Karen Bolda: Trials of job hunting

Last week I talked about creating an online resume. You will probably also need to create a traditional hardcopy resume at some point. A printed resume serves a different purpose than an online resume, and needs to be created with that in mind. A resume is something you should never send ahead of you, but always leave behind you. That is, don't rely on a resume to do the talking for you. You should use all the networking and contact tips I have written about in previous articles before you send your resume. However, once you have made that contact, you should leave behind a resume. And of course, most job applications require one.

Start by printing out a full application of the job you are applying for, or one that closely describes a job you would like to have. Go through the job announcement and highlight key words and phrases. You will want to use these same words and phrases in your resume when describing your job history. If you are applying for more than one job, then you will be creating more than one resume. It is very important to create a unique resume for each job.

Your resume is more of a business card than a biography. The description of your job duties should be short and specific, preferably using numbers and percentages when describing tasks. It is OK to describe only the jobs that gave you experience relevant to the job you are applying for and just give the dates and where you worked for other jobs.

There is no set protocol for how to structure your resume. There are many templates to choose from, and any one of them will work as long as it is very easy to figure out when you worked where. You do want to be sure that it has an overall professional look, and double check for spelling errors. A few misspelled words can give an impression of carelessness.

Karen Bolda, M.A., is a meeting facilitator and professional development trainer. She's lived in Ashland for 13 years where she operates her own consulting business. Visit her website at www.karenbolda.com or contact her at karen@karenbolda.com. Karen's workbook "Ace the Interview" is now available for purchase at www.karenbolda.com.