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So, How’s Your Résumé? (Posted On: Monday, March 23, 2009)

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So, How’s Your Résumé?

A résumé is many things to different people. For YOU, it’s the first impression a potential employer gets of your skills and abilities including the ability to write in a clear and concise manner. It’s a marketing tool and the product being “sold” is you.

Do any of the following sound familiar:

  • I’ve updated my résumé and sent it to 20 employers, but haven’t heard back.
  • I know I’m qualified for the job, but didn’t even get an interview.
  • I haven’t written a résumé in 20 years and wouldn’t know where to begin.
  • A résumé? Never had one.


For the EMPLOYER, a résumé is a screening tooling. With the high volume of job openings now posted on websites, the number of applicants has increased exponentially. It is said a recruiter initially spends 30 seconds looking at a résumé. Within that 30 seconds, they are looking for ways to “eliminate” your résumé from the process. Elimination can be something as simple as poor spelling or grammar, lack of clarity, disorganized format, lack of keywords, or no mention of accomplishments.

When emailing a résumé, sometimes the first “person” to read your résumé just might be a computer and not a real human being. Many companies now employ Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. Utilizing OCR technology, the employer reviews the job description for “key words” pertinent to the job and enters those words into the computer. Each electronic résumé received is then scanned by the computer to determine if the résumé contains the same key words. Didn’t include the right words? Eliminated! 

What about your cover letter? Does it ramble on and lose the reader’s attention? Does it mention the value you bring to an organization? A poorly written cover letter can also cause you to be eliminated from the application process.

So, you had the interview and now you’re sitting at home anxiously awaiting a phone call. After all the interviews, do you think the recruiter remembers you? What can you do to show your true interest in the position?

Oh, you’ve got a profile on LinkedIn or Facebook? How professional, or personal, is your profile? Some employers are “pre-screening” job applicants by reviewing their on-line profiles contained on such sites. Better keep your public profile strictly professional. Leave all the fun and interesting personal information to your private profile or invited guests only.

Creating a résumé portfolio (résumé, cover letter, thank you letter, and reference page) that is unique yet concise and stands out from the other applicants is one that will NOT be eliminated but will generate interest and, ultimately, job interviews. Not everyone can do this on their own and NEVER use an on-line résumé template or you will end up looking just like everyone else who used the same template!

Robust Résumés and Resources is a locally based e-commerce business here in the Georgian Triangle. Its’ owner, Brenda Collard-Mills, is a Certified Résumé Strategist – an accreditation granted by Career Professionals of Canada, the only governing body in Canada to do so.

Brenda works with each client to take their résumé to the next level and help open the door to an interview. Whether you are just starting out, re-entering the job market, changing careers, striving for career advancement, or you’ve been impacted by economic “downsizing”, Robust Résumés can help you achieve your goal, regardless of stature or profession, in a friendly and confidential environment.

Though you may consider the cost of hiring a professional to be excessive, consider this: a résumé is an investment in your future. The costs of having a professionally crafted résumé equate to less than 1% of future earnings yet help to quickly advance you through the job application process.

Robust Résumés and Resources offers the following services:

Individually tailored Résumé

Cover Letter

Thank You Letter

Reference Page

Résumé Coaching (for the “do-it-yourself” type)

Résumé Clinics (for business clients wanting to offer assistance to the laid off worker).

Contact Robust Résumés and Resources for a free résumé assessment &/or a quotation for any of these services. As well, you may visit our website for further information on our services, résumé facts and figures, and useful links. While you’re there, take a look at our official “Office Assistant” – a proud supporter of the Georgian Bay Animal Rescue association.

This article is brought to you by:

Brenda Collard-Mills, C.R.S., Q.A.A.
Robust Résumés and Resources
(705) 429-4073
brendac-mills@sympatico.ca or
www.robustresumesandresources.com

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