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.

I think the resume of CV system must work differently in different parts of the world. <br>In the UK if you have more than 2 pages to your document (not including covering letter) you have done something wrong, there's too much for a prospective employer to read and you probably won't get an interview. <br>Your information needs to be presented in a very accessible manner, no prospective employer wants to read your life history, they want things in bullet points so they can see the relevent experiences. <br>Also, the majority of recruitment is done using the internet and a CV can be found using keywords. Your CV needs to know what keywords a potential employer is looking for and make itself easy for them to find. <br>You do make a very good point, the resume is only the tool to get you an interview, once you're infront of the employer is when you must shine. In some jobs you may also have a telephone interview before a face-to-face. <br>It's a well put together instructable, I'm sure good advice for your area/job market, but perhaps isn't for every situation. <br>
Do you think obtaining a local area code via call forwarding through things like Google Voice is a good way to avoid job hunting issues in another city?
Not sure it would help, in that they may end up with the mistaken impression that you are local and therefore minimize the chances of an interview apart and separate from the 'rest'. <br>Although, if a local number is offered with an explanation that the local number is for their convenience to reach you it can help, shows initiative and interest on your part too. Although I&acirc;€™ve not heard that a long distance phone call has stopped business from calling someone they are interested to see. <br>
Thank you so much for posting this instructable. It's great! I've been looking for employment for over a month now and this is the first article that I've seen on resumes that goes in depth about the how/why's of resume writing.
i think this is a great ible. i've been in a supervisory/hiring position for 2 years, and i saw 300+ resumes in a week at times. if the writer misspelled ONE word, or had an unprofessional email (hornybeast6969@hotmail.com, i kid you not), or had 3 different presentations of their name (James Smith on the resume, followed by jack.smith@hotmail.com, cover letter signed Jim), or "I am applying for the position of assistant to the manager" (we were hiring paralegals), or any of the MOST basic mistakes made me want to set fire to my hair. now, i am looking for a new position, and i cannot fix my own resume to save myself. it's driving me insane, and i even went so far as to pay a "professional" a whole bunch of money to do it for me. they did a hideous job, and i spent hours arguing with them to save it from the mediocre pap that they had turned it into >:( anyway, i wish i'd read your ible before i forked out all this dough!! great work.
There's a lot of good detail in here - is that <em>your</em> resume? But both would benefit from being more <em>concise</em>. <br/><br/>Some poor person running through a pile of applications does not want to be reading that much text (I know) - they want two (max) clear pages with the most important stuff - not waffle about e.g. how many page hits your online articles have received.<br/>I'm not trying to throw negative vibes at this, but it is too long.<br/><br/>L<br/>
Thanks for the reply. Yup they are me. The one in step 8 is one that actually got me 2 job offers out of 3 interviews; of only 6 attempts. In the end I realized I could do so much better financially working for myself and so now have the best job working for the best boss - me. I've only changed some company info for anonymity and the rest is original. With my age and experience, I've done that much and more. Of course nobody but me sees the example in step 4 it's just used to pick data from, all details are handy and in one place, on a computer file. Page numbers are irrelevant. I want the interviewer to know I've worked hard to achieved a lot and it just won't fit on 2 pages. I know no screener is going to read much more than a paragraph and that briefly. The plan is for the screener, when directed to the 3 to 4 natural areas I know they will be scanning; realize I'm a valid candidate that needs further consideration. That's it, just one goal; to make the smaller pile. The secondary screener or interviewer will likely also be drawn to the same areas but will glance around more and see solid facts, relevant accomplishments and real achievements wherever they look. They are not likely to dismiss me as I stand out from the majority of other applicants. I will make the interview list. That is the only next goal; further consideration. Without a cover page 3 pages is ok. Why would I try to look like others, blend into the crowd, do the routine, the accepted. The routine, the accepted norm and crowd all end up in the trash. Wordy will also work, but only if there is no signs of fluff or bull anywhere they glance, and I do mean anywhere. In my resume, not only is everything verifiable, it's also far from complete. It doesn't touch on my Forester and Military time nor my artistic and athletics side. The page hits you mention would be intended for someone just starting out first job or two, maybe summer employment while in school; also for someone who possibly because of location or physical reasons just can't easily volunteer or get job experience; or like a farm teen. Definitely not for a mature adult in a urban location. Nobody should be trying to copy my resume as they are not me and my resume sets up a certain expectation for the interview. You need to be able to follow-up the resume. Rather I hope to get people thinking outside the box with these examples so they a can create their own resume that stand out from the crowd.
Having been through job applications and interviewed people, I would suggest that one of your major strengths is your experience. The one in step 8 didn't get you 2 job offers out of 3 interviews - experience and the interviews did that for you. Employers usually have some rules / procedure, whereby they must make legally-defensible decisions - if an applicant meets all the requirements they must be interviewed. L
You are right that the 2 offers resulted because the interview, but more important is getting 3 interviews out of 6 submits. Those interviews would never have happened based on normal appearing, blend in the crowd resumes. I know my results were more typical to others when I filed cover letters and the standard so called more proper point form resumes. Now they rocket me into consideration far above what is normal. As for there being rules/proceedures, whereby they must make legally-defensible decisions etc. Never heard of it, not around here in Canada, maybe in the UK, certainly not in private industry which is my world. Maybe in government with quota hiring or within union hiring/promotion. Companies do need to be careful what they tell a person about why they didn't get the offer, because there may be issues then. Any employer simply needs to claim they found a preferred candidate. Prefence includes experience, attitude, presentation, perception etc and opinion can not be forced in courts. Even a more interesting resume style could be claimed as a reason to prefer one over another. As a private industry owner, risking my capital to create a profit, there never will come a day when I'm told I have to hire someone that is not my prefered candidate, nor will there ever be unions either, but that is another topic.
Hmm, but you're saying 50% of prospective employers looked at you resume and didn't think it worth inviting you for an interview? Did the three indicate that they only interviewed you because your resume stood out, and did you ask for feedback from the three who didn't (I only ask because I'm curious as to whether many people do) I tell you one thing that would make me want to avoid interviewing you (and it's not personal at all, just the words) "You need me for this position and we should talk soon". That can come across as extreme arrogance - there are better ways to convey the essence of your conviction. Still I hate writing these things, it is good to see someone make the effort to publish a detailed work - I like the inclusion of the employer's comments. L

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