Wednesday, October 4, 2006

Don't make an employer dig into resume
Maryann Haggerty

Lisa Stewart would like a media job that makes use of her degrees in broadcast journalism and public administration. Instead, she has been working in what she sees as a dead-end customer service position. Is her resume part of the problem?

“Lisa has the education and experience that qualify her for a broadcast position, but you have to dig to find it. Sadly, employers just won't take the time,'' says Robbie Miller Kaplan, author of “How to Say It in Your Job Search.”

A reorganised resume will make a better impression. “Begin with a profile, but one that showcases background and credentials in broadcasting,” she advises. “Lisa's education adds strength, so I would follow with that. Since Lisa's most recent ... experiences have nothing to do with her job goal, organise experience in a functional format with a section heading 'Areas of Expertise.'

“Label subsections with relevant job titles, such as executive producer. Prepare four to five descriptive and accomplishment-oriented bullets to go under each functional area, using specifics such as the organisation name, audience and demographics.”

There's no need to point out that some of that experience is as a volunteer. “Experience is experience, whether you are paid or not,” Kaplan says.

Work history, including jobs with no relevance, goes on the second page. “Just don't elaborate with a description.”

And pay attention to the basics. For instance, Stewart's e-mail address includes the word “diva.” That sends the wrong message.