Your Experience With Resumes Please!


Hello reader! I have a request to make of you; if you would be so kind as to help me out. The team of Employment Counsellors I am part of is in the process of re-examining the topic of resumes. We’re looking at everything including format, content, construction and we’re also looking at how we deliver our resume workshop itself.

I’m hoping that after reading this piece, you might do me the great favour of providing some feedback to me given your own experience; feedback that I can bring to the discussion we’ll be having. I will appreciate all the feedback I receive of course, but I am especially interested in hearing from three groups: those holding Human Resource positions in companies who receive resumes, other Resume Experts, and you Job Seekers.

Here are some questions for each group of people to get you thinking:

Human Resource Personnel

  • Are you using Applicant Tracking Software?
  • What makes an effective resume?
  • What are you looking for in terms of content and layout?
  • Comment on the use of italics, fonts, white space, borders, boxes, lines etc.
  • What are your pet peeves; the turn-offs?
  • What advice would you pass on to make your job easier and find the right people?

Resume Experts

  • Do you deliver your advice 1:1, group facilitation or both?
  • How long do you typically take with an individual to produce their resume?
  • What headings and format do you use and why?
  • If you deliver resume workshops, what do those workshops look like?
  • Do you seek out the input from employers and if so how often?

Job Seekers

  • What’s been your experience with your resumes?
  • If you got help with your resume, what advice did you receive?
  • How would you like to receive help making your resume?
  • What did you learn that you hadn’t considered before?
  • Did the help you received produce more interviews?
  • Do you want a resume done for you or do you care to learn how to do it yourself?

Please don’t limit yourself to the questions I’ve posed above. If you have some insight into the resume experience to share I would be most grateful to hear whatever you have to say – and in your own words. While I have definitive opinions on the subject, and feel I’ve got expertise in resume writing, I know and understand the benefit of receiving input; especially from key stakeholders such as the three groups I’ve identified. Allow me to be the student and teach me what you know.

I’d also be most grateful if you would pass this piece on to those you know who might be willing to provide me with some feedback that I may not normally come in contact with. When responding, perhaps you could self-identify your position; Job Seeker, HR Professional, Resume Expert, Job Coach, etc. Whether you choose to identify yourself or request to remain anonymous, I will respect that request when pulling things together. It will be enough for me to identify your role, not necessarily the company you work for – unless of course you want that information known. You could even say you work with a large, medium or small company in the __________ sector. That would be interesting.

If there is sufficient feedback, I will share what I compile in some future piece; and if you prefer to email me personally rather than respond to this blog, you may do so using kelly.mitchell@durham.ca  or hobbitzaboo@hotmail.ca ; my work and individual emails.

My team is made up of Employment Counsellors who both deliver workshops and provide front-line assistance in an Employment Resource Drop-in Centre. We deliver workshops on life skills, job coaching, learning to use computers, interview skills, resumes, WHMIS, managing stress and frustration, self-esteem and career exploration.

My motive in asking you my reader for your expertise and feedback is that in order to remain relevant and best serve the people we assist, I believe it is critical to reach out and get feedback periodically so that the design and process we employ moving forward is responsive to current trends, meets core needs, and produces desired results.

You are the experts! I am confident you have a voice to be heard and have some valuable thoughts to be put into the mix. I’d love to hear your stories, your experiences – the good and the poor. What’s it like out there at your end? If you’re out of work or in the process of making a career change, what’s been your experience with resumes and job applications?  If you’re on the receiving end, how do you decide on which resumes lead to job interview offers and which are rejected?

Are resumes changing? Are they even necessary? If your organization isn’t using resumes what is it you are using or moving toward implementing that might take their place?

On my end, I’ll do my best to take whatever feedback I receive and consider it all. If I can rely on you my readers to share a little of your experience, this could be a wonderful way for me to come to the table with what is really happening, “out there”.

A big thank you in advance for both your ongoing support and your anticipated participation. Whether it’s a line or two, a lengthy email and several attachments or some stories sharing your experience, it’s all appreciated. Let’s work with the end of February as a deadline.

Thanks people.

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