UNDATED - Looking for job has become a full-time task for thousands of people across metro Detroit. What companies want in a resume today is probably a lot different that what they wanted the last time you looked for work.
"I haven't put a resume together in about 18 years," said Mair Green.
She is like a lot of people. After nine years away from the daily grind of a job, she's ready to go back to work.
"Our youngest is in school full-time now, and that was sort of the wait. I was mom for a long time, and it's time to find a job," Green said.
She has plenty of experience, but it just wasn't translating well to paper. She needed help reworking her resume. Her first mistake was selling herself short.
"I was afraid that some of the details in my job experience were a little nitty-gritty, boring (and) mundane, and she said that actually those were skills that people don't always have anymore. So, they should be played up," said Green.
"Focus on kind of the fact that I am somewhat assertive and not afraid of phones. It seems there's a lot of people that are a little uncomfortable with things, and in a sales capacity, I'm willing to make cold calls," she added.
Another mistake was trying to save space by cutting out specifics. She mentioned her computer experience, but not the software program she knows how to use.
"The last time I was in... a class where they were telling you to write resumes, it was keep it to one page," Green said. "(She) did let me know that given my skill sets and the different backgrounds that I have that she would actually say there's not enough on here, that I should expand it, and it is okay to go on to two pages."
Details are important, but don't get too creative. Exaggerating experience or credentials can lead to trouble down the road.
"My B.A. status is in limbo due to lack of funds to continue my education, and I had written 'pursuing,'" said Green. "Since I'm not actively enrolled, she helped me find some new phrasing instead to sort of list how many credit hours I have towards a degree."
Jeff Dameron sees a lot of resumes. He volunteers at job fairs to help potential candidates. His best advice is that the days of a one size fits all resume are over. You have to think tailor-made.
"You may want to tailor your experience and your education and your qualifications to a specific job versus a general, I'm just seeking a position of employment at whatever. I think your... chances of employment may increase if you're more specific and tailored to a particular job," he said.
Many companies are going high tech to sort through the hundreds of resumes received for a single job listing. They use scanning and sorting software, but Jeff says you can use that to your advantage.
"There going to have... specific keywords in the job description that you're looking for. So, you can create a specific career objective that maybe utilizes two or three of those words that was in their job posting, and kind of tailor it, I'm looking for a position at such and such company to utilize these particular skills. That might help them get picked up by the auto search mechanisms," he said.
Many companies are now relying on those auto scanners to help in the resume screening process.
The best advice is never consider your resume to be finished. It's a work in progress, and you should update it every couple of months.
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