Monday, August 21, 2006

Resume Writing Tips

My real job is teaching and designing content for classes. Generally I teach in the mornings and oversee the Computer Lab in the afternoon when we open it up as a Public Access Facility.

One of the common things I am asked to do is to help people with their resume. I have been doing this for 4 1/2 years and in that time I have critiqued or written hundreds of damn resumes.

I have seen some very strange ones in my time.

A few examples:

Where I would have used the word 'Assertive', the author preferred 'I don't put up with no shit'.

Under the heading 'Hobbies and Interests' (which I personally think is potentially a mine field and never suggest that anyone should include it), "Nightclubbing and hanging out with my bro's".

'Reed and rite english good'

The absolute classic was a guy who did not want to put his name, address or phone number on his resume. "How are they going to get in touch with you?" I asked. His explanation was that if they were serious about hiring him, the company would find a way to track him down!

A couple of weeks ago someone asked me for help, he had no computer skills, so I invited him to sit down next to me and I would do the keyboard magic.

My usual technique is to use one of my sample resumes, most of the folks that I write resumes for are looking for pretty blue collar jobs, laboring, Painting, Restaurant, etc. I then pull up the appropriate one and change it around to meet the individual needs.

He had explained that he had an application for a job with the city and wanted to have a resume to send in with the application.

My question was "What is the Job?", the answer was "Ice Hockey Coach".

Hmmmm, well I must say that I do not have a hockey coach sample resume, but what the hell, I'll give it a whirl.

Objective: To find employment with an organization that can use my coaching, management, and sporting event experience.

So far so good!

I then flesh out the rest of the resume. The 'Highlights of Qualifications' was a bit of a challenge, so I added the tried and tested:
  • Great communication and organization skills
  • Dedication to the organizations aims
  • Dynamic and well organized management style
Then we enter the murky world of 'Employment History'. This is where the whole resume falls apart quicker than a Skoda motor car.

This guy has 20 years experience as a house painter! Internal and external, residential and commercial, he was well rounded!

"So, I see you have over 20 years experience as a painter, what makes you think that Hockey Coaching is for you?" I gently inquire.

He thinks about this for a few seconds. "well I am fed up with painting f'ing houses, and when I was a kid I played Hockey, so I know a lot about it. They would be crazy not to give me this job".

ARGHHHHHHHH just another boring day in paradise!


Life in the 80's said...

haha good stuff. I know where you are coming from, as I used to be a recruitment consultant, so had Resumes landing on my desk every day - and you do see some strange things. Funniest one I remember was a 2 year gap in their employment history. When I asked about this, I seriously expected to get the answer "I was in prison" or something like that. Nope. When I asked why the gap was there, the answer was "I was so damned trashed for those 2 years I cant honestly remember what I was doing"

Rey said...

This is hilarious man... A painter for a hockey coach? I might as well apply for a moon rover pilot if your resume can tweak those experiences. hehehe.

On the brighter side, at least you have free amusements every now and then.

Anonymous said...

At least he didn't want to be CEO of Disney World. ;) Cheers.