The Tempest Online™

~ Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc. ~

A Waste Of Who’s Time?

Posted by Daniel on November 20, 2008

PhotobucketResumes…these are basically defined as a brief summary of the education, experience, accomplishments, and other professional qualifications of a person, such as that prepared by one applying for a job.

It can arguably be said that I have, in the past six months, submitted well over 1500 resumes since moving here to California.

Everyday, I seem to get a dozen or so emails from CareerBuilder.com, Monster.com, etc., telling me new ways to maximize my resumes’ exposure while at the same time dazzling the prospective employers. And the links they provide take me to books that are for sale written to tell you how to – and how not to write a resume.

I noticed several things about these how-to books that pissed me off…

1. The cost.

The average price of these pearls of wisdom was around $39.00. Seems to me that the people writing these worthless tomes never had to write their own resumes…not when they are raking in $39.00 from those of us who actually want to work and get desperate enough to buy this shit.

2. The fact that these how-to books look more like encyclopedias.

The shortest book on how to write a resume that I came across was eighty-four pages long. Another (written by the very same author) was 480 pages. Both of these, as well as all the others I’ve read, use the same sentence as their main theme, “Keep your resume as brief as possible, and never make it more than one page long.” Great, it took you 480 pages to tell me that. Enjoy my money, asshole.

3. A necessity to “dazzle” the prospective employers.

According to these so-called experts, not only should we strive to keep our blathering down to one page, but we are also supposed to make eyes bulge with glee when they see this page. And they have some very creative ways for us to dazzle a prospective interviewer…

  1. Professional Fonts
  2. Line Spacing
  3. Giving your resume a “name”.
  4. Don’t write about your past.
  5. Write a brief personal history. (so much for #4)
  6. If you have gaps in employment…fix them!!!

There are many other ways you are supposed to implement to “dazzle” employers, but, ironically, I can’t fit them all on one page.

Here’s my question…Who’s time is really being wasted with resumes?

These books tell you to not waste the prospective interviewers time with a lengthy or “unprofessional” resume. Keep it brief and yet it should drip with syrup and confetti (the dazzling part?). Employers or personnel officers may look through hundreds of applications and may spend only a few seconds reviewing your resume. When I think of that, I think I’ve just plain been wasting my time.

I used to be an HR director and one of my responsibilities was to advertise for available positions, field applications and resumes, and to conduct the interviews, as well as doing the ultimate hiring.

In performing the entire hiring process – from advertising to actual hiring – I can honestly say that resume review is done differently by every person in the hiring position. I know a lot of other folks who had the same kind of position in their respective companies as I did, and in our many conversations, all of them had very different methods of resume review and vastly different criteria in applicants.

I, for one, never used the length (or brevity) of someone’s resume as a factor in their qualifications. Neither was I expecting to be dazzled – or offended – by the applicants choice of font!!! When I needed to fill a position, I just used my brain. I knew what position needed to be filled, which required me to understand every requirement an employee would need to fill that position.

When hiring, I look over the application. Then read through the resume (yeah, sometimes it does require a little patience, but that’s part of my job, so I deal with it!!). If the candidate has the experience required to fill this position, that person goes into the pile I have set aside for an interview. When the time comes, and after the initial interviews, I go through that ‘further review‘ pile and whittle down the candidates to the top three who I think merit a second interview. By this time, I’ve already run the necessary background checks that are required by law and the company for hiring.

After the second interview of the three finalists, I submit my findings and notes to the supervisor of the hiring department for their consideration. A final decision, and subsequent hiring phone call, are made thereafter.

But that’s just me, I guess.  As I said, most HR folks have their own determining methods in their hiring process.

I suppose my point here is that you know your skills and your experience(s) better than anyone. You want the job, obviously, but you also have to use common sense when writing your resume. If you are applying for a Staff Accountant position, make sure your resume highlights all pertinent information that shows you can understand and do that job.

Don’t write a novel, but also don’t short-sell your experience. There are those employers/interviewers who want to know something about you that you might have left off that resume because you listened to some pontificating asshole (like me) who said, “Less is more.”

Oh, and just so you know, I’ve always thought “Cover Letters” were a complete waste of time. Done right, your resume should be able to tell my just how much you can bring to our company. I think requiring an added sheet (really? aren’t we supposed to keep this shit brief??) is a waste of paper.

And so are those books on how to/not to write a resume.

Remember, while you are trying to find ways not to waste the time of a prospective employer/interviewer, don’t forget that you also shouldn’t waste your time trying to condense a lifetime of experience into one paragraph with pretty font.

Bottom line, any employer/interviewer worth their salary will do a little research (read resumes) if they don’t want to miss out on hiring that perfect employee.

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One Response to “A Waste Of Who’s Time?”

  1. CB said

    Where can I get a tie like that? My boss needs to get a clue!

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