WEEK NINE_1 - WEEK NINE: RESUMES This week, we examine one...

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WEEK NINE: RESUMES This week, we examine one of the most common business documents on the planet – the resume. Regardless of what field you are in, or how high up the food chain you sit, you will look at, need, use, be confounded and annoyed by the ubiquitous resume. If you are looking for a job, this document will more or less be your engraved invitation to an interview. If you are hiring someone to fill a position in your company, you will look at resume after resume, trying to figure out if that piece of paper accurately reflects the person who wrote it. No matter which side of the fence you sit on, you will encounter the resume. So let’s begin… RESUMES “Resume” is a French word meaning “to summarize,” which makes sense because a resume really is a summary of your professional qualifications. Resumes are commonly used in the private sector, whereas something called the curriculum vitae or CV is used to find jobs in the academic sector. The difference between the two is really the focus – whereas the resume summarizes your work experience and professional qualifications, the CV summarizes your education, research and publications…and I use the term “summarize” loosely, because I’ve seen CV’s that exceed 20 pages…a definite no-no when you write a resume. If you do a Google search of the word “resume” you will find plenty of resume writing services. These are businesses that offer to write your resume for you. This sounds great in theory – you hand over all the particulars about your qualifications and let someone else worry about putting it all together – but it is usually a mistake. It’s best to write your own resume. You know yourself better than anyone else and are much more invested in selling yourself than some outside company would be. Plus, many of these services offer “cookie cutter” resumes, and you run the risk of employment officers recognizing the style of the local agencies. You will be more likely to adapt your resume to different situations; you will modify the resume for each job application. When you think about crafting your resume, think about this: appearance is important. First impressions make a lasting impact. Your resume is a reflection of your professionalism. This may be the most important document of your career. If you can’t take time to perfect it, what does that say about your work? I cannot tell you how many times I have sat on hiring committees and waded through sloppy resumes. I can never understand why someone would allow the first contact I have with them to be so negative. You wouldn’t show up at a job interview dressed in muddy clothes, smoking a cigar and singing off-key, would you? (Or maybe you would, I don’t know.) My point is, your resume is my first impression of you – make it a good one. Your resume is also a sample of your technical writing – it reflects how well you might
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WEEK NINE_1 - WEEK NINE: RESUMES This week, we examine one...

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