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Resumes, ramblings and rhetoric – isn’t simpler better?

Posted by Deb Armstrong on October 9, 2009

It is day 1 of my blogging adventure. Folks who know me will be in complete shock, not that I am rambling on, that’s normal – the fact that I am using technology, that is somewhat out of character (okay, okay, pretty much freaking amazing).

I have started this blog mainly because I often wonder about stuff and given my 30 years working in the area of HR, I often wonder about the stuff we do, design, think about and apply that seriously impacts the lives of others. Today my wonderings are about hiring.
First, what really should someone put on a resume? I am basically a lazy person so I like the nice, clean to the point two or three pager that readily lays out the individuals technical skills (education etc) their experience (where worked and when) and then any special interests, awards, activities etc (so I have some thing to use for small talk during the interview). I am not really interested in the self professed goals, attributes and the such like that clutters the first two inches of most of the resumes I review. I am wondering, what am I missing? Do these things really tell us anything about the candidate other than they have either attended a resume/cover letter workshop and/or they are simply smart enough to tell us what we want to hear? Shouldn’t that stuff be in the cover letter which tends to show us they have thought about who they are applying to and done a bit of research? I’m wondering, am I the only one who finds these fillers annoying, slightly presumptuous and frankly a time waster? I am not wondering if I have become an old fart – the jury is in on that one.
This may seem to be pretty trivial but I have had experience with lots of folks, looking for work, all ages, who are torturing themselves trying to come up with the ‘right’ tag lines and I keep suggesting they focus more on the content of the resume – making it easier for the lazy HR person (I just know I am not the only one) to cut to the chase. I am wondering if I am giving out the wrong advice!!
Whatcha think?

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