Resumes – Three Raves and a Rant

The RAVEjob_opportunity_door_open_400_clr_10042

I’m raving about resumes that address the audience for whom they are intended – the prospective employer.  Did you think your resume was about you?  Not really.  We don’t write a resume to impress ourselves.

A resume is intended to impress future employers and to announce that YOU have the skills to address their problems.

Consider that if the employer didn’t have a problem, they wouldn’t need to hire anyone.  (Applause to Liz Ryan for her article, What Every Job-Seeker Needs to Know About Selling in which Liz eloquently addresses “the Pain Hypothesis”.)

The RANT

Now, dear reader, if you know me well, you know there has to be a Rant here somewhere. Here it is: Although some application software systems, professions, and professional communities require (dare I say “mandate”?) a more standardized resume style – the old-fashioned kind that lists each position you have had with full description of every task, role, and supervisor. This is becoming less and less the case as the economy picks up and employers have to look more broadly at candidate pools. Thus it is important to:

Know your audience!

In my work as faculty, trainer, and business consultant I am privileged to meet and work with many human resource professionals.  Most of these decision makers inform me that applicants must get their attention by addressing their pain if they ever want to move beyond the HR in-box.  They care secondarily about where you worked and what you did in those positions.

More RAVES

RAVE #2:  If you have opted for a less conservative resume style, consider what (if anything) goes in the top area traditionally reserved for applicant goals.  Realize, PLEASE, that HR professionals often chuckle at how applicants use this most expense piece of resume real estate.  Of course you want a job – if you didn’t you wouldn’t be sending them a resume, so to re-state the obvious (typically something like: “To obtain a career in a fast growing . . .  and use my skills . . . “ is a waste of your resume real estate and the HR manager’s time.

There are no right or wrong answers in writing a resume – there is only the perception that the HR manager has of you when they read it.

Once that decision has been made, move on to skills that will resolve their pain.  Yes, that means that you will often customize a resume for a single or at least a category of job.

RAVE #3: For many job seekers, addressing the skills they possess that will resolve the “pain” of a prospective employer, are not reflected in their employment history.  The skills may instead be reflected in their volunteer experience.  In these cases, consider that the majority of your resume may be a section titled (as an example), “Relevant Experience”.  This is your chance to spotlight projects you have done (paid or unpaid).  Keep the items short – this is not the time for complete sentences.  Use action verbs. What have you done that will address my (the employer’s) pain?  In more than 30 years of hiring professionals, I can assure you that applicants who answered my question:

Why do I need you and how do you differentiate yourself from the rest of the applicants on my desk?

are the ones that got the interview and often, received a job offer.  Was I just different or weird?  I used to ask myself that until I began working with HR professionals and now I know I wasn’t weird.  OK, I’ll admit to being a little outspoken but at the end of the day, it turns out that every HR manager wants two things primarily:

  1. Recruit less
  2. Hire the right person for the job and the corporate culture.

Below the “Relevant Experience” section of your non-traditional resume is a good spot to place a simple “Employment History” section.  Since you’ve already expressed your relevant experience, this segment can simply include “Date-Date; Employer; Job Title”.

Want to know more?  Applicants and HR professionals, please connect with me on LinkedIn to share your RAVES and RANTS about resumes.  Let’s keep this conversation going!

DCTC Makes Learning REAL! DCTC Spring ’15 Semester Saturday Opportunities

Meeting and Event Management
Hospitality Lodging Management
Spa and Resort Management
Spring ’15 students taking courses in DCTC hospitality  programs will want to save these dates on their calendar. WATCH FOR UPDATES here AND on the news page of your online course site for location announcements.

If your course is listed here and published as online, then these are optional classroom half-days. Almost all “classroom” dates are at a hospitality or supplier corporation. Students take advantage of behind-the-scenes tours, guest lectures from real field professionals AND we work on course assignments.

SMGT 1160: January 17 at Rosemount campus, 9:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

SMGT 1160: February 7, location TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

SMGT 1160: February 21, location TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

SMGT 1161: March 7, location TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

SMGT 1161: March 28, location TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

SMGT 1161: April 18, location TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30  p.m.

SMGT 1162: January 17, Rosemount campus, 1:00 – 4:30 p.m.

SMGT 1162: February 28, location TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

SMGT 1166: March 14, location TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

SMGT 1166: April 11, location TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

SMGT 1166: April 25, Rosemount campus, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

SMGT 1172: March 21, location TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

SMGT 1172: April 25, Rosemount campus, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

SMGT 1175: January 31, location TBA, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

SMGT 1175: February 21, location TBA, 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

SMGT 1260: January 24, location TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

SMGT 1260: February 14, location TBA, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

DO connect with me and your other hospitality faculty members on LinkedIn:

Jessica Bartram

David Keinert

Rosealee Lee

Annette Marquez

Shawna Suckow

Is the job market hiding, or are you?

For some individuals, the answer is yes to both of these questions. If you’re still looking for your new position in a listing such as newspaper or Internet, realize that only a very small percentage of recruitment notices ever make it to those listings and of those that do, about 50% of them are included solely to satisfy legal or corporate policy requirements.

The real job market is in the network.

The term network; a.k.a. networking used to mean who you knew. It followed that the individual who knew more people would likely be hired first. That’s no longer the case. In today’s ultra-competitive world, the “winner” is the individual about whom more people know. Networking success today is measured in the number of individuals who know about you, your talents, and your skills. There are a myriad of methods to accomplish this and a healthy balance of each of the methods should be sought. These include: joining and attending events in your industry, honing your social media presence, especially on LinkedIn, becoming involved on committees within organizations that support your industry of choice, and more. The purest form of networking, however, is informational interviewing.

Informational interviewing is an opportunity to meet with an industry professional to learn more about the industry, what it’s like to work in a particular company, the career path that professional followed to get to their current position, what skills are most valued within the profession, and how success is measured. This is your chance to gather information in a setting far less stressful than a job interview.

About 15 minutes is ample time for an informational interview. Keep your questions succinct and look for chances to convey your career goals and knowledge in a conversational setting. REMEMBER, this NOT a job interview. It is instead, pure networking. For every informational interview you conduct, you expand the network of professionals that know about you far more than you realize. Assuming you made a good impression, the individual you met with can now refer to having met you when they learn from a counterpart that there is a job opening within the industry. People talk. Take advantage of that to open doors for your next career move.

Want to know more about the subtle nuances that will enhance your information interviewing success? Or perhaps you want to learn more about how to build your personal brand. (YES, you ARE a brand!) I’ll be on-hand to answer questions on these topics as part of a LinkedIn Workshop that will be hosted in January by the DCTC-MPI Student Club.

Together we can make 2015 YOUR YEAR. Watch this blog and the MPI online newsletter (www.mnmpi.org) for more information. Meet me on LinkedIn!

The Impacts of Social Networking on Getting a Job

Some things just work. The hints and tricks in this article (written what seems like yesterday but as it turns out, now two years ago) work. The update NOW, however, is that networking is no longer who you know — it is NOW who knows about you. More about that in the next blog post! Happy New Year!

Rosealee Lee

the_web_wants_you tooCan we fully enjoy the social networking technologies available to us without concern of how far our virtual image will leak into the real world and impact us getting (or keeping) a job?  No!  The web does want YOU.  It wants all of us.  It wants us to create and own our brand.  And whether we realize it or not, we append to our brand each time we communicate online. The old adage of “who you know” is still relative to success, but it has been extended to “who you know” online.

As we have learned to enjoy social networking tools, so have employers and recruiters.  From sourcing prospective employees to vetting them for the job, human resource professionals use social networking tools as a primary resource.  That means accountability for all of us, especially in our social networking communications.

Recruitment:  See and Be Seen

Network, network, network.  That word…

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