely online. It has also transformed beyond a mere resume into an online presence on LinkedIn, where hiring managers, executives and recruiters can find it instantly. And most recently, the resume has also entered a new evolutionary phase, becoming an online presence in and of itself in the form of a cutting-edge web portfolio.

Do we still need resumes? Absolutely! They’re the basis for your online presence; some people have not gone entirely paperless, and you should print your resume (and if you’re an executive, your bio) and bring it with you on your interviews. But, if you want to truly demonstrate that you’re progressing and growing with the changing world, you need to leave your caveman days behind and join Gen Z in a competition that’s morphed from earthbound hunting grounds to cyberspace and the World Wide Web.

~ Linda

Quick Tip: No Lying On Your Resume

The Career Coach Quick TipA small fabrication is causing a big uproar across the tech community. Yahoo CEO, Scott Thompson is accused of exaggerating his credentials on his resume. According to news reports, a regulatory filing and a company press release mention Thompson as having earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting and computer science from Stonehill College. But checks of his school record show an accounting degree only. Now there are demands for his departure as head of the struggling Internet company.

Despite his 30+ years of real world experience, what Yahoo is calling an “inadvertent error”, may lead to Thompson’s downfall. Still feel like embellishing on your resume? We’ve all heard the admonishment, never lie on your resume. Well here’s a real world example to show no matter how high you get on the food chain, an embellishment, error or exaggeration will catch up with you.

What’s interesting to me is that Thompson does have a Bachelor’s degree, it’s just not in computer science. Imagine the uproar if he didn’t have a degree at all!