Resumes Part I

Resumes Part I

November 8, 2019 0 By Kody Olson


Hello there, and welcome to our JVS podcast. Today, we will be covering resumes for your job search. First thing first, what is a resume?
A resume is a selling tool that outlines your skills and experiences so an employer can see, at a glance, how you can contribute to
the employers workplace. Your resume is the first item that a potential employer
encounters and is used to screen applicants. Your resume should be no
longer than one to two pages and should be tailored to every specific job you
are applying for. What this means for you is that the days of writing one resume
and blasting it out to 50 employers in one day are long gone. What’s more
important is that each resume is catered to a job or company and even uses the
same language a company or job posting uses. Think quality over quantity. It’s
better to send fewer excellent targeted resumes than a lot of mediocre ones.
First, let’s discuss the two formats of resumes that we recommend; chronological
and the functional chronological combination. A chronological resume
format is one that lists your work history in reverse chronological order,
starting with your most recent work experience and going back from there.
Chronological resumes are the most traditional style of resumes and are generally
the most widely accepted among employers. They are easy to read, show job
stability, emphasize job titles and companies, and show your growth well. They
can also infer a lot about age and can highlight gaps if you have any.
Chronological resumes have a lot of strengths, but they don’t work for
everyone. Here are some reasons why the chronological resume could be a good fit
for you. If you have good work history, meaning you’ve had mostly jobs of two
years or more, if you have few gaps in your experience, and if you’ve worked for
pretty good companies. If you’ve shown career advancement within a career field
and you want to stay in that field, and if you haven’t changed jobs or
industries regularly. Some reasons why you might not want to use a chronological resume are if you do have gaps in your work experience and have a hard time showing longevity in your jobs, or if you’re planning a career change. A functional chronological combination
resume, which from now on I’ll call functional combination resume, is a good
choice if you’d rather focus on your skills then on your employment history. So
if you have large gaps in employment, are a recent graduate, are applying for a job
in a new industry, have had numerous job changes, or if you think age could be a
barrier, this format may be a good choice for you. The functional combination resume
highlights your accomplishments and strengths, eliminates repetition and
redundancy of similar jobs, allows for flexibility in how you present yourself,
and allows you to draw from diverse volunteer experiences, interests, and
skills that have not been a part of your past employment. The disadvantages to
this type of resume are that it de-emphasizes specific job titles and
companies, does not highlight longevity, shows limited job duties, and is
sometimes more confusing to employers. Ultimately the decision is yours. You can
even have resumes in both formats and use one or the other depending on the
job title, industry, particular situation, or employer. Take a minute or two right now to
consider which resume format, or formats, you plan to use. Pause this
podcast if you need to make this decision. Now, let’s spend some time
discussing the components of a chronological resume and a functional
combination resume. Keep in mind which format you plan to use as you listen to
these tips. Both types of resumes should begin with a heading. That’s your name,
city and state, email, and phone number. Whether you also include your address on
your resume is up to you. Ensure that you have a professional email address as
well. If your current email address is not professional, consider opening
another with one of the many free online options. As for the phone number, only list one
that has a professional voice message. There’s no need to list multiple
phone numbers. This can confuse the employer. Next is the objective: should you have one
or not? Well, again, this is up to you. One survey indicates that about
40% of employers want to see an objective on a resume. If 40% of employers would be annoyed not to see an objective on a resume, using one may be the safest choice. Objectives can help sharpen the
focus of a resume, especially if your experience is diverse, or if you are switching into a career not supported by a professional experience. However, some
people choose not to use an objective and instead use a summary section, which
we’ll talk about next. It’s your call, but if you are going to use an objective
make sure is specific, tailored to the job posting and/or company, and should say
what you can contribute as an employee. Here is an example of a weak objective:
Administrative assistant, where I can use my skills and abilities to help a company. Here’s an example of a stronger objective: To obtain administrative assistant
role at Company X, where I can contribute my excellent customer service and technical skills to increase the efficiency and growth of the company. The summary of qualifications is the next section on a resume. Everyone should have a summary
section at the top of their resume. You can call it many things;
summary of skills, summary of qualifications, highlights of skills,
profile, etc. It’s up to you. What matters most is that you have one. This is a section with maybe four to seven bullets with the most relevant skills and
accomplishments you have for a specific job. Ask yourself, if an employer could only
remember four to seven things about you, as a potential employee, what would
you want them to be? The summary is how you attract the reader’s attention to
want to continue reading. It will include things like your number of years of
experience, fields of specialization, associations, memberships, awards, technical
skills, and written and spoken languages. Make sure it’s all relevant and
written in a way that makes someone want to learn more about you. The next
section is where the chronological and functional combination format differ. In
a chronological resume, the next section is your professional experience. We suggest calling this section “professional” or “relevant experience” rather than “employment history” so that you can include unpaid work, like
volunteer experience or internships, if needed. You should list your professional
experience with your position first, then employer, city, state, then dates of employment,
and a few bullets describing your work. For the dates, listing the month and year is sufficient. For the bullets that explain your work, make sure you use
action verbs, which we’ll discuss in a few minutes. Keep in mind there’s no need to go
beyond 10 years of past work experience. In a functional combination
resume, the fourth section is your relevant skills and accomplishments. This
is where you can make a list of skills and functions that align with the job
you are applying for and which are similar to the things you’ve done or
learned in the past. Frame as much as possible as an accomplishment statement using the star method S.T.A.R, or Situation, Task, Action, Result. Talk about certifications you have, use
quantities and numbers whenever possible, and include your relevant experience and
education. You probably want to separate these skills and accomplishments into
two or three different categories, such as “customer service skills,” “technical
skills,” “administrative skills.” Think what matters most to the position you are applying for. For this functional combination resume format, your
professional experience is the fifth category. When using this resume format,
you only need to list the position, employer, city, state, and dates of employment
when listing your professional experience. Keep this section short and sweet, since what you want to focus on in this resume format
are your relevant skills and accomplishments. The last section in both
a chronological and functional combination resume should be your
education. It’s not necessary to list all of your education, especially if you’re
worried about seeming overqualified or unfocused. But put what is relevant. Also,
you do not need to put the year you graduated, or received a certificate, on
your resume. Sometimes it makes sense to list the dates of your education because
you might be a recent college graduate or you may just have finished another
degree or training program. Listing the dates of your education can show that
your degree or certificate is up to date, and these dates can potentially
explain a gap in your work history. In other cases, you may not want to list the dates
of your education because it can infer information about your age. You’ll need
to make the decision that makes the most sense for you and your job search. We do
not recommend having other sections than the ones I’ve just mentioned. Things like
your interests and hobbies don’t belong on a professional resume, and other
things like your awards and language skills belong in your summary section
at the top of your resume. If, however, you have a hobby that is relevant to the job, company, or industry, then put it in then put it in your summary section. It may be the thing that makes you stand stand out above the rest. Just make sure it is relevant.