Diary of a Wimpy Resume: How to Avoid Getting Picked On

You have read many politically correct publications on how to write an effective resume broken down by industry, level of experience, geographic culture, style and presentation. They are all correct, but are they meeting your needs? We are going to take a slightly different approach to resume writing, identifying the pitfalls so you can avoid a recipe for disaster.

At the end of this piece, you will have to ask yourself this question: Is my resume a wimp? We will see.

1. Avoid the law of diminishing returns. The general tendency is to write what you know and for many that is your most recent professional experiences. Many people will put five plus bullet points on their most recent role, but as they move down toward earlier jobs in their career there are less and less bullet points. Your resume needs to be consistent with three or four bullet points per job.

2. Avoid the theoretical bullet points. How many of your have assisted or led a project management initiative or helped develop a process. We want to see results!!!!! How many people did you management, what were your annual revenues, cost savings or profits? What was the time line of your project completions? What tools did you utilize to successful meet the requirements of the role? There needs to be key result factors in your bullet points.

3. No “Objective” or “Summary” at the top unless you are going to tailor it to the specific company or role. You need to think of your resume as a Broadway audition. When you walk on stage, you have between 30 seconds and one minute to shine. If you don’t wow the producers, you are not getting a call back, even if you starred next to Pacino in his last film. A recruiter will not go further than the first half of your resume unless impressed immediately. Factoring in your contact information and objective, that is almost half of the first page. You need to make your resume like Fast and Furious and give them a reason to want to keep reading.

4. If you chose to have an interest section, look very closely at what you put in that section and how it can be interpreted. For example, if you mention your interests as “XBox, Television, DVR, IPod Touch”, it may create the impression that you lack focus or will be more dedicated to games than your career. I recently reviewed a resume that indicated in the interest section “Biking, Running, CNBC, and Dexter” I can see that this candidate puts an interest in health and finance but was a little taken back by interest in a show about a serial killer. Think carefully if you chose to put interests because many companies today, with limited opportunities are looking for strong cultural fits.

5. Avoid the cut and paste tactic. It never works! As you evolve in your career, your responsibilities become more focused and to some degree repetitive. Do not copy and paste bullet points from one job to another.

6. Presentation, presentation, presentation. A strong resume is consistent, focused, concise and results driven. Don’t overshadow the content. Many candidates will use multiple fonts, colors, boxes and other tricks to make the resume look fantastic. Some recruiters will view that as a smoke screen to avoid the fact that the content is not strong. Many candidates use that approach for the same reason.

7. Avoid support words or at least minimize the use of them. Words like “helped”, “assisted”, “supported” indicate that you are a team player but also show lack of initiative. There needs to be some level of leadership in your background whether that was in your professional, academic background or volunteer efforts.

8. Eliminate dates of academic achievement after five years. The rule of thumb is that after five years, you do not need to put dates of graduation on academic studies. It can create an unconscious sense of age discrimination. Also, many take time off between degrees while others go straight through. Just showing the degree and evaluation score will meet the academic requirement.

9. If you have a skill/technology section be clear on software and versions. Today, technology is a part of our very framework. Saying your are proficient in Microsoft Office products is no longer going to get your foot in the door. Are you proficient in Access, Excel, Powerpoint or Word? Do you use XP, Office Suite or Professional? Can you develop macros, run queries or embed data? These are the deeper skills that will set you apart.

10. If you are ready and feel you have the talent, create a URL resume as well as a LinkedIn profile. If you can demonstrate that you have combined the ability to network and branch that with a strong understanding of technology, you will be one step ahead of the game. Also include those links on your paper resume.

Use the mindset of a sales person. You are ultimately selling a product: yourself. After you finish your first draft, send it to a few people as well as reading it yourself. Did you sell yourself well? Think also from the perspective of a recruiter. Are there a lot of questions they have as a result of reading your resume/CV? If so then you need to re-write it. A resume needs to be thorough and energized. A resume is a powerful piece of paper that will help shape your future. Don’t take it lightly.

Make it a part of yourself.

Good Night and Good Luck (Let Freedom Reign)

Today marks the 103rd anniversary of the birth of Edward Roscoe Murrow. Born April 25th, 1908 in Polecat Creek near Greensboro, NC, Murrow was a man of principal, integrity, heart and courage.

Winner of seven Emmy Awards, three Peabody’s and one Golden Globe, Murrow represented CBS, the news and the world with a cigarette in hand and a voice that resonates in every reporter today. He believed in the truth and the power of debate and was not afraid to take on even the most powerful of men.

In 1954, on his TV show “See It Now”, Mr. Murrow presented a courageous piece on Senator Joseph McCarthy that is credited by many to have changed the public opinion of this very controversial politician. Without regard for his career and safety, Edward R. Murrow believed that the American people deserved the truth. His investigative skills and scathing ability to dig into the heart of the matter made him an international icon. Murrow was a man of purpose. As the broadcasting industry evolved from news to entertainment, Murrow stood strong enforcing to his audience the critical importance of the news and its impact on our lives.

In fact he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964 and on the year of his passing an honorary knighthood by the British government in 1965.

He was hired by CBS in 1935 and remained a vital part of that media until until he left in 1961.

His assembly of the “Murrow Boys” offered first hand detailed records of the activities overseas during World War II. His respect by the US Government led to his appointment as the Director of the US Information Agency (USIA) in 1961 when he left CBS and broadcasting.

Edward R. Murrow was a pioneer in broadcast media. He set the standard for news with heart and integrity, and today, reporters around the world still reflect on the path he set and how important he was and continues to be in how we share news and ignite debate.

Happy Birthday Mr. Murrow. To you we say “Good Night and Good Luck”

Words of Honor – Original Poem

What is your way of escaping reality?
Has conscious thought been destroyed by the brigade of insanity, marching it soldiers into the battlefield in your head?

Scream the words spoken by legends of peace
Proclaim the rhymes of mystical journeyman who sacrificed reward for eternal rest

It is time to stand up
It is time to rejoice
It is time honor is more than graffiti on a wall

We come in alone
We leave alone

Grant me shelter from this impending storm
Protect me from the flames of the disease that sucks life from each passing breath

Slow down
Feel the rush of energy suspended in a vision of light
The warmth of the rush is within the reach of stillness

Sip the wine that rushes through the veins of the temporary portal that journey’s through mortality
Rejoice in the gift of will and give back to the unknown being, the promise

The promise to dedicate this home built of flesh to the calling

What the Hell is going on…. (Happy Earth Day…Happy Everyday)

Now that I have your full attention, it is time we bring attention to a very delicate matter that hits many of us close to home:  the decaying of humanity!

You heard me.  Many are quick to blame everyone and everything except ourselves.

It must be corporate greed

No, blame Facebook for providing an isolated window from human interaction

Better yet, blame smartphones for allow us to break up via text

We need to include GPS systems to reinforce that Big Brother is watching

Who can leave out reality TV.  If every occupation and household is a reality show, what exactly is reality…More importantly, what are we?

I know, everything is a phase or a trend, like Rubik’s Cube, Myspace and Boy Bands…Rubik’s Cube became Tetris, Myspace became Facebook and Boy Bands, well we can’t get rid of them (Thank you Marky Mark).  So if history is deemed to repeat itself with each generation, we are safe; but if technology is slowly skewing us in the wrong direction of moral humanity and we keep repeating the same mistakes…BOOM!  What then?

For centuries, territorialism and religion have been blamed for thousands of senseless deaths.

The media, let’s talk about the media.  They glamorize looks and money and provide millions of innocent viewers with a less than perfect image of themselves which leads to depression, dangerous health habits and for some, suicide.

Let’s look even deeper to the multi-billion dollar world of gaming…Oh yes, don’t go hiding your Play Station or X Box now. Let us take a moment to dissect

Here is a list of the top selling X Box games of all time courtesy of Wikipedia:

Halo 2 (8 million)
Halo: Combat Evolved (5 million)
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (3 million: 2.4 million in US, 600,000 in Europe, 5,449 in Japan)
Fable (3 million – may include PC version)
Project Gotham Racing (2.5 million)
Grand Theft Auto Double Pack (1.7 million: 1.59 million in US, 100,000 in UK, 10,515 in Japan)
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (1.58 million: 1.48 million in US,[19] 100,000 in UK)
Counter-Strike (1.5 million)
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (1.46 million: 1.26 million in US,[19] 200,000 in UK)
Need for Speed: Underground 2 (1.44 million: 1.24 million in US,[19] 200,000 in UK)
Call of Duty 2: Big Red One (1.39 million in US)

Correct me if I am wrong, but I see a theme that is present in many of these titles: Violence and death.

Gender, we cannot leave out the age old genetic dilemma that men and women are inherently different. Personality, emotions, passions and physical make up are all unique and separate qualities. There are exceptions, but for the near future, let us accept that for the remainder of mankind we will have to learn to deal with those differences.

Music, music music. It is the soundtrack of our lives and the power of words has the ability to translate to the power of perception. Are we influenced by lyrics in rap and death metal? Perhaps that is a factor as well.

“And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls”
And whispered in the sounds of silence”

– Written in 1964, this classic by Simon & Garfunkel spoke of a world today 45 years ago

The internet…The most powerful mastermind of covert activity. You can be anyone and anything you want on the internet. You can be an eighty-year old man who can transform to an eighteen year old prom queen. Or a janitor becoming a CEO. The magic to transform can take on a life of its own..Be careful, do you know who you are talking to.

I was watching the news last evening and the newscaster said “Stay tuned, this next story could very well restore your faith in humanity”. Did we lose faith in humanity at some point? That was a profound statement to an audience in the New York City area of potentially millions to assume they have lost the belief that there is good in the world. That got me thinking, am I an optimist or a pessimist? Has reality, technology, sensationalism, violence, civil unrest, death, greed, power, recession, poverty, disease and loneliness numbed my senses and restricted my ability to feel?

I hope not. There is so much good out there, everywhere we turn.
Each spring the flowers blossom and there are colors everywhere you turn.
Each generation, children are filled with imagination and wonder.
Dreamers continue to dream and achievers teach us that there are no limits.

As we celebrate Mother Earth today, remember it is not a single day to reflect on what is good, but a 24 hour reminder that we should always focus on each and every living thing that makes this ecosystem so wonderful.

Life Happens Sometimes…

Life is a series of events, some by chance, some premeditated, but all configured into a tapestry of emotions and decisions that lead to our place in life.

As we think back on how we got to the moment we are in now, take some time to understand how each decision led to events that helped shaped your life.

Would you have fallen in love and gotten married if you had not ended a bad relationship?

Would you have seen the Eiffel Tower if you weren’t convinced that your fear of flying is only a fear?

Would you have been soaked in regret if you had not made that surprise visit to your mom just before she passed away?

Would you have opened your eyes to the possibility of living out your dreams if you weren’t swayed by that stranger that bumped into you and started a conversation on the subway?

Every place we go we are met with choices and those choices have consequences and further choices. Life is a continuous journey with no foreseeable ending. It is that flux, that is the ultimate mystery.

We are a boat in the middle of the ocean, with land in sight but no means of reaching that final destiny.

That is a truly amazing thought. Each morning, we get a fresh start to carve out a path to our next personal achievement.

Whether we are born in a city, on a farm, in a poverty stricken community, in a forest or in a village, we are placed into a set of perceptions and accepted behavior. As we grow up and accept the curiosity of our surrounding, we start to see the power of imagination. It is that power that allows us to break out of the Truman Show and see rest of the world. With each breath we earn the right to experience all that the world is offering.

It is a blessing to feel the soil of the land, to hug the warm skin of another, to love unconditionally and to explore the unknown.

The next time you reflect on your life and determine if this is where you want to be, think back on the little decisions you made and see how you got here, because life happens sometimes…

We will make mistakes but we are never wrong. The magic of a journey is that it is infinite and in all directions….

Breathe in the air, scream to the stars and smile because this is your life.

“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha

“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.” – Erma Bombeck

A Soul of Misfortune – Original Poem

Running, running, running from the ghosts of her past
Demons follow her patterns of sleep, imbedding thoughts of insanity and doubt
Love is but a corrupt diamond chiseled from the blood of slaves

Without direction, there is no home
Without hope, lust for loneliness is the only option

In the dark path of a future drenched in fear, she can only cry on the shoulders of a man no longer by her side
She cannot hold the future she feels she needs

Desire is disguised in the post apocalypse of a heart emptied in the barren reservoir

Dry and gasping for air she is still
Afraid to feel
Afraid to love
Afraid to be held by the promise of a new sunrise

Can the end be so near for such a young soul?
A soul born into misfortune; guided into the direction of darkness

It is a tale without a future; without a past; without forgiveness

With one final call, from the horizon of a sun tipped mountaintop, a whisper is heard

Kick It Up a Notch – Springtime B-B-Q Music Mix

The weather is warming up and the smell of steaks and burgers is in the air.

As you brush off the propane tank and prepare for a season of warmth, exercise and B-B-Q, let the music get you in the mood.

Here is a spring/summer cookout mix to help get your blood flowing.
Enjoy the start of a memorable season

Party like it’s 1999 but never forget the Summer of ’69

Cheers

Kicking off the Spring Music Mix