We have new graduates of Fishburne and hopefully various colleges and universities. We also have folks ready to find a new position or even change careers. Since 1971 I have engaged in three distinct career fields. I have been a trainer in each and have been both a worker bee and member of management in all three. I have hired (and fired) lots of folks and had a chance to review thousands of resumes. I have gone through my own periods of unemployment and helped many folks develop and hopefully improve the own resumes. While you can read lots of tips other places, here are mine for free. You got what you paid for.
1) Have an online presence of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Google yourself – that is what HR representatives will do. Review every picture, status, comment and remove any that ANYONE might find offensive.
2) Have a real name email address – FirstName.LastName at wherever.com Nothing cute, nothing fancy – just a straight email address that will make an impression on the person looking at your stuff. Realistically, avoid making a negative impression with a “cute” email address.
3) When you email a resume, name the file property. How many have a file Resume.Doc on your computer. If you email that, the HR Person MUST change it to identify you so go ahead FirstName_LastName_Resume_Date
4) Recruiters for businesses don’t care what you did in high school beyond – did you graduate and were you a trouble maker. Sorry guys all of the awards get lumped into a category of “was awarded some stuff” in high school. That is not true of athletic team participation in high school or college. If you were a team captain – that translates to the public schools. Were you elected to any leadership position, which translates to an equivalent public school post? Squad Leader in B company, WTF does that mean?
5) Never ever lie on a job application! If you do and the employer finds out you are fired. You may omit things on a resume, but never lie there either.
6) Have a base resume that you can modify for each type of position you apply for. You can point out certain skills that you have acquired if a particular position calls for it.
7) Speaking of skills – when you move from one type of career to another you must be able to translate the skills from one career to another. That squad leader becomes a small group leader. This requires that you research the new career for their skills and their buzz words. Each field and industry uses their own language.
8) Don’t ever list a reference without permission. I have been listed as a reference/employer for someone seeking a position that required a full field background for a security clearance. I was a department head that signed off on a hiring of a part time student worker who did an ok job because I did not remember any complaint about their performance. I could not remember the applicants name, but could only verify that I had fifty or so student workers on payroll during that time period – ten years before. Your references must actually know you and be able to describe both your job performance and personal traits.
9) Be sure your resume contains most of the words the job posting stated were required knowledge, skills, abilities, or educational requirement. Either a computer or a clerk is going to find those words and highlight them in order to score you for an interview.
Joe Johnson, Fishburne Military School