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The Crossroads of Special Operations

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Rocking out on your resume | Sam Havelock

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More than a summary of your qualifications, more than just daily fodder for a hiring manager, the resume is more than just a printed 8.5” x 11” document to the average job seeker. That’s you.

A well-written resume is the main attraction in every job application. It’s your past and present written and documented on a piece of paper and it will soon define a very near and likely future. Like the final plate to serve over a 10-course mystery Lauriat, the resume is where the final showdown gets decided.

Okay, perhaps that was a bit on the edge right here.

Truth of the matter is, your resume gets you where you want to be. The cover letter kills on first contact, but the resume performs the double tap. The cover letter is a fanfare intro to the real surprise inside every portfolio.

As much as it can help highlight your best points as an applicant, what scores you the job is a clean cut, crystal clear résumé. Spiffing up your cover letter and jacking up details on that résumé would only be as effective if you had the goods to go with it in real-time.

Believe it or not, what you actually think makes you the perfect candidate takes a little less than 10 seconds from getting vetted or set aside by the man above. For sure, the powers that be in the corporate world know a thing or two when it comes to working cons, so be warned.

While most job seekers focus on presenting themselves in an interview, nothing compares to a well-woven résumé that screams out with a little personality. I’m referring to the X factor that makes you stand out among other qualified candidates.

Your goods. Your selling points. Your special angle.

Moving closer towards landing that dream job, here is a list of what CEOs and HR managers want to see on résumés and job applications that go beyond the usual list of job titles and college degrees.

Always remember that special skills actually matter. Like those late-night classes in Spanish Flamenco, which you found somewhat relevant to your application for that startup tequila company. Your specific skill set might have the head honcho think differently about you.

Showing your weaknesses can have the same effects as flaunting your strengths, but stating your apparent willingness to keep learning and broadening your skills might be the golden ticket you have been pining for.

That, and a milestone filled professional career timeline.

Watching your steps.  

Most talent scouts and recruitment specialists prefer the traditional format in reviewing applications where you list your current or most recent job first. Hence, the first step is to remember to put in the most relevant experience where it matters, in this case, the reverse-chronological format.

In this most common and traditional resume format, relevant work experience is listed beginning with your most recent position and proceeding in retrospect while succinctly outlining your key responsibilities and achievements in every role. In this particular order, you effectively highlight your upward career progression and continuous work history.

In reverse chronology, each employment milestone will include job title, company information and the dates of employment. This is ideally followed by a one liner description of that particular role and maybe a few bullet points devoted to your accomplishments while performing the role.

Much like end credits rolling by on the silver screen.

As your resume goes further into the past, the descriptions you put in can become less detailed. However, remember that the details you place on your resume will represent you on paper.

When the time comes and your file is pulled up for a vacancy, it would probably be best that all the details, every nook and cranny of that resume, is where your mind will be. There is always truth to the saying “Honesty is the best policy”.

That, and “Background checks are real”.

Setting yourself up on a reverse chronology resume means that you should put money where your mouth is. Every credential, award, position attained, years employed should match up to what is read on paper. All in black and white.

Do not even pretend to be someone you’re not. It won’t help you get that job, what’s worse, when you risk getting found out and still move on with your charade, no one will touch your resume ever again once you get caught. Not even with a ten-foot pole.

If there’s one thing that resumes are known for, it’s that this piece of paper reveals the truth with every job applicant. Pretending is totally useless and shameful. In reverse chronology, the applicant poseur is caught trying to rig the years.

If there’s one thing I learned from Marty McFly and Doc Emmet Brown, it’s never mess up timelines.

On the next chapter, you’ll learn more about how to rock out on your resume just by simply filling up the blanks on your employment timeline. Let’s learn more on how we can mind the gaps in employment by addressing every pressing concern.

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