One + October 2010 - (Page 38)

>> GET THE JOB managers, but they remain important components of the résumé. The two documents are like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich—you need both spreads to make the magic combination; they simply go together. The résumé comprises the facts, and the cover letter illustrates the compelling ways you will help your target company and why it should hire you. The two do not stand independent of each other. JAM-PACK IT WITH INFORMATION. As I mentioned in last month’s column, in that back room, where the human resource person sifts through résumés, personal bias comes into play. It’s difficult to prove, and employers deny it, but the reality is that it does happen. Use critical thought about what you include in the affiliations and involvement section of your résumé. The reasons that someone might toss your résumé out are truly mind-boggling. No matter how innocuous your experience might be, someone else on the other end can and will misconstrue it. To avoid bias, avoid the following areas, unless they apply directly to your target position. Political activities/affiliations Religion Gender/race/ethnic associations Specific (particularly health) organizational involvement Being aware of these pitfalls can help you be savvier in developing your résumé and remove obstacles that could hold you back. BY DAWN RASMUSSEN, CMP << KILL YOUR RÉSUMÉ IN 3 EASY STEPS A RÉSUMÉ IS A STRATEGIC DOCUMENT. Its structured content conveys your value to prospective employers. But there are several things that can and will torpedo your résumé. If that’s your goal, here’s what to do. FILL IT WITH ERRORS. You’d be surprised how many people (including c-level executives) march around with résumés riddled with errors. Check everything—including consistency of use, spelling, punctuation, grammar and formatting. Remember, this document represents you, and if you can’t even write it correctly, prospective employers will assume that you won’t do a much better job on the job. HAVE NO FOCUS. Résumés must be targeted, laser-precise documents, given that many employers use applicant-tracking software to scan for relevant keywords. Even if a company isn’t using a filter, you still need to immediately capture attention and prove your relevancy toward 38 the position opening. It is critical that you create thematic résumés that play up your career strengths. You’ve been in the workforce for a while, and you likely have different cards to play when it comes to the jobs you are targeting. For example: I am a résumé writer and an instructor, but in the past I’ve been a television producer, a meeting planner, a tourism development manager and a saleswoman. Each one of these fields is highlighted in a different résumé, and unless my experience directly relates to the document theme, I leave it off. Think relevancy. Precision brings clarity to résumés and helps you determine the correct keyword cloud to associate with each particular theme. Focus alone can improve your keyword hits and alert employers that you are a match to their open positions. And don’t forget the cover letter. These memos may not immediately grab the attention of human resource DAWN RASMUSSEN, CMP, is the president of Portland, Ore.-based Pathfinder Writing and Careers, which specializes in hospitality/ meeting job searches. She has been a meeting planner for more than 15 years and an MPI member since 2001. one+ 10.10

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of One + October 2010

One + October 2010
Energy of Many
Design Thinking
Signs of the Times
Top Spots
Kill Your Résumé
Exceed Expectations
Live in Person
Snack Attack
Skin Deep
Playing God?
Untangling the Value of Social Media
Local Favor
Personality Order
Datascape Architect
Thriving Exhibits
Your Community
Making a Difference
Until We Meet Again

One + October 2010