Archive for June, 2009

Resume Restrictions

I came across a very interesting blog post today and wanted to get some more opinions on it.

This post on Fishdogs states the top 10 things to leave off of your resume. The writer, Craig Fisher, asked people on Twitter and LinkedIn, “What should job seekers leave OFF of their resume?” Along with the list of the top 10, Fisher created an image on Wordle with all of the responses.

Some answers weren’t surprising, like objective or family information. Some answers surprised me because I don’t see why anyone would put them on a resume! These were things like weight, middle school education, slang and Dungeons and Dragons.

Then, there are the responses that made me curious. I have heard and read that volunteer work and organizations should always be on your resume. Additionally, I have read about including information to explain employment gaps. If you were a stay at home mom, for example, you could list the skills you used during that time. However, things like school board member and Toastmasters were included on the list. Furthermore, MSOffice was mentioned. That one is on my resume (and I plan to keep it there unless someone gives me good reason not to).

So what do you think? Should an organization like Toastmasters be included if it is relevant to the job? What about school board member? MSOffice?

I’m looking forward to some feedback on this one! Thanks to Craig for the interesting post and inspiration!


Read Full Post »

Follow Friday is a great part of Twitter. Users post a message and @ the people that they think others should follow. Sometimes people list why these folks are great and sometimes you have to check it out for yourself. Fridays almost always lead to a few (or many) new followers.

I won’t lie, I am not ashamed… I get giddy when I receive an email stating that I have a new follower on Twitter. I’m not vying for thousands of followers and have no desire to whore myself out Ashton Kutcher style but new followers are exciting. Sometimes.

Then there are the times when I click on the new followers page and wonder how the heck they found me and why in the world they would want to follow me. My Twitter page and tweets scream marketing, communication, public relations and job seeker 97% of the time. Sometimes I mention a random daily tidbit or quote or thoughts on a t.v. show, but mostly it’s professional. For me, Twitter is one of my many job searching tools. Sure, I follow Pizza Hut (no one loves pizza more than me!) and a couple of celebrities (not aplusk) but mainly I follow PR/marketing/comm pros and recruiters.

Of course the worst new followers are the spammers. The people (or bots) who want to make me a million dollars in an hour. Often times, these profiles are deleted before I even get a chance to check them out, leading me to the always disappointing “Who goes there” owl.

I have a nearly equal amount of followers vs. those that I follow. However, I don’t always follow back (and obviously neither do some of those that I follow). I block those that look like spammers (or the sex toy store). If I see your profile and you have an interesting bio (or even better, a customized background with more information) and some relevant tweets, I’m sure to follow back.

If you meet my somewhat picky criteria, feel free to check me out on Twitter @Danielle2507, I’d love to follow you back!

Have a fabulous weekend 🙂

Read Full Post »

I made the mistake to apply to basically anything and everything when I first graduated from college. I didn’t know that it was a much better idea to tailor your job search. If the position was at a company in my chosen location, I would apply without paying much attention to the qualifications. I realize now that I was HR’s worst nightmare. As an end result, I had an unsuccessful job search and wound up remaining at the company that I worked at part time through college.

Now I know better. I don’t apply to anything and everything. I have tailored my job search. My applications, resumes and cover letters reflect that. Still, sometimes there are jobs that I’m not quite sure about.

I know that I need to have the bare minimum qualifications but I read an blog from Keppie Careers that got me thinking. This blog post claims that sometimes you should consider jobs beyond your qualifications.

When “desired qualifications” include experiences you do not have, it can still be worth applying. As long as you can make a direct connection between what they want and what you offer, I advise going for it!

I’ve had to deal with this before. I read a job description, get excited as everything sounds fitting and then get slammed with something like 8 years of experience or advanced graphic design knowledge. It’s disheartening, especially when I feel that I could truly do this job! Should I ignore the basic requirements and apply anyway? Will my application even make it to a person?

A job opened up at a company that I would LOVE to work for. It involved social media, marketing and communication. I got excited reading the job description… and then I found out it’s a management position. They want someone with management experience. Darn.

Then I start to wonder… just because I don’t have management experience doesn’t mean I wouldn’t make a great manager. One of my career goals is to become a manager, but am I ready for that now? I decided to ask for feedback from you guys. What makes a good leader or a good manager? How much experience do you think someone should have before becoming a manager? Do you need to be an expert first then a manager?

Please, leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Read Full Post »

I started to feel like my blog was focusing too much on the job hunt and not enough on communication and marketing. Then I realized, job hunting is communication and marketing. You are marketing yourself to potential employers. You look at who your audience is and figure out the best way to communicate with them and appeal to them.

This leads me to interesting marketing strategies in job hunting.

Resume Cake from Flickr

Resume Cake from Flickr

Thanks to a few tweets, I ran across this article on CareerBuilder about unconventional tactics that job seekers are using. This isn’t the first time that I’ve heard of weird and interesting approaches to job hunting. I’ve read about graphic designers putting their resumes on t-shirts and job seekers buying space on billboards. Yet I wonder, how practical are these oddball approaches?


A couple of my favorites from the above mentioned article:

Candidate sent a shoe with a resume to “get my foot in the door.”
Candidate sent a resume wrapped as a present and said his skills were a “gift to the company.”
Candidate sent a cake designed as a business card with the candidate’s picture.

What do you think about these tactics? Do HR managers take them seriously? Does it depend on what field you are in? Are these candidates praised and remembered for their creativity or frowned upon for not taking the job search seriously?

With massive amounts of candidates available for each job, the rules of the job search are definitely changing. A simple, generic cover letter and resume don’t cut it anymore. There are the Web 2.0 options like a VisualCVor other online portfolio, creating a Twitter account or joining LinkedIn. Then there are the guerrilla marketing style tactics. Some are mentioned in the CareerBuilder article: staging a sit-in to get a meeting with the director or handing out resumes at a stoplight.

Are these unconventional tactics necessary in today’s market or are these job seekers just getting laughed at? I would love to hear from any employers or HR pros! Should I put my resume in a shoe box and wrap it up?

Read Full Post »

A resume is one of the most important tools of the job search. If you take the time to look, you will find loads of information from dozens of different sources. There are recruiters, career coaches and counselors, professors, professionals, bloggers and more all trying to tell you how to write your resume.

As a member of PROpenMic, I have joined a group for resumes. Members of the online network can post their resumes, get feedback and hopefully get noticed by recruiters. When looking at these resumes, it quickly becomes obvious that everyone has received different advice. Each resume is formatted differently and it’s interesting to see how they differ.

I spent a lot of time feeling less than happy about my resume, editing it, then still feeling unhappy. I just couldn’t quite figure out how to fix it. Thanks to Careerealism and their ‘Am I Money?’ Quiz, I gave my resume a complete overhaul after realizing just how much work it needed (Check out the finished product on this page or on the right sidebar of this page in the box widget!) I am so thankful for the opportunity and advice that I received.

The thing about the resume is the same thing regarding cover letters, interviews, fashion, television, books and music… everyone has a different opinion.

You simply can’t please everyone. What one recruiter may love, another recruiter may frown upon. Still, there are a few resume rules that most people agree on. I chose to focus on those and my own intuition to create my new and fabulous (if I do say so myself) resume.

J.T. O’Donnell from Careerealism advised me that unless you have over 15 years of experience, your resume should only be one page. (Hear that college grads?!) I had heard, over and over, that my resume needed to be one page. Still, no matter how many times I edited, I couldn’t narrow it down. At my last job, I had a variety of duties in multiple positions and I wanted to show my diversity and ability to take on many different tasks. I finally changed the format of my resume completely, from chronological to functional. This allowed me to focus on the duties that I feel will best transfer to future positions and that have quantifiable results.

Another piece of advice I received was from Dawn Bugni.

In it’s current format, your resume is trying to tell the reader absolutely everything you’ve ever done in the hopes they’ll take the time to see where you fit. It doesn’t work that way. You have to take your reader by the hand and lead them down your career path, showing them only what they need to see to determine they want to speak with you further.

This was my “ah-ha!” moment. I realized that I was leaving my readers standing in an open field unsure of where I fit instead of leading them down my desired career path pointing it out.

Writing a new resume was a time consuming and frustrating task. Like any other time consuming and frustrating task, the results are rewarding. I have a renewed confidence and excitement and hope that my next reward will be the perfect position!

Read Full Post »