October 26, 2007

Care Enough to be Different

A couple weeks ago an old coworker, Kelly Oshiro, contacted me through LinkedIn, which is just rad because we had not talked since she left Santa Barbara. The world being so connected is really wonderful. Kelly and her boyfriend Sam just moved back to Santa Barbara and Sam was looking for a job. Kelly wanted to know if I could possibly provide any guidance. On Tuesday I met with Sam and it was awesome to meet someone so passionate about what he wants. He is a natural product evangelist and I know will be supremely successful.

We talked about what kind of job he wanted, the type of company he wanted to work for, and what was important. He knew what he wanted, but was making one of the biggest mistakes I see when people are looking for a job. His resume was normal, totally normal. Normal equals boring and unmemorable and when applying for a job you want to be remembered. Here was the basic format of Sam's resume.

Sam's resume looked like 99% of the resumes I've seen. He was using one of the common formats, which means his resume was not unique or rememberable because almost everyone is using those formats. If you want to

If you are putting together a resume there are a few big DOs and DON'Ts to keep in mind.

  • DON'T copy the exact format of the sample resume you are using. DO care enough to personalize the style of the resume making it different. Different gets remembered.
  • DON'T list bullets of what you were responsible for at each job. Frankly I don't care what you did, I care what you accomplished. Accomplishments should be measurable and show you you improved the company in some way. Here is a good example from Resume-Resource.
  • DON'T send 20 resumes that are generic to 20 companies. DO want a job bad enough that you spend time customizing the resume for the job you are applying for.
  • DON'T list your GPA unless you had a 4.0 and just graduated, and DON'T put it at the top of the resume.n DO list all education and certifications that are applicable to the job you are applying for.
  • DON'T list “Proficient in Word and Excel” if you're applying for a job that assumes you are. For most jobs it is already a requirement to know these applications. DO list applications that you are proficient in that are unique (i.e. Perl or Java) and make you remembered.
  • DON'T list an “Objective” that says something like, “To get a job and an exciting company in the IT related field.” DO create a “Professional Summary” that is basically your elevator pitch on why someone should hire you.
  • DON'T make it one page and hard to read because of information overload. DO instead increase it to two pages so it's easy to read, but put all the stuff you really want them to see on the first page.
  • DON'T write a cover letter to “Whom It May Concern”. DO enough research to find out the name of the hiring manager or recruiter in HR and direct your resume to them.
  • DON'T ever not apply for a job because you think you're under-qualified. DO take a chance and try to get a job that may be your next big move.
I could probably go on and on, but that seems to be good enough for now. Happy resume writing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi .nice blog.I need to find jobs .can anybody send links of that job websites....
Thank you.....