Friday, November 2, 2007

Resumes From Hell: Talking With Jon and Rachel

The Employment Guide's National Blog had a chance to talk to the authors of a great little book on resumes follies, 'Resumes From Hell.' Christopher McDonough, our National Blogger and Web Designer, got to ask Jon Reed & Rachel Meyers some great questions about resume do's and don'ts, how the internet is affecting the resume and job hunt, the inspiration behind the book and a look at the follow up, 'Resumes from Heaven.'

Here's a quick clip:

Christopher: One of my personal favorite chapters was "Actually, I'm Not As Qualified As You Think I Am." What really stood out to me was, "Also, I have one or two ideas for screenplays, but you are not advertising for that." This comes back to personal expression in a way - when is it appropriate to discuss admirable traits or skills that don't necessarily add to the job being applied for, but may shed light on creativity and achievements outside of your field?

Rachel: "Actually, I'm Not As Qualified As You Think I Am" is one of my favorite chapters, too! I love people who point out tests that they failed or projects they didn't complete. I mean, why even bring it up? My favorite entry in that chapter is the self-questionnaire guy. Basically, he quizzed himself via essay questions and grids that reflected his training and experience with various software modules. The kicker is that he didn't have any relevant training or experience, so the grids were all blank and the answers to the essays questions were "Unfortunately, no" and "Unfortunately, I don't have any experience in this area." For whatever reason, he felt compelled to reveal in painstaking detail how utterly disqualified he was for the job he was applying for. Brilliant!

As for introducing skills or traits that are not relevant to the job you're applying for... If you feel you must include a personal interest or hobby, be sure to put it in a context relevant to the hiring company. Perhaps you have a leadership role in a charity organization, or you teach at the community college, or you are a Toastmaster. These could all be relevant skills to the position you're applying for.

But be careful: the hiring manager may view your hobbies as too weird (building steam-powered bicycles), too time consuming (having a "Second Life"), too dangerous (skydiving), or downright offensive (volunteering at a Planned Parenthood Clinic). Remember, the hiring manager is thinking about their bottom line, and doesn't want to imagine you missing work because of a broken arm, or annoying your colleagues by proselytizing at the water cooler.

Head on over to the Employment Guide to read the full interview and check out Christopher's full series on Preparing for the Job Search.

Get the book at Amazon.


deloresdefacto November 3, 2007 at 9:34 AM  

I actually like your job. How do you get a job researching and blogging about available jobs online?

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