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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Resume What Do You Really Need? Part II

Continuing with my last resume post, the length of your resume seems to be a BIG question and depending on who you talk to they may tell you one page "period" and no more and others up to three pages. When I was laid off, my group manager told everyone that we needed one page resumes. When I heard that my wife and I thought "What!?!" How in the world can someone with an Engineering background and who has worked for over 25+ years have a one page resume??? Finally, after many edits, deletions and revisions my wife finally got my resume down to two full pages.

My old boss was not the only one that told me that my resume needed to be one page. So, after searching around the web and blogs I found a great blog Liz Handlin's Ultimate Resume Blog
and found this post Tips For Writing the Ultimate Resume and posted the following question on how long should a resume be "I have a question about resumes, how long is to long for a resume for someone with a lengthy job history in a hi-tech profession? I was laid off from my one and only job that lasted almost 30 years. I worked in a hi-tech engineering field and have several areas to list; patents, designs, security clearance and technical skills. After several revisions, I finally have my resume down to two full pages. Is this to long? If so what do you leave out?" Very quickly Liz emailed me the following answer "Thanks for you post and kind words. A 2 page resume is fine but if you have a lot of experience a 3 page resume is appropriate. Resumes should never be more than 3 pages long. with that said, what I often do for clients is separate long lists (patents, board memberships) and create separate documents that you can hand to employers in addition to the resume. That way you can still submit all of the information but you can do it in a way that isn't intimidating....I think that candidates who had recruiters/hiring managers a huge resume are pretty much guaranteeing that it won't be read."

iz's answer made a lot of senses to me. Say you have you Masters, PhD or Doctorate school alone would take up one full page. Then if you have published articles, patents, etc. that will take up a large portion of a page. So put in only what you need but, don't leave important information out either.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Resume What Do You Really Need? Part I

If you are looking for a job more than likely, you need a resume. But, what do you really need in it, how long and how long? I started this post as one post but it has taken on a life of its own and it will need to be continued in parts.

What? These days "most" large companies use a software to look for key words. this is one reason the preferred format is MS Word. After talking with several Headhunter/Recruiters, I have found that even if you have all of the pertinent key words with in your summary section, you also need them in "each" of you job duties for each job. Example; in the past 25 years, I have worked for several different groups within the same company. I basically many of my job functions were the same just different processes, programming languages used and EDA (Electronic Design Automation) tools that I created. So, even if you have the keywords pertinent to the job that you are applying for in you summary section you also need to put it in bullets under each job or company that you have worked for. Personally, I think that it is a bit of "word over kill" but if that is what they want that is what we must do. Not to mention the fact that more than likely these very same keywords will likely be in your skill section, too. For the most part, long gone are the days that people not programs first looked at your resume.

With keywords, look at the job description that you are wanting to apply for. If I were looking for a job programming

I will talk more about keywords in a later post on the format of your resume.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Another Reason To Network While Unemployed

As you may know, I have been unemployed since the beginning of this year. I have been looking for a job in the semiconductor industry with no luck so far, most of the companies have hiring freezes in place. Luckily for me, I was there long enough that my severance will carry me for several more months. Since there are basically no jobs (even though I do look) I have mainly been focusing on networking.

Through my networking, I have found previous bosses, managers and coworkers (even those who had left the company that I last worked for). Quite a few of these people have started their own design house consulting companies. One of the owners of these new companies found me though one of my LinkedIn connections. We have met several times and are now collaborating on creating a computer program. While this is not bringing in income yet, it could possibly turn out to bring in quite a bit of income for the both of us.

So, make a list of past bosses, managers and coworkers find them and see what they are doing now. You never know when you will find someone who knows of a job opening that is now publically posted or finding someone to collaborate with on a new idea. Even if this collaboration does not turn out to create income; it keeps you busy, uses your job skills and keeps them current, can keep you sane in a lengthy unemployment period and it keeps your name out there.

Like the quote that I am sure everyone has heard at least one time "it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease" the more that you are out there and in peoples minds the more likely you are eventually going to find a job. I think this is more true in these times than ever. I was looking in this Sunday's Dallas Morning News papers job section and there was only one page of want ads. Years back, the same paper had sections of want ads. Today's job market is not what it once was.