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, July 5, 2016

"The Art of Superior Communication"/ "Ten Resume 'Don'ts'"

Jun. 23, 2016 "The Art of Superior Communication": This is also from Call Centre #1.  This is from

Your number one priority when writing a CV and a covering letter is to imagine what the reader wants to know and hear. And what the recruiter wants to hear is about you.

They are not looking for gimmicks and chattiness, they're looking for clarity. That means not listing everything in overwhelming detail but expressing the essence of your themes. It's fine to leave recruiters with further questions to ask at interview, so don't kill the CV stone dead by doing too much.

Buzzwords, used in moderation, are useful signposts that help the reader recognise the complex picture you are painting. But avoid yesterday's buzzwords like proactive and business process re-engineering.

Grammar can have a stunning effect on readers if it is done properly. But throw away the Word grammar checker. CVs don't follow proper English grammar. There are no sentences and no paragraphs, or there shouldn't be. The CV has its own conventions, based on creating impact and saving space, based on making a few words do a great deal of work. Aim to concentrate what you say and then further edit it down to the absolute minimum. Brevity is the soul of wit - it makes you look intelligent.

There are no rules in writing a CV (though cover letters are grammatical and follow fairly precise rules). Start by realising that you are freed from convention. The document you are creating has a series of goals and a number of inputs.

Think about your role as an author and have questions like these in the back of your mind, the kind of questions I use myself when writing a CV for someone professionally:

The Applicant Side Of Things

- How did you approach your role?
- What scenario did you encounter and what did you do about it?
- How were your methods superior to other ways of handling things?
- What legacy did you leave behind when you left that job?
- What more did you go on to achieve in the next job?

The Recruiter Perspective

Your job applications live in a context that goes beyond what you want, what you have done and what you are good at. This is the marketing side of the task and these are the kind of questions to be asking.

* What is my next career goal? Am I ready for it? Do I need further training? What issues are involved in making this change?

* What do I need to say in order to convince recruiters that I am ready for this particular goal?

* How will that sound convincing to the kind of people I expect to read it? What specific qualities and themes need to be prominent in the application?
* How will it fit the brief in this industry and at this level of professional role?

The Text Itself

* What information can I leave out or just use a trace of?

* What information will make me (my client) look stupid if I do include it?

* What can be implied over and above the actual facts?

* What innovations in CV design and content are likely to hit home in this commercial sector? (for example, in civil engineering, going beyond the traditional list of contracts and getting inside the way a project manager has actually shaped the latest contract, change the methodology, achieved commercial targets, etc.)

There are many ways of embarking upon the process of becoming a superior communicator, but if you start to get a feel for these questions you will start to understand what makes an effective written job application. The other superb thing about being creative in this way is that it helps clarify your career strategy and begins your preparation for performing confidently at interview.

"Ten Resume 'Don'ts'"by Peter Newfield
Resumes are a necessity for almost every job on the planet -- accountant, teacher, CEO or municipal employee. But unless you carefully and objectively examine your resume before sending it out, recycling bins across America may be filling up with those ill-planned documents.
Before mailing your next resume, check the ten resume "don'ts" below:
1. Appearances Count -- Don't try to save money by printing your resume on cheap copy paper instead of good quality stock. Check for typos, grammatical errors and coffee stains. Use the spell check feature on your word processor and ask a friend to review the resume to find mistakes you might have missed.
2. Does Size Matter? -- If your career warrants a two-page resume, then go ahead and create a document that reflects the full range of your experience and accomplishments. Don't reduce the type size to such a degree that your resume becomes difficult to read.
3. Truth or Consequences -- Don't fudge over dates or titles on your resume to hide the fact that you have been unemployed, that you switched jobs too frequently or that you held low-level positions. If a prospective employer conducts a background check and discovers that you lied, you can kiss the job good-bye.
4. State Your Case -- If you are seeking a job in a field in which you have no prior experience, don't use the chronological format for your resume. By using a functional or skills-oriented format, you can present your relevant experience and skills up front.
5. Put Your Best Foot Forward -- Don't simply copy the job description jargon from your company's HR manual. To show that you are more qualified than the competition for the positions you are seeking, you need to do more than simply list your job responsibilities. Present specific accomplishments and achievements: percentages increased, accounts expanded, awards won, etc.
6. No Excuses -- Don't include the reasons you are no longer working at each job listed on your resume. The phrases "Company sold," "Boss was an idiot" and "Left to make more money" have no place on your resume.

My opinion: If the company did close down and lay off all the employees, that's a good excuse.  That happened when I worked at Call Centre #1 and the Soup place. 
7. What Have You Done Lately? -- While it is certainly acceptable to have a two-page resume, don't list every single job you've ever held. Personnel managers are most interested in your experience from the last 10 years, so focus on your most recent and most relevant career experience.
8. Target Your Audience -- Don't mail out your resume to every ad in the Sunday newspaper. If you are not even remotely qualified for a position, don't apply. Read the ads, determine if you have the right credentials and save the wear and tear on your printer.
9. No Extra Papers, Please -- When you send out your resume, don't include copies of transcripts, letters of recommendation or awards, unless you are specifically asked to do so. If you are called in for an interview, you may bring these extra materials along in your briefcase for show-and-tell.
10. Don't Get Personal -- Personal information does not belong on a resume in the United States. Don't include information on your marital status, age, race, family or hobbies.


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