Tracy's blog

I’m Tracy Au and I have graduated from the Professional Writing program from university. I am an aspiring screenwriter, so this blog is used to promote my writing and attract people who will hire me to write for your TV show or movie. I write a lot about writing, TV, movies, jokes, and my daily life and opinions. I have another blog promoting my TV project at

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"The One-Size-Fits-All Resume Usually Fits Nothing"/ 10 QUICK TIPS FOR RESUME SUCCESS!

Jun. 23, 2016 "The One-Size-Fits-All Resume Usually Fits Nothing": I was going through my papers and I have this hand out from my Call Centre #1 job in 2006.  It's when I got laid off from there and they had these job search seminars for the employees.  This is an article by Peter Vogt:

You're about to start your job hunt, and you've come up with what you believe to be a masterful plan: You'll put together the best resume you can, then fire it off to as many companies as you can, in the hopes it will be a good match for at least one job in one organization. It's the classic "throw a bunch of mud against the wall and see if any of it sticks" approach.

It's a strategy that's great for helping you feel like you're really doing something in your job search. Problem is it's far more likely to be a waste of your time, energy and perhaps money than anything else. The one-size-fits-all resume (and its cousin, the one-size-fits-all cover letter) just doesn't work in most cases. Put yourself in the employer's shoes, and it's easy to pinpoint the reasons why:

The Swamp Factor

Most employers dread going through resume piles (or the online resumes they've received) in the first place. They'd rather be doing almost anything else, especially after they've seen too many of these types of resumes.

So when your one-size-fits-all resume shows up, along with dozens of others, the employer will likely spot it immediately, and put it in the circular file (AKA the recycle bin) or the delete box, never to be considered again.

Any Job Will Do

Managers trying to fill positions in their organizations don't want to hear from applicants who are merely taking a shot at a job. They want to hear from people who really, truly want the job. The people who do are generally the ones who invest the time and energy necessary to customize their resumes and cover letters to the job and company at hand.

If you were the employer, who would you be more interested in: the person who sent you the same resume he has sent everyone else, or the person who sent you a resume tailored to your specific wants and needs?

Details Get Noticed

Every job listing you'll ever see contains clues about the specific experiences, skills and/or educational background the employer is seeking. If you take the time to identify those characteristics and then highlight them on your resume (and in your cover letter), you'll have the chance to present your potential in the best light possible. In other words, you give the organization what it's looking for instead of trying to (usually unsuccessfully) impose your agenda on the company.

Does customizing your resumes and cover letters take more time than the one-size-fits-all approach? Definitely. Does it involve more research, more energy, more work? Absolutely. But your chances for positive payoff are much greater. As corporate recruiter Nancy Bernardi told the Sacramento Bee recently: "Unfortunately, I don't think a lot of people even read the job descriptions of the positions they apply for. So often they send us resumes that have nothing to do with the job they're applying for. We never call people like that."

Here's another hand out:

by Kim Isaacs
Monster Resume Expert
These tidbits add up when it comes to producing a great resume!
  1. Smart Subject Lines
Emailing your resume? With the increase in spam and emails containing viruses, it's best to use a descriptive subject line that compels hiring managers to read your email. Avoid anything that might resemble spam, such as all caps and exclamation points. Include your name, the job title, job reference number (if any) and a few words regarding your qualifications. Example: "Job ref. #23432 -- Mary Jones, Network Engineer/MCSE."
  1. Number Usage
Are you writing numbers correctly in your resume? According to the Gregg Reference Manual, numbers one through ten should be spelled out, while figures should be used for 11 and higher. Exceptions include numbers used with dates (April 9), percentages (5%), money ($5 million), ratios/proportions (2-to-1) and time (2 p.m.). However, some job seekers don't spell out any numbers, because the eye gravitates to numerals, drawing attention to important accomplishments. The main point: be consistent in formatting numbers throughout your resume.
  1. Prioritize Achievements
Give your most impressive accomplishments prominence by placing them before other, less impressive achievements. Review your list of accomplishments and rank them in order of importance and relevance to your career goal. Employers skimming your resume will see your strongest accomplishments first.
  1. Careful with Capitalization
Did you know it's incorrect to capitalize job titles on your resume, unless you're using it as part of a header or at the beginning of a sentence? For example, "promoted to sales manager after demonstrating top-ranked performance" is the correct format.
  1. Salutation Solutions
When corresponding with employers, use the traditional salutation if the name is known (for example, "Dear Ms. Jones"). It's always best to address cover letters to a specific person, but if you cannot obtain a name, use "Dear Hiring Manager." Avoid "Dear Sir or Madam" and "To Whom it May Concern" -- both salutations are outdated.
  1. Use the Active Voice
Add punch to your resume by using active voice instead of passive voice. If your sentences are written in active voice, they will present you as a doer and achiever. Compare these sentences to see how active voice is more concise and dynamic. Passive: $1.2 million in new products were sold. Active: Sold $1.2 million in new products. Review your resume and look for ways to express your accomplishments in active voice.
  1. Stay in the Now
If your resume contains a long work history, keep in mind that employers are most interested in your recent experience. Provide ample descriptions of your accomplishments from the last 10 to 15 years. As you move back in time, present just the facts: company name, city, state, job title, dates and a brief blurb about what you accomplished.
  1. Type for Today
Still inserting two spaces after periods? This convention is a throwback to the old typewriter days, when two spaces were used to help signal the end of a sentence because typefaces were monospace. With today's proportional fonts, two spaces after periods can create distracting rivers of white space. Update your resume's look by inserting just one space after periods.
  1. Show Your Stuff
Make your resume more convincing not by telling them, but showing them. For example, instead of stating that you have "excellent interpersonal skills," prove your skills through achievements such as receiving a customer service award or successfully negotiating a lucrative deal.
  1. Be Honest
Is your resume truthful? Many job seekers misrepresent themselves by falsifying information such as education, employment dates and accomplishments. Omitting facts can also be misleading. If the lie is discovered, you could lose out on an excellent opportunity or be fired after accepting a position. Your best bet is to honestly portray your career history.


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