by Richard N. Bolles
I know what you’re thinking. I’m out of work, I’ve got to go job-huntin’. So the first thing I have to do is put together my resume.
Yeah, that used to be true.
In “the old days.” Before the Internet became popular with job-hunters.
Back then, the only way an interviewer could learn much about you was from a piece of paper that you yourself wrote—with maybe a little help from your friends—called your resume, or C.V. (an academic term meaning “curriculum vitae”).
On that paper was a summary of where you had been and all you had done in the past. From that piece of paper, the employer was supposed to guess what kind of person you are in the present and what kind of employee you’d be in the future.
The good thing about this—from your point of view—was that you had absolute control over what went on that piece of paper.
You could omit anything that was embarrassing, or anything from your past that you have long since regretted.
Short of their hiring a private detective, or talking to your previous employers, a prospective employer couldn’t find out much else about you.
That was nice. But now those days are gone forever.
Since 2008, and even before, there’s been a new resume in town, and it’s called Google.
All any employer has to do is type your name into a search engine (such as Google), and bammo! If you’ve been anywhere near the Internet—and over 80% of us in the U.S. have1—and if you’ve posted anything on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Pinterest, or YouTube, or if you have your own website or webcasts or photo album or blog, or if you’ve been on anyone else’s Facebook page, every aspect of you may be revealed (depending on your privacy controls).
So naturally, a vast majority of employers now Google your name—yes, Google has become both noun and verb—before they’ll consider hiring you. There’s your new resume, using the word resume loosely. Bye, bye, control.
Statistics are hard to come by, and they tend to be all over the map. Some are from very old surveys or very limited surveys (such as
100 employers). What we know for sure is that somewhere between 35% and 70% of employers now report that they have rejected applicants on the basis of what they found through Google. Things that can get you rejected: bad grammar or gross misspelling on your Facebook or LinkedIn profile; anything indicating you lied on your resume; any badmouthing of previous employers; any signs of racism, prejudice, or screwy opinions about stuff; anything indicating alcohol or drug abuse; and any—to put it delicately—inappropriate content, etc.
What is sometimes forgotten is that this works both ways. Sometimes—
29% of the time, it is claimed—an employer will offer you a job because they were impressed by what Google turned up about you. Things like the creativity or professionalism you demonstrate online; your expressing yourself extremely well online; their overall impression of your personality online; the wide range of interests you exhibit online; and evidence online that you get along well and communicate well with other people.
But what you want to know is how to manage or remove anything online that would cause a prospective employer to reject you.
Is there anything you can do about this new Google resume of yours? Well, yes actually, there are four things you can do.
You can edit, fill in, expand, and add. Let’s see what each of these involves.
First of all, think of how you would like to come across, when you are being considered for a job. Make a list of adjectives you’d like the employer to think of, when they consider hiring you. For example, how about: professional? experienced? inventive? hard working? disciplined? honest? trustworthy? kind? What else? Make a list.
Then Google yourself and read over everything the search engine pulls up about you. Go over any pages you have put up on social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Plaxo, MySpace, Pinterest, or YouTube, and remove anything you posted there, or allowed others to post, that contradicts the impression you would like to make, anything that might cause a would-be employer to think, “Uh, let’s not call them in, after all.” You have the list, above, of what to look for.
If you don’t know how to remove an item from a particular site, type or speak the following into a search engine like Google: “How to remove an item from Facebook” or whatever.
The site itself may not tell you, but using your favorite search engine, you should have no trouble finding somebody’s detailed, step-by-step instructions for scrubbing any site.
I guarantee you’re hardly the first one with this need, so someone clever has already figured out how to do it, and posted the answer. But you want current instructions, so look at the date on the list of items the search engine pops up. Pick the most recent, and do what they say.
If you want to be thorough, you should do this editing on any and all sites that you find you’re on.
Now to the second of the four things you can do about your new Google resume (so to speak):
2. Fill In.
On any of these sites, but on LinkedIn or Plaxo in particular, if they allow you to fill out a profile, fill it out completely. I mean completely; cross every t, and dot every i, have someone check your spelling. Leave no part of the profile blank unless you have a very good reason. If you’re on Twitter, fill out your profile completely there, too. For help, see such sites as http://blazingminds.co.uk/write-twitter-bio-gains-followers or https://support.twitter.com/articles/20005336-promoting-your-profile#.
More importantly, be sure to keep each profile up-to-date. Really up-to-date. There is nothing that makes you look less professional than having an obviously outdated profile.
Last thought here: I mentioned LinkedIn; be sure to get on it, if you’re not already. More than 200 million other people have, and it became the first social media site to go public. It’s the site of first resort when some employer is curious about you. It allows corporate and agency headhunters to avoid advertising an open position, but nonetheless to go “trolling” on LinkedIn for what employers call “passive job-seekers.” You ain’t lookin’ for them, but they are lookin’ for you. Of course you have no control over whether they find you, except for being sure you have a completely filled-out profile. (They search by keywords.)
Now to the third thing you can do about your new Google resume:
Expand your presence on the Internet. How to do this? Several ways:
Forums. Professional sites like LinkedIn have forums, or groups, organized by subject matter. Other social networking sites, like Facebook, have pages devoted to particular subjects. Look through the directory of those groups or forums, choose one or two that are related to your industry or interests, and after signing up, speak up regularly whenever you have something to say that will quietly demonstrate you are an expert in your chosen subject area. Otherwise, keep quiet. Don’t speak up about just anything. You want to be seen as a specialist—knowledgeable and focused. You want to get noticed by employers when they’re searching for expert talent in your field or specialty.
Blogs. Start a blog (that’s short for “web log,” which most people now don’t remember), if you don’t already have one. It doesn’t matter what your expertise is; if it’s related to the job you are looking for, do a blog, and update it regularly. And if you don’t know how to blog, there are helpful sites such as Blogger.com, at http://tinyurl
.com/294vgzr, which give you detailed instructions. Incidentally, there are over 181 million blogs on the Internet. Figure out how to make yours stand out.
If you already have a blog, but it roams all over the countryside in terms of subject matter, then start a new blog that is more narrowly preoccupied with your particular area of expertise. Post helpful articles there, focused on action steps, not just thoughts. Let’s say you are an expert plumber; you can post entries on your blog that deal with such problems as “how to fix a leaky toilet,” etc. Generally speaking, employers are looking for blogs that deal with concrete action, rather than lofty philosophical thought. Unless, of course, they represent a think tank.
Twitter. Some experts claim that blogs are so yesterday. Communication, they say, is moving toward brief, and briefer. Texting has become hugely, hugely, popular. So has Twitter. Twitter now has over 500 million users, who post over 400 million “tweets” a day.2 Twitter’s advantage is that it has hashtags,3 and Google is indexing all those tags and “tweets.” Savvy employers know how to do Twitter searches on Google (or on Twitter itself, for that matter). All you have to figure out is which hashtags employers are likely to look for, when they want to find someone with your expertise and experience.
Videos. Presentation is moving strongly these days toward the visual. People like to see you, not just read you. Expensive equipment not required. The Flip video camcorder used to be the most popular and inexpensive way to record yourself; but that is ancient history, now. It was displaced, as you might guess, by smartphones, which usually can do video, and sometimes rather surprisingly good video.
As for where to post your video, once you’ve shot and edited it, the champion of course is YouTube—1 billion users, 4 billion views per day. But there are other choices: see PCGDigitalMarketing’s list, found at http://tinyurl.com/8owtlbo.
Now to the fourth and final thing you can do about your new Google resume:
The kind of resume everyone thinks of when they hear the word (the pre-Google resume) still has its uses. It will take any employer or HR department some time to sift through all the stuff about you that may appear when they do a Google search. You would help them by summarizing and organizing the pertinent information about yourself. You do this by—surprise!—composing an old type resume. And you can post it on the Internet (where Google will find it), as well as taking or sending it to an interested employer.
You wanna do this? Of course you do. Here’s an outline you may find useful for gathering that information about yourself.
Since a resume is about your past, this gives you a framework for recalling that past.
A Starter Kit for Writing Your Resume4
Think of your working and personal skills that you believe you possess innately, or have picked up along the way. Which ones are you proud of? What things have you done in your life or work experience that no one else has done, in quite the same way? Take some blank sheets of paper and fill in any answers that occur to you.
It is important to be quantitative when you do this (e.g., mention dates, percentages, dollars, money or time saved, brand names, etc.).
Volunteer, Community, and Unpaid Work
1. Have you completed any voluntary or unpaid work for any organization or company? (e.g., church, synagogue, mosque, school, community service, or special needs organization)
2. Did you work while you were studying? If so, did you receive any promotions or achievements in that role?
3. Did you gain any scholarships?
4. Were you involved in any committees, etc.?
5. Did you win any awards for study?
6. Did you have any high (e.g., A or A+) grades? If so, what were the subjects—and grades?
Sales or Account Management
Have you ever been in sales? If so, what were some of your achievements? For example:
7. Have you ever consistently exceeded your set budget in that role? If so, by what percent or dollar value?
8. Have you exceeded your set budget in a particular month(s)/quarter(s) in a role? If so, by what percent or dollar value?
9. What level were you, compared to other sales professionals in your company? (e.g., “Number three out of twenty on the sales team.”)
10. Have you ever increased market share for your company? If so, by what percent or dollar value?
11. Have you ever brought in any major clients to your company?
12. What major clients are/were you responsible for managing and selling to?
13. Did you ever manage to generate repeat business or increase current business? If so, by what percent or dollar value?
14. Have you won any internal or external sales awards?
15. Did you develop any new successful promotional or marketing ideas that increased sales?
Administration, Customer Service,
Have you ever been in customer service or helped run a business unit? If so:
16. Did you assist in reducing customer complaints, etc.?
17. Did you set up or improve any systems and/or processes?
18. Was there a quantifiable difference in the company or business unit when you first joined the business or project and when you completed the project or left the business?
19. Did you take any old administration or paperwork-based systems and convert them into an IT-based system?
20. Have you ever been responsible for the purchase of any goods or services in some job? (e.g., air travel or PC acquisition)
21. Have you ever had any budget responsibility? If so, to what level? (e.g., “Responsible for division budget of $200,000 per annum.”)
22. Have you ever been responsible for any staff oversight? If so, in what capacity and/or how many staff members were you responsible for?
23. Were you responsible for any official or unofficial training? If so, what type, for whom, and how many people have you trained? (e.g., “Responsible for training twelve new staff in customer service as well as in using the in-house computer system.”)
24. Were you responsible for any official or unofficial coaching or mentoring of other staff?
Events or Conference Planning or
25. Have you organized any events or conferences? If so, how large were they (both people attending and total budget if possible) and where and when was the event(s) held?
26. Have you been involved in any major relocation projects?
27. Have you had responsibility with regard to any major suppliers? If so, who?
28. What systems, software, and hardware experience do you have? Desktop, notebook, mobile, smartphones? Mac OS, Android, or Windows? And how deep is your expertise with any of these?
29. What software have you utilized? Or what software have you developed? Mobile apps? Systems software?
30. Have you developed any websites? If so, what were they, and did they positively affect any business you were doing? Are you on LinkedIn, Plaxo, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, etc., and if so how deep an expertise do you have with any of these sites?
31. Were you involved in any special projects that were outside of your job description?
32. Other than computers, have you had experience on any kinds of machines or equipment? Please list them together with the number of years.
33. If you ever worked on transportation devices, what were the airplane, farm equipment, truck, car, machine, or bike brands that you serviced, maintained, or repaired?
Building, Construction, Electrical,
34. If you ever worked in those fields, were there any major projects you worked on? How much did the project(s) cost? (e.g., “Reception refurbishment—ABC Bank [Auckland Central Head Office] $1.2m.”)
35. How long have you spent within any industry? (e.g., “Twelve years’ experience within the fashion industry.”)
36. Were you promoted in any of your roles? If so, in what years and to which roles?
37. Was extra authority awarded to you after a period of time within a role? (e.g., “Commenced as receptionist; then, after three months, awarded by being given further clerical responsibilities including data entry and accounts payable.”) It is not necessary that these responsibilities awarded to you should have changed your job title and/or salary.
38. Have you been asked to take part in, or lead, any trainee management courses or management development programs?
39. Were you asked to get involved in any special projects outside your job description? Or, did you ever volunteer for such? What was the result?
40. Have you ever received any written or verbal client, customer, or managerial commendations or letters of praise?
41. Can you think of any occasions where you gave excellent customer service? If so, how did you know the customer was satisfied? (Also: What was the outcome? How did it benefit the company?)
42. Did you receive any awards within your company or industry? (e.g., “Acknowledged for support or service of clients or staff, etc.”)
43. Have you been a representative on any committees (e.g., health and safety committee)? Any special responsibilities there?
44. Do you belong or have you belonged to any professional clubs such as Toastmasters, Lions, or Rotary?
Published or Presented Work
45. Have you had any articles, papers, or features published in any magazines, journals, or books? If so, what publications and when? Have you written any books?
46. Have you presented any topics at any conferences or completed any public speaking? If so, what subjects have you talked about and how large was the audience? List in detail.
47. What value do you think you would add to a potential employer’s business? How would you be “a resource” or even “a resource-broker” for them, rather than just “a job beggar”? What kind of problems are you good at solving?
48. How do you think you would stand out compared to other applicants who have about the same qualifications as you have?
That should give you a good start. Modify the list any way you want to—add items and questions to it, change the wording, whatever.
If you need additional guidance, search Google for the topic “keywords on an electronic resume” or “examples of resumes.” Or “how to write a resume,” or “tips on writing a resume.” This will not only turn up free resources and advice on the Internet and for-fee resources, such as professional resume writers, but also the names of books, if you want to get very thorough.5
As for what is the proper form for a resume, there are no rules. The only question is: is there a particular place or kind of place where you’d like to work, and if so, will the person there who has the power to hire you for the kind of job you want, be persuaded by your resume to invite you in? If the answer is, Yes, then it matters not what form your resume takes.
To illustrate my point, I used to have a hobby of collecting “winning” resumes—that is, resumes that had actually gotten someone an interview and, ultimately, a job. Being playful by nature, I would show these without comment, to employer friends of mine, over lunch. Many of them didn’t like these winning resumes at all. “That resume will never get anyone a job,” they would say. Then I would reply, “Sorry, you’re wrong. It already has. I think what you mean is that it wouldn’t get them a job with you.”
The resume reproduced on the opposite page is a good example of what I mean; it’s dated, but it’s still my favorite.
Like the employer who hired him, I loved this resume. Yet some of the employers I showed it to (over lunch, as I said) criticized it for using a picture or for being too long, or for being too short, etc. In other words, had Jim sent that resume to them, they wouldn’t have invited him in for an interview.
The brutal truth is, no matter how skillfully you write and post your resume, some employers will like it, some won’t. Trouble is, if you’re interested in some employer, you don’t know which category they fit into. That’s why many job-hunters, if they use resumes, pray as they post their resume: Please, dear God, let them be employers who like resumes in general, and may the form of my resume appeal to those employers I care about, in particular.
Whatever form you decide on, write the resume and then post it everywhere you can, online: on the omnibus job boards, famous job boards, community bulletin boards, and niche sites. For lists of such sites, go to Quintessential Careers’ great website, which you can find at http://tinyurl.com/3nnqhse.
Incidentally, if this all seems like just too much trouble, there are resume distribution services that will do this blanket posting for you, if you wish, sometimes without a fee, but most often for fees ranging from fifty to one hundred bucks (see www.forwardyourresume.com for very useful evaluations of the top ten such services). Whether it will pay you or not to use one of these services is, in my opinion, largely a matter of luck. Blind, dumb, luck. Personally, I’d always try to do this myself before giving money to anyone else.
If you decide to do this for yourself, my advice is: post it right on the actual website of companies that interest you, if they have a site, and if their site permits that. This, of course, assumes you have figured out where you would most like to work, if they’ll have you (more on this later in the book). In this post-2008 period, I recommend you pay particular attention to small employers (25 or fewer employees, 50 or fewer, 100 or fewer), and newer organizations (7 years old or less).
If you post your resume on the sites of particular employers, large or small, don’t count on any acknowledgment or reply. Just post the thing, cross your fingers, and pray it arrives at the right time, at the right place, into the hands of the right person: the one who actually has the power to hire you.
Alternatives to the Classic Resume
A cover letter was, for decades, something you sent along with your resume. Now, many employers prefer a cover letter instead of your resume. That brief cover letter can summarize all that a longer resume might have covered. I get this kind of report all the time, from successful job-hunters: “Cover letter. Make it personal and specific to THAT job. I was directly told in two interviews that my unique cover letter got me in the door. I researched the companies. . . .”
If you don’t know what a cover letter is, or how to write it, the Internet can rescue you handily. Just type “cover letters” into your favorite search engine. You’ll be surprised at how many tips, examples, etc., you find. Look especially for Susan Ireland’s Cover Letter Guide at http://susanireland.com/letter/how-to. It’s good, and it’s free.
Incidentally, recent surveys have revealed that many employers prefer a cover letter to a resume.
Another alternative to a classic resume is a Job or Career Portfolio. A portfolio may be electronic (posted on the Internet) or on paper/in a notebook/in a large display case (as with artists), demonstrating your accomplishments, experience, training, commendations, or awards, from the past. Artists have a portfolio, with samples of their work. You probably knew that. But portfolios are equally apt in other fields.
Instead of “portfolio” we might just call them, “Evidence of What I Can Do and Have Done,” or “Proof of Performance.” For guidance on how to prepare a job portfolio, and what to include, simply type “job or career portfolio” into Google; you’ll get a wealth of tips and information.
Some Friendly Reminders About Your “Pre-Google Resume”
1. If you’re blanketing the Internet with that resume, be cautious about including any stuff on the resume that would help someone find out where you live or work, particularly if you’re a female. No, I’m not being sexist. It’s just that there are some sick people out there. Sick in the head, that is. If I were you, I’d be sure to leave out my address and home phone number. Just an e-mail address should more than suffice.
2. If you are targeting particular employers, rather than or in addition to broad job-sites, keep in mind that a resume is best not sent solely by e-mail, particularly if it’s an attachment, and not embedded in the body of the e-mail. Many employers, leery of viruses, will not even open e-mail attachments (and that includes your resume). Send it by e-mail if you must, but always send a nicer version of it by the postal service, or UPS, or FedEx, etc.
3. If you’re going to snail-mail a resume to a target employer, pay attention to the paper you write or print it on. Picture this scenario: an employer is going through a whole stack of resumes, and on average he or she is giving each resume about eight seconds of their time (true: we checked!). Then that resume goes either into a pile we might call “Forgeddit,” or a pile we might call “Bears further investigation.” And what determines which pile? The feel of the paper. Yes, that employer’s first contact with your resume is with their fingers. By the pleasure or displeasure of their fingers, they are prejudiced in your favor before they even start reading, or prejudiced against you. Usually they are not even aware of this. Anyway, this is why you want the paper to feel good. That usually means using paper weighing at least 28 pounds (a paper’s weight is on the outside of every package). And you want it to be easy to read—so be sure it’s nicely laid out or formatted, using a decent-sized font, size 12 or even 14, etc.
4. A resume should have a purpose, at least in your mind. It might be that you’re posting it online, just to collect and organize all pertinent information about yourself in one place, so that when an employer Googles you they find this, nice and concise, in contrast to all the other stuff about you that Google will find, scattered all over the Internet.
5. Your purpose, for your resume, if you’re targeting individual employers, is to get yourself invited in for an interview. Period. This truth, unfortunately, is not widely known. Most job-hunters (and more than a few resume writers) assume a resume’s purpose is to “sell you,” or secure you a job. It does happen. But mostly the purpose of a resume is just to get invited in for an interview, where it will then be time for you to sell yourself. In person. Face to face. Not on paper. So, read over every single sentence in your resume and evaluate it by this one standard: “Will this item help to get me invited in? Or will this item seem too puzzling, or off-putting, or a red flag?” If you doubt a particular sentence will help get you invited in for an interview, then omit that sentence. If it’s important to you, give yourself a note to be sure to cover it in the interview. And if there is something you feel you will ultimately need to explain, or expand upon, save that explanation also for the interview. Your resume is, above all, no place for “true confessions.” (“I kind of botched up, at the end, in that job; that’s why they let me go, as I’m sure they’ll tell you when you check my references.”) If you want the interviewer to know that, in the interest of full disclosure, don’t put it in your resume. Save true confessions for the end of the interview, and only if you’re confident at that point that they really want you, and you really want them.
6. The same advice applies to discussing any non-visible or non-obvious handicap you may have. Generally speaking—there are exceptions—don’t mention it as early as the resume. And even when you’re in the interview, don’t discuss right off the bat what you can’t do. Focus all their attention, initially, on what you can do—that you can perform all the tasks required in this job. Save what you can’t do for the moment when they say they really want you.
7. If you’re coming out of some subculture that has its own language (military, clergy, etc.) get some help in translating your experience into the language of employers. For example, “preached” should be replaced by “taught.” “Commanded” should be replaced by “supervised,” etc.
8. “Keywords” are important if you’re posting your resume without specific employers in mind. A good article about keywords—what they are, how to insert them in your resume—can be found in SqualkFox’s article, “8 Keywords That Set Your Resume on Fire,” at http://tinyurl.com/d9k4ns.
9. Finally, don’t include references on your resume. Some career counselors and resume writers will disagree with me on this, but I think references are better offered after prospective employers have had a chance to see and talk with you. And please, please, please, never list somebody as a reference, at any time in your job-hunt, without first getting their written permission to do so. Be aware that your references, if they are checked out, will often be checked out over the phone, rather than in writing. But in case you may need something in writing, if your references permit you to use their name, ask them to give the letter of recommendation to you. You want to screen your references, believe me you do! Don’t assume they’ll give you a raving recommendation. Some of your preferred reference writers may turn out to be people who are by nature brutally honest. If they’ve never actually seen you at work, for example, they may say so, and decline to say whether you’d be an asset or not. That kind of “recommendation” is honest, but it won’t do you any good. You want to find this out before any prospective employer sees it. Then you can decide whether you want to use it or deep-six it, before you go into the interview.
10. Hard fact to learn, but you must learn it: some employers hate resumes. Why should that be any surprise? Currently, according to experts, 82% of all resumes have to be checked out, concerning the facts stated or the experience claimed. Lies are spreading like a plague, on resumes. Another hard fact: some employers love resumes. Unfortunately, it’s not for the reasons you think. They love them because they offer an easy way to cut down the time they have to spend interviewing candidates for a vacancy. Don’t forget this: for an employer, hiring is essentially an elimination game. Particularly where a lot of people are applying, they’re reading over your resume looking for one thing: a reason—any reason—to eliminate you, so they can cut that stack of resumes down to a manageable number for face-to-face interviewing (say, three to eight). Surveys show it only takes a skilled human resources person about eight seconds to scan a resume (thirty seconds, if they’re really dawdling), so getting rid of fifty job-hunters—I mean getting rid of fifty resumes—takes only half an hour or less. Whereas, interviewing those fifty job-hunters in person would have required a minimum of twenty-five hours. Great time savings—for them! No wonder employers invented resumes!
Where You Post Your Resume
Makes a Difference
This should guide you in your resume strategy, if you’re going to post a resume to supplement what else they’ll find online about you, with Google.
The number of interviews employers need to conduct to find a hire, stays pretty constant—around 5.4—once they’ve sifted through all the resumes or applications. So, to conserve their energy, they ask themselves, “Where would I have to read or sift through the least number of resumes, before I decide who to do those 5.4 interviews with?” Fortunately, we know the answer. Somebody did a study.6
If employers post their vacancy on a job-board such as CareerBuilder
.com or Monster.com, they have to look through 219 resumes from job-hunters who respond, before they find someone to interview and hire.
If employers consider resumes from job-hunters who come through social media sites, such as LinkedIn or Facebook, they have to look through 116 resumes, before they find someone to interview and hire.
If employers post their vacancy on their own website, they have to look through 33 resumes from job-hunters who respond, before they find someone to interview and hire.
If the job-hunter takes the initiative to find a very specific job, rather than waiting to find a vacancy, and does this, say, by typing the name of that kind of job into a search engine, then sending resumes to any companies whose name turns up, employers only have to look through 32 applications, before they find someone to interview and hire.
And if the job-hunter takes even more initiative, chooses a company where they’d like to work, and gets a referral (i.e., gets some employee within that company to recommend them), employers have to look through only 10 such candidates, before they find someone to interview and hire.
Okay, one more time: ever since 2008, do you need a resume?
Well, no you don’t, and yes you do.
You already have a kind of resume without lifting a finger, if you’ve been posting anything on the Internet. Google is your new resume. What an employer finds out about you simply by Googling your name, helps determine whether you get hired or not.
You’ve got to clean up what they’ll find, before they find it. Edit, fill in, expand, and add to it, before they see it.
But that, alone, is not enough. You need to summarize and organize the information about yourself in one place, online or off. And that means, you need to write the old kind of resume, that you did pre-2008.
Once written, you can go two ways with it. The first way is just to post it everywhere on the Internet, which is akin to nailing it to a tree in the town square, where everyone can see it. You just post it as is.
The second way is to send it to particular employers whom you have targeted, hoping that resume will get you an interview. Here you will need to edit it, before sending it to any employer. You will need to weigh every sentence in it by one criterion and one only: will this help get me invited in, for an interview? If the answer is No, you must edit or remove that sentence.
Because, these are the most fundamental truths about approaching individual employers:
The primary purpose of a resume is to get yourself invited in for an interview.
The primary purpose of that interview is to get yourself invited back for a second interview.
The primary purpose of the second and subsequent interviews there, is to help them decide that they like you and want you, once you’ve decided that you like them, and could do some of your best work there.
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014 Edition:
A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 It’s a Whole New World for Job-Hunters 1
Chapter 2 Google Is Your New Resume 21
Chapter 3 There Are Seven Million Vacancies This Month 43
Chapter 4 Sixteen Tips About Interviewing for a Job 51
Chapter 5 The Six Secrets of Salary Negotiation 81
Chapter 6 What to Do When Your Job-Hunt Just Isn’t Working 97
Chapter 7 You Need to Understand More Fully Who You Are 111
Chapter 8 You Need to Do Some Informational Interviewing 191
Chapter 9 How to Deal with Any Handicaps You Have 211
Chapter 10 Five Ways to Change Careers 231
Chapter 11 How to Start Your Own Business 247
The Pink Pages
A ppendix A Finding Your Mission in Life 266
A ppendix B A Guide to Dealing with Your Feelings
While Out of Work 289
A ppendix C A Guide to Choosing a Career Coach or Counselor 298
A ppendix D Sampler List of Coaches 315
The Final Word: Notes from the Author for This Edition 337
About the Author 343
Update 2015 353
Recent Foreign Editions of What Color Is Your Parachute? 354
Additional Helpful Resources from the Author 355
“Reprinted with permission from What Color Is Your Parachute? 2014 Edition: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers(Ten Speed Press, © 2013).”
Richard N. Bolles has led the job-search field for more than forty years. A member of Mensa and the Society for Human Resource Management, he has been the keynote speaker at hundreds of conferences. Bolles holds a bachelor’s degree cum laude
in physics from Harvard University, a master’s degree from General Theological (Episcopal) Seminary in New York City, and three honorary doctorates. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.