Step 8: Addressing Specific Résumé Concerns
Special challenging situations require creative solutions and here is a collection of my best. If you are grasping the concepts I'm presenting on Writing a resume, you will find your own ways to customize your own situation.
Gender Issue - This becomes an issue when you are looking outside the "normal" gender roles. Not only a problem for females applying for make dominated positions, but also for males entering women dominated positions.
Gender Solution - Write your resume in a gender-neutral tone so you can gain some consideration by the hiring personnel. The goal is to eliminate or cancel the gender bias of all but the hiring decision makers. If there is still a bias against you at that level, consider that it just might be better to not work for them. Life could get rough for both the women and the men working in a poisoned work environment. If you do get hired don't insist the men take down risque calendars and rather post some beefcake ones to show your cool with fitting in, guys don't take the razing about your masculinity too hard rather tease back again to show you are cool and can enjoy banter as well. Your negative reaction will only escalate hostilities.
Old Age Issue - Getting long in the tooth is combated by not mentioning age directly. There are many workers accomplishing jobs nobody expected them to even try.
Old Age Solution - I'm 54, feel 30 and can keep up with the younger crowd in most things, yet I can offer a lot of technical and client experience because I lived and repaired computers before there were PC's, equipment that ran on vacuum tubes, but also with lasers, ultrasound and advanced medical analyzers. That's what I present, my adaptable range and learning ability.
Young Age Issue - Having little or no experience is a challenge. You can't get experience without a job and you can't get a job without experience.
Young Age Solution - Dedicate yourself to completing your education in employable fields and that you enjoy. Better yet set your goal at any career plus computers. Computers are everywhere, computer people are everywhere but what are missing are the computer people who really understand non-computer applications. Eventually this combination is where the skill market will be of most demand. Computers are everywhere and it will be very hard to do well with any employment without computer application skills. Problem is that now many people have some computer skills. They just can't combine it with real work. Rather than being a mechanic, you'd do better to become a computer assisted mechanic, computer crime law enforcement, robotics repair or development, or working with computer assisted medical appliances, nano-technology. You already see it happening with Accountants although would do much better to better learn computers in addition to the accounting. Do apply for entry positions to gain practical experience. Working at jobs beyond your ability is challenging but can also do more damage to your progress that you realize. You've got to earn your stripes by growing as you are learning. So develop a track to your eventual goal and work toward that goal.
Just Fired or Let Go - Ouch that. There is no good way to look at this. You may have screwed up or for some reason you stopped being of enough value to the employer. You do need to understand this.
Just Fired or Let Go Solution - Admit you made an error, you learned from it, corrected it and/or changed your opinion accordingly and are ready to move on with the knowledge gained. This is how you need to answer this in interviews too. Been there, done that, proof it does work.
Job Hunting in Another City - You are planning to move to another city. Applying for a job position in another city becomes more difficult if the employer knows you must travel for an interview. Sub-consciously they don't want to pay to call you in for an interview and they don't want to waste your time and money only to turn you down.
Job Hunting in Another City Solution - You don't really need to include an address on your resume, you want to be considered along with the local applicants. If you do include an address, definitely then use a cover letter to state some specific dates you are already going to be nearby and state you would definitely be interested in interviews with them then if possible. You don't need to actually have planned to be there but it does clear them of any cost obligations because you are already nearby. I learned this by accident when moving to another city 5 hours drive away once. Before stating I'd be in town, my resume to interview rate was 0 for 11, then after that it instantly jumped to 3 for 3. Being nearby was the only real difference I could find. Of course when they agreed to see me on specific dates I took the drive. In three days I had three interviews and two offers to consider. Interestingly two of the potential employers said to call when in town and they would accommodate me. It was like magic.
Every negative you have can be creatively adapted to work as a positive. Just remember to think as an employer, to be a better employee.