Dopers who hire

What stands out on a resume? What would be a major faux pas? Does volunteer work matter? Hobbies? Any tips?

um, yeah I just applied for one of 60 positions and 1500 people applied! Wondering if I have a chance in hell…lol.

Education/ related work experience/ neatness and completeness of your application. The applicants with the best of these factors will normally get interviewed.

At your interview, you must give the impression that you will fit in with the corporate culture and with others that are already in their work force.

Good luck.

Target the job description. Tailor your resume to it. Leave off the hobbies; it ranks right down there with your favorite color, in my opinion. Besides, maybe your future boss thinks stamp collectors are all wankers. Personal information will come out later in informal conversation after you are hired, or the interviewer will ask you in the interview (hard to believe).

If you had a job that only lasted a month or two, you could probably leave it off the resume without drawing too much attention to the gap. Short job tenures throw up a red flag for me.

The resume gets you in the door, but you have to sell yourself as earnest, eager and interested in the work. Think about answers to questions like: “Why do you want to work here?” “Why would you leave your present job?” “How do you plan your workday and workweek?” “What are your strengths/weaknesses relative to this job?”

Try to be original with your answers without getting too cute about it. The stock answers of “I need more of a challenge” and “I’m the best person for the job” are heard relentlessly.

It’s always good to quantify stuff. Anything you can put numbers with, especially dollar figures, is good.

Use action verbs. Supervised, designed, created, sold, assembled … whatever you did. This sounds like cheesy advice, but it is better than the alternatives.

Have someone proofread the resume, application and cover letter. You can do it yourself, but it’s amazing what you’ll miss. I’m sure I’m not the only person to address a letter to the “Hiring Manger.”

I’d like to ask for a further clarification: I’ve been ill and out of work for quite some time- many months. How do I put this down on an application? What can I say that will easily explain the gap in my job record without setting off red flags and disqualifying myself before I get to interview? I’ve been learning everything I can about computers- programming, networking, troubleshooting, basic repair and installation- How do I show that I’ve been doing more than surfing the Net and the SDMB without a degree or a certificate?

Attach a cover letter that explains all of the above. Emphasize that you spent your down time educating yourself and being as productive as possible. And that you’ve stayed current with whatever technologies or products you will be involved with.

Urgh, I’ve read through far too many resumes in the last few months.

Tip #1 for jobhunters: If your resume reads like a single run-on sentence that details the entirety of your working life while detailing all the minutae of your day-to-day existence yet trying to give me a “big picture” that totally describes your life from the moment you took a job at the fish & chip shop, aged 15 right up until your current job 10 years later, I will lose interest somewhere between the commencement of your run-on sentence and where you start talking about your working life.

Honestly. Please! Do us all a favour. Use simple words and sentences that don’t have to be read ten times over for us to figure out what you’re trying to say!

Tip #2 - Please at least try to write the resume like it’s not a generic, hastily-slapped-together piece of bumf. You want me to hire you? Give me relevant work experience and abilities!

Tip #3 - If you are applying for a technical position, it will not help your cause to highlight your sales experience. The same applies the other way round.

Tip #4 - I don’t care what you do in your spare time. I don’t care if you’re married. I don’t care how many children you have and I don’t care that you are a member of <insert name of social group here>! Your collection of beer bottles does not impress me, nor does your keen interest in macrame.

Tip #5 - Do not include a photo of yourself. If I want to see you, I will ring you to arrange an interview. Really.

Tip #6 - If I am conducting a technical interview with you, do not, under any circumstances, refer to notes, a manual, the online help, or a textbook. I want to know what YOU know, not what you can parrot to me from a book!
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh… good luck with your job search, Mr Jim. My advice is just to keep it simple, straight-forward and to the point. Highlight achievements but don’t harp on them. And did I mention, do NOT include a photo of yourself? :stuck_out_tongue:


Much good advice above. Also, in job descriptions, don’t talk in terms of tasks; talk in terms of accomplishments.

Be sure to tailor the resume to the job. Emphasize relevant history.

And follow up with a phone call.

I believe it depends on the profession. As a manager who is currently hiring in the software field I can say:
I primarily look for the skill-set and previous work experience. I don’t care at all about their hobbies or community service. I do care about whether or not I think they will fit into my team, but I try to determine that in the interview.

I personally think that the “objective” portion of most resumes is a waste of time. I know that you are looking for a job that suits your skills, etc.

Although I suppose I shouldn’t be, I’m still more impressed with the candidates that bother to wear a tie and jacket. Those who come in jeans send me the message that they just don’t care if they get the job.

Smile. A lot.

I’ll come back if I think of more.

I’m repeating some comments here…I’m sure…but my top comments are:

  1. Don’t use a Career Statement or Objective statement or anything like that…they are meaningless and no one pays attention to them

  2. Throw out the “get it all on one page rule”. Most companies use applicant tracking software (e.g., Resumix) that runs on key word searches…if you shorten your resume and leave out key words…you might reduce your match score to what the recruiter/HR person is looking for. However, don’t just go on and on hoping to artifically inflate your score…2 pages is the max I would go, unless you have publications, technical certifications, etc.

  3. Always start with your work history/Professional Experience (unless you are right out of college). I like the format of this resume for your job history

It tells the reader who you worked for, how long, what was your job and what were your accomplishments in that job.

  1. Ditto on results. Each postion should detail what you accomplished in hard numbers. How much did your make/save? Was this above the goal? How did you do compared to last year? What you are trying to do is say: “this is an accomplishment and here is why it is such an accomplishment”. If you say…my growth last year was 3%…that might not be a big deal to an employer…but you say “last year’s growth was 3%…the year before it was -28%” That’s a big turnaround. In other words…use some context to explain to the reader the importance of the accomplishment

  2. Don’t get “cute” with your resume. Funky marble-type paper, stupid graphics, etc. Yes you want your resume to stand out…but not because it is done in banana yellow paper…plus, if the company scans resumes into their system…OCR technology can possibly reject your resume if you have 15 different kinds of bullets and graphics around the border

  3. I would NEVER put personnel information on a resume…many companies for fear of unethical discrimination throw out resumes on the spot if they have: # of kids, age, etc. Community service is Ok…but don’t go crazy or they might wonder how you can do your job with all that community service.

  4. Cover letters are highly overrated. Don’t kill yourself here. Explain any “weird” things on your resume (gaps in employment, etc,) if you have any, why you are looking for a job, why you want to work for this company (short) and give them a (short) summary of your qualifications (number of years of experience, etc.).

  5. I don’t recommend that you tailor your entire resume for each job…but if you use the format I’ve given you above…it is a great idea to tailor your accomplishments to what the company you are applying to historically cares about. show that your historical results fit their historical results.

  6. Don’t lie. It goes without saying…lies might get you in the door, but they will also get you booted out the door much faster than you were let in…plus it’s a very small world out there…people change jobs and companies all the time…don’t chance it.

Good luck.

Easy to read. I’m just going to skim the darn thing anyway. HR sends a ton over that they’ve culled, and I really don’t have time to look over each one. So the easier they are to read, the better the chances I’ll actually find what I’m looking for. If it makes it through the skim, the next step to to make sure it uses properly spelled English words in their proper context.

Professional hobbies are different than hobbies. I don’t want to know that you collect stamps. I do want to know that you were the membership secretary for the Database Administrators of the Upper Midwest.

The biggest mistake I see - people who are pitching themselves as overqualified. I’m somewhat more likely to take someone slightly underqualified and train them up than someone who “designed the Active Directory Tree for a Fortune 100 company” and won’t be happy answering helpdesk calls.