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Rock My Resume: Bradley D. Olin
July 25, 2011 at 7:48 pm #136476First of all, thank you for providing this service and thanks in advance to any who are kind enough to share their constructive criticism and compliments.
- Why do you want your resume reviewed?
- First of all, I’d like to make my resume a bit more eye-catching and attractive. I am mostly happy with the information conveyed, but it just ends up looking like a big wall of text. I’m interested in as much constructive feedback as I can muster. I understand the concept of mirroring duties and traits so that HR analysts pick up as many matches as possible, but somehow I’m still not getting many interviews despite my experience and qualifications. It may just be that the marketplace is just rife with talent in excess of my own.
- What is your current situation (employed, seeking, etc.)?
- I’m currently employed full time but have been reduced to a half-time employee with reduced benefits, effective August 8, through budget cuts (no fault of my own). I am looking to advance in local government, preferably out of planning and into a policy/management generalist role. While I’m not dying to work in the private sector, I am also considering it as an option due to the limited opportunities in the public and non-profit realm.
- Where are you in the process (submitted resumes, applied for jobs, etc.)?
- I have applied for jobs with over 40 local government agencies, many of which would be considered promotions, or lateral moves for slightly better pay. I have received mostly rejection letters in response, and a small handful of interviews.
- What’s the main issue you’re encountering?
- In almost all cases I’m meeting or exceeding the minimum qualifications, but am not getting interviews, likely due to competition in my estimate.
- Can you share 1 link to a job you’re interested in applying for?
- Why do you want your resume reviewed?
August 28, 2011 at 8:53 pm #136493
Thank you for participating in the Rock Your Résumé program. It is a pleasure to be part of this great program and to review your résumé. I hope to offer suggestions that will help you improve your résumé and get more quality interviews. You mentioned that you were looking to enhance your résumé to make it more eye catching—that is my specialty along with optimizing it to align with the job announcement. I have included a second file with the track changes turned off so you can see where I added some color to enhance the résumé without going overboard. I am a fan of adding a page color because personally, my eyes tire of the white backgrounds with so much online reading. However, even on a colored background be sure to use a dark font (black is fine) so that it truly is easy to see. For example, gray lettering on a white background is extremely difficult to read. There are many ways to enhance with color, but I chose to tie in the color in your name background with the titles.
When I created the new file and accepted the changes from the original file, the text appears on white blocks. This can be fixed by creating a new file, coloring the page, the copy and paste the text. You might have to do it sentence by sentence and not take the coding embedded in the paragraph symbol, but I didn’t make all the changes or fixes that need done to the résumé based on the time I spent offering suggestions. I think you will get the idea though once you look at both files, but picture it without the white blocks.
Overall your résumé is very good. If you are getting interviews, the résumé is working. However, in my opinion, the two most important sections are missing from your résumé. These sections could be named Qualifications, Professional Summary, Summary of Qualifications; and Key Competencies or Core Competencies.
The headline, profile summary, and first two “sections” on the traditional résumé are the most critical in terms of capturing and keeping the attention of the reader. Does your résumé pass the 5-second skim test? When creating a traditional résumé using a Word document, it is important to address the needs of the employer—quickly! Leave off the old fashioned, generic “objective” and replace it with KEYwords specific to the job that will QUICKLY capture the reader’s (employer’s) attention.
Think of those first few seconds like reading the title to a book. Will the “title” to your book compel the reader to open the book and read your story? If your headline (brand) and the first one-third of the page (before the first fold) are visually appealing, compelling, and addresses the needs of the employer, it should capture his/her attention. Then, if it flows with qualifications and telling your story, it will be easy to keep his/her attention because you have attracted their interest. Now they will want to know more about you and what you can do to solve their problems and address their needs. If you combine your branding elements with qualifications and tell a story, this approach will get you much further…faster…in the hiring process.
Begin with your headline, then a brief 3 to 4-line profile summary, incorporating keywords. Create the Qualifications Summary to demonstrate your knowledge, skills, and abilities—qualifications. Then craft the Core Competencies section using keywords from the announcement along with your expertise and skills.
There are three purposes for the Qualifications Summary and Core Competencies sections on the résumé (and you can use different titles if necessary):
- Aligning you/your résumé with the job announcement—branding and outlining qualifications.
- Keyword optimizing—copying these sections into an online résumé builder.
- Most important, when you interview for the position—you and the hiring official will have great talking points that are directly relevant to the job!
I reviewed the job announcement and incorporated a few bullets into the résumé to show you what should go into these sections. You can use a word cloud to ensure that you have included the key words into your résumé. One way to do this is to use http://www.Wordle.net. It will help you to quickly identify key words relevant to the job announcement.
This is a personal preference, but to me, the Garamond font is really choppy and hard to read, especially in a small font. I recommend using a more modern font, and writing more concisely.
To utilize space more effectively, I recommend eliminating unnecessary words, including: Role, Skills/Duties, and miscellaneous, to name a few. On the second file with no track changes, I moved your education up. Since you do have a Masters degree, I would put it higher on the résumé.
I believe my “track changes” and comments are self-explanatory, but if you have any questions, please feel free to ask. I look forward to seeing the changes you incorporate into the next version of your résumé. Be sure to post it here so others can benefit from the Rock Your Résumé program.
Have a great day!
August 29, 2011 at 5:03 pm #136491
This is extremely helpful and insightful! I will give this a thorough review and post my update as time permits. Thanks for all of your ideas!
August 29, 2011 at 7:03 pm #136488
I’ve completed the makeover process, and put my own finishing touches on your work, cleaned up some of my language, and adjusted some formatting. Very pleased with the end result. Please see attached.
August 29, 2011 at 7:23 pm #136486
Thank you for your kind words! This is very exciting to see that you have incorporated the comments and changes so quickly! I love the new word “solutions” added to the “byline” at the top of the resume! Great idea!
I viewed the file and it looks great! I have an additional suggestion though–since you have about an inch at the bottom of page 2, I would front load page 1 a bit more and add in 2 more bullet points (selling points directly from the job announcement) to add even more value. Another suggestion would be to add a “return” before Core Competencies and before Professional Experience, and one in the header after your email address so the text moves down the page a bit on page 2 (and maybe bump the font a notch up to make your contact info easier to read). You can tighten up the space between the paragraphs by selecting the space, then choosing a small font size, so instead of 10 points, take it to a 7.
I’m excited for you and will be anxious to hear about your success! Keep me posted! =)
Best of luck to you!
September 7, 2011 at 3:53 pm #136483
Thanks again for the words of encouragement and support. After further review, I felt that there was still a wall of text, which is hard on human eyes, but good for robo-screeners looking for as many keywords as possible. I wound up making a spin-off resume with fewer bullet points, a friendlier font, and more unique color scheme (blue and green accents are most common, evidently). When applying for jobs I can make an educated guess about whom (or what) is likely to be reviewing it and then submit one or the other. I’ve attached the alternative below.
September 7, 2011 at 5:10 pm #136479
This is fantastic! That is what this program is about–education. I am excited to see that you are “continually” improving your résumé. That is exactly what you should be doing. Résumés are a work in progress. I had to smile when I read your comment about “a wall of text.” A résumé is a lot of text. It is important to be creative and capture the reader’s attention in 5-8 seconds, then they will read the text. The goal is to capture, then keep their attention.
I skimmed through the résumé and took the liberty to make some minor tweaks. <smile> I love your name centered with the contact information readable. I hyperlinked your email to make it easy for the employer to click and send you an email. Because you have chosen to use color with your name, I took it out of the header and placed it in the document. This will make the name the same “color” as the rest of the headings, even though it is, when it is viewed on-screen, it shows it like a watermark. Don’t get me wrong, I love using headers. However, this color looks better on the page and there are only two pages to the résumé. Just my humble opinion.
I made your sentences that contain a “series” consistent using the comma before “and.” I really like the qualifications bullets and core competencies. Be sure that if you are applying to a job announcement those two sections contain the requirements and keywords from the job announcement. I made the dates on the last page in a consistent format as well. Also, I noticed $2 billion separated–$2 on one line and billion wrapped to the next line. I wrote how to fix that on the version with track changes. Numbers and the next “word” should be kept together.
This is a fantastic networking résumé, Bradley! Great job! I look forward to hearing the results! I am very impressed. If you are this meticulous with your résumé, I can imagine how great you are on the job. =)
Thank you for participating in Rock Your Résumé. It is exciting to see the information put to great use. Best of luck to you.
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