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Patch Blog: What Are You Looking for in a Resume?

What makes an interesting resume?

Resume.  What does that word mean?  Dictionary.com has two definitions.  1)  to take up or go on with again after interruption and 2)  a brief written account of personal, educational, and professional qualifications and experience, as that prepared by an applicant for a job.

My dilemma has to do with both definitions.  I had a brief interruption of working (let's say a year) and now I would like to resume working.  The bane of my existence right now, is the number 2 definition.  I’m looking for gainful employment because first and foremost I like to eat, drink and be merry and not having a job is kind of ruining things, although if you read my Facebook posts, I am having a good time.  But like all good things, they DO come to an end, especially if you don’t have a job. 

I haven’t been wasting my time; I’ve actually been made Mayor of Gnome Town.  Look it up on Facebook.  I’ve been building a town, I’ve been adding Gnomes, and raking leaves and chopping mushrooms, and feeding the little critters and gnomes, making sure they are not homeless and I’ve hired a few extra gnomes.  You see, I’m adding jobs in my town.  But alas, that doesn’t count on a resume.  All that it does, is given me extra money that I can’t really spend because it’s fake and hey it’s Gnome Town.  I believe!

I have no idea whether my resume is good or not.  I’ve turned in many resumes.  I’ve made many minor changes to the point where they are major changes and I don’t recognize myself in these former jobs. I’m getting advice from my friends who actually take the time and read my resumes and they are giving me constructive criticism.  I take their advice because they have obtained great jobs with their own resumes.  So how do I get my foot in anybody’s door?  One of the many explanations is the economy is bad, jobs are scarce.  I’ve had people tell me that there are jobs out there, but you have to make a resume that they want to see.  Everything is on computers now.  Gone are the days where you look in the paper, it’s now Craigslist or Indeed.com or Career Builders.  You have to post your resume on them.  Statistics show that for every job opening there are now 20 applicants.  Is that true? 

It made me think.  One day I was at Sea World, and I was in the penguin exhibit.  It was indoors, nice and cool.  Cute penguins.  I could stare at them all day long.  Then all of a sudden I notice a couple of kids (I say kids because anyone in their 20s are now kids to me).  They were cleaning the penguin poop.  I was wondering what do you put on your resume for that job.  Do you put Professional Penguin Poop Cleaner?  What do the people that showcase their dirty jobs put on their resumes? 

People; Bosses and Corporations.  What are you looking for?!? How can I get my foot in your door?  I have a challenge, Patch!  If I don’t have a job by the time Thanksgiving hits, I’m going to blow up my resume on a huge poster board.  Then I’m going to get dressed as if I have an interview to go to.  Then I will have another poster board that reads “I DON’T WANT YOUR MONEY, I JUST WANT A JOB!!!”  I will stand at the entrance or exit of a freeway somewhere in Pasadena and set up shop and hopefully someone will like my resume and hire me.  Maybe some nice person will be at a long stop light and read my qualifications and not hand me money but say YOU’RE HIRED!  Ah, maybe not, but it will be something new I haven’t tried and guess what?  I’m going to add that to my resume!

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Susan November 01, 2011 at 04:24 PM
You are honest, creative and fun.... you should be every employers perfect candidate! Oh and skilled!!! :)
Karen Lujan November 01, 2011 at 05:40 PM
I completely agree with Heather. Look at the keywords of what the employer is looking for and tailor your resume to that (while still being honest about your qualifications). I get so many generic resumes that don't even have an objective that matches what I am looking for. Make sure your objective and skills match the job you are applying for. Shows that you actually thought about applying for that specific position rather than blanketing your resume across the masses. Also write a cover letter that shows you've done some research on the company and tells them key points as to why you will be a great find!
Nicoline Conway November 01, 2011 at 11:04 PM
Heather and Karen: Great advice. I actually took your advice seriously today and tailored my cover letter and resume to about 4 different job postings. Wish me luck and wish everyone else that is in this situation. Good luck to you too Kristin!!!!!
Holly Hale November 07, 2011 at 06:47 PM
In industries that are notorious for age discrimination (never mind it being illegal, it's still prevalent) how does one hide his or her age? The year you graduate from college tells the story........
Karen Lujan November 07, 2011 at 06:52 PM
I'm no expert but I would say just don't put the year you graduated from college. It isn't a requirement. Most employers just want to know that you graduated but don't necessarily need the year. One you apply onsite you will have to provide that info but at least you have your foot in the door at that point.

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