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6 Rules to Get Your Resume the Attention it Deserves

1. Basic Guidelines for Resume Preparation

a. Typesetting
You can use your own computer with word processing software such as Word or Word Perfect. The quality of this method depends greatly upon the kind of printer you use with your computer. A less desirable method is to use a typewriter. If you do use a typewriter, make sure that it is in good condition, and use a new ribbon.

b. Printing
If you have a laser printer attached to your computer, you can elect to print multiple copies of your resume that way. The quality of a resume which you type on your computer and produce on your laser printer should be excellent; almost as good as one that is typeset by a professional and reproduced at a nearby printer. Be aware that the typed copy on your laser-printed resume can “crack” along the crease if you fold it. If that happens to your laser-printed resume, mail them to firms flat in a “9 x 12” envelope.

2. Helpful Hints on Writing Your Resume

Start your resume writing process by listing your jobs and what your day to day activities are/were.

  • Write job descriptions in easy-to-understand terms, and as completely as space allows.
  • Organize these by your employer in the suggested format.
  • Next list all your skills, technical knowledge, and computer skills.
  • Group your technical skills or other skills at the beginning of your resume under a summary paragraph near the top of your resume. Be brief but be complete.
  • Finish with your pertinent education and/or training, seminars, work-related course work, etc.
    Include an objective if desired.
  • List “Under contract to” for any contract assignments you may have had.
  • Include total number of years experience.
  • Give security status, if any. If your security clearance has expired, include the date of expiration.
  • Include your name and page number on each page of a multiple page resume (except no number on first page).
  • If you want to use a better quality paper, consider a white bond paper with a rag content (available from most printers or paper supply stores). Rag bond, however, should not be used if you are printing copies of your resume on a photo copier (such as Xerox), as the letters may break up on folds.

3. Tips to HelpYou Shorten a Lengthy Resume

Have it typed by a professional typesetter.

Eliminate all extra spaces between lines (except between job assignments).

Use narrower margins.

Keep job descriptions to 3-5 sentences (especially for older positions).

If your “length” problem is due to an extensive number of job assignments, leave the oldest positions off and type the following at the bottom of the last page of your resume: “Experience from (date) to (date) available upon request.” Then prepare a “complete” resume to furnish only to firms asking for it.

4. Things You Should Do With Your Resume
Use “8-1/2″ X 11” paper.

List jobs in reverse chronological order.

Include both a permanent contact and present address and phone number. You may be contacted through a permanent address or phone, even after you have moved from your present address.

Make your resume as legible as possible.

Include your job discipline(s) near your name at the top of page one of your resume and as a title to each assignment.

Make your resume visually appealing, keeping your format consistent throughout.

Try to keep to a maximum of three pages (see “tips” if resume is longer than two pages).

Avoid much of the following: font changes, columns, italics, bolding, underlining, and graphics (see Resume Scanner Section).

Keep records of where and to whom your resume is being sent.
5. Things You Should Not Do With Your Resume

Don’t include hobbies.

  • Don’t include your Social Security Number.
  • Don’t use a “Job Objective.” A “Job Objective” tells the firms what you want from them whereas a “Summary” tells what you can do for them.
  • Don’t exaggerate your experience.
  • Don’t show salary or pay information.
  • Don’t offer explanations for leaving prior employers.
  • Don’t use your photograph.

Don’t use abbreviations (except those that are acceptable in the engineering/technical fields, such as IBM, CAD, E/M, etc.).
6. Many Firms Use Resume Scanners
More and more contract firms are utilizing scanners to input resumes into their computer databases. Because of that, new guidelines are required that will enable firms to scan your resume. Here are a few recommendations that will make your resume “scanner ready”:
Use white paper and black ink.

Don’t underline words.

Don’t use script or other fancy typefaces.

All letters should be of the same quality (no light or broken letters, no smudgy or filled-in letters, etc.)

Use adequate margins (at least 1/2″ on all sides).

Don’t hand write anything on your resume.

If using a dot matrix printer, utilize the best quality of type the printer provides (i.e. letter quality, dark copy, etc.).

Avoid boxes or unusual configurations.
NOTE: If you transmit your resume by using a FAX card in your personal computer, make sure you see what you transmit. Many resumes received in this manner, have problems (extraneous characters, missing copy, strange lines, etc.). Also, the format of the received resume is often different than what you think you are transmitting. Try faxing to a friend or local fax number so you can physically see what everyone else sees!


Getting Yourself Hired by a Great Company: Five Techniques for Mastering Job Interviews



A terrific job interview is about the employer and their problems – not about what you want or need.  The employer has a problem and is looking for you to solve it. They need someone for a variety of reasons but whatever their reasons – they are looking for someone to solve a problem, and you have to show how are the optimal person to do that for the company, given this specific situation.

Finding out first what problems the company has is the best strategy. Start by thinking how you can help troubleshoot and provide what they need and move the interview forward using this approach.

Act like you are part of the team now.  Offer stories about how you have been effective in previous roles and how that applies to their current issues. Never talk about “We” or the team you worked with before. Use “I” and take credit for solutions you have come up with.

Answer questions directly. Don’t just answer with affirmative and negative responses but rather give some of the details. Be brief  and let them ask for more detail or ask them if they would like more detail after you have given your less-detailed answer. Look at their body language and see when they appear interested or bored and follow through accordingly.

When asked for details, use this tell your anecdotes with relevant facts. Show off your experience by illustrating them with 3 to 5 minute examples of things you have done in your previous career. Never bore your interviewer by overwhelming them. Stories are more memorable that lots of facts and figures, but keep them somewhat brief.

Stay organized and don’t be a passive answerer of questions. Take control of the interview to the extent that you know your agenda. Don’t think of this as a job interview but rather as a sales presentation. You are selling the one thing you know more about than anyone and everyone else in the world, you are selling yourself. This is no time for excessive modesty. On the other hand, humility, when it does not take away from your presentation, can be an endearing trait, so balance these two against each other.


Rules for Dealing with Human Resources Pros

Posted by Donald Sonn – Professional Recruiter Associates

Here are the rules we live by when working to bring new employees to HR Directors and other hiring authorities:
1. Don’t waste their time. You don’t have nearly enough to start with. Do everything you can to avoid wasting their time.
2. Use email as much as possible instead of the telephone. Recruiters must use the telephone in order to “sell” but remember that the customer comes first.
3. Keep reminding them where we are in the process because this is just one of a hundred things on their “top priority” list today.
4. Don’t send them resumes you found on a national job board. They’re already looking there. Besides, they need you because you have the time and recruiting talent to work the phones and really dig for the top talent they’re looking for.
5. If they tell you something one day and then change course the next, understand that unless they have the title “VP” or “Owner” after their name, they’re really just responding to the ever-changing needs of their organization.
6. Take burdens off of them by:

  • Don’t send them junk resumes.
  • Understand their Job Order and the requirements for the position.
  • Interview your candidates thoroughly and attach a summary.
  • Offer to complete reference checks.
  • Stay in touch daily with your candidate and keep them informed so you can report and update progress to their next boss.
  • Know your candidate’s needs in terms of salary & benefits before you invest their time and energy.
  • Be a great salesperson when it comes to the offer, and close the deal.
  • Know what’s going on in their business and who the players are. Yes, this is the core basic recruiter skill of knowing who is in the decision making loop. Ask them and they’ll be happy to tell you who the decision makers are.
  • Don’t push them if they don’t want to give you certain information. (Examples: Other positions they’re working to fill; full salary range data; succession plans; etc.) You may ask if it’s something they’d rather not share, but if you push too hard you may find you no longer have them as a client.
  • Show appreciation. Thank you cards, with a sincere hand-written note, really will help build the relationship. (Remember, you are in the relationships business!)
  • Make sure you make them look good. Take every opportunity to brag them up to their boss and the hiring manager, and give them credit for snagging the great new hire (It will be our little secret!).

Working with “their” recruiter has got to be one of their positive experiences.
Professional Recruiter Associates is a world-wide firm of executive search consultants dedicated to matching the right Talent to our clients’ needs.
Our executive search consultants fully understand the issues of real business that our clients experience on a daily basis. Our added value is that we approach assignments from a business point of view, have experience in our industry sectors, and are trained to assess candidates from a skills, cultural fit and personality profile perspective.


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