Monday, May 22, 2006

Why a Resume Gap Beats Flipping Burgers

The Wall Street Journal is running a story titled Why a Resume Gap Beats Flipping Burgers. The article essentially advises to leave off remedial work from your resume. This applies for college resumes as well. Students are often of the opinion that including their fantastic performance at a restaurant chain or department store may be that little something that gets them a bit ahead from the competition. It may seem like a logical point of view, but what looks better--two roses or two roses with a dandelion?

You may be surprised to find that a resume is read for 15 seconds on average. Your goal should be to maximize those 15 seconds by providing quality content that is easy to navigate, read, and retain. I often advocate that the best way to improve a resume is not to hand it to someone to correct at their convenience, but rather to hand it to them for 15 seconds and then ask them to repeat what they remember from it. If after 15 seconds the reader does not pickup the most vital information you want to convey--that you are very good at project management, that you have public speaking experience, that you know how to get things done, that you interned at Yahoo--then you know exactly what you need to clarify and needs to be summarized.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if you're still working that low level job while your applying for other jobs? Personally I always thought it was more responsible to let the person looking at my resume know that I'm already employed even if it is at a non related job. Or should I just take that part out of my resume and explain that in the interview?

11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generally I do not post on blogs, but I would like to say that this post really forced me to do so! really nice post.

8:57 PM  

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