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curtis rosche
05-14-2012, 12:59 PM
any pros or cons to any of the free resume makers out there? i started filling out a bunch of applications and realized i havent made one yet

David Weaver
05-14-2012, 1:11 PM
I don't know about any of the resume makers, but I would search for general tips of information, like how long a common resume is right now for a college student or recent graduate (it will be different than a resume for someone with 10 years of experience).

Also, little style tips like how much white space is acceptable, what will catch the eye of a hiring manager and what you don't need to have in droves on the resume and that might result in getting your resume passed by due the key information a manager wants to see being other than where they expect it.

Even if you use a canned maker to make a resume, it's worth doing an hour or two of detective work to make sure your resume suits your industry.

Schools out right now, right? Does your school have a career center where someone might be able to give you a good up-to-date format?

Dave Anderson NH
05-14-2012, 1:59 PM
As David said, step one is to make use of the facilities you pay and paid for at your school. Go to speak with and get advice from the placement service or whatever it is caled at your school. It would also be helpful to have them review whatever you end up writing. Being in or just out of school means you should limit the length of whatever you write to 2 pages unless you have co-op experience related to the type of jobs you are looking for. The most important thing for you is the cover letter. It needs to articulate your interest in the position that a particular company is offering and to show that you have some idea of what their business is all about. Similarly if you garner an interivew you need to research the company carefully before going to the interview.

Dan Friedrichs
05-14-2012, 3:29 PM
Related to what David said, be VERY careful with formatting and consistency. Spend a few DAYS reading about what makes a "Good" resume. Small style details (like em dashes mixed with en dashes) are almost as important as the more obvious things (avoiding misspellings, etc). There are a lot of non-obvious "rules", as well - for instance: be consistent in sentence structure. Example 1 (non consistent structure):

"Worked for McDonalds, 2001-2003.
-Lead a team
-Inventory control
-Placing customer satisfaction first"

Notice that each bullet starts with a different part of speech. The "correct" way is to write:

"Worked for McDonalds, 2001-2003.
-Lead a team
-Controlled inventory levels
-Placed customer satisfaction first"

Notice that this time, each bullet starts with an active voice verb.

That's just one example, but these kinds of trivial differences are the details that astute hiring managers look for to set you slightly apart from equally-qualified candidates. Spend a LOT of time looking at example resumes and reading about these sorts of details...

Steve Meliza
05-14-2012, 5:21 PM
I wouldn't agonize over the formatting unless you're applying for a job in an industry where that is important. In my experience I would be asked to feed my nicely formatted PDF/DOC resume into a website that chewed it up and spit it out into an ASCII format that I then had to clean up. I found it easier to keep a second copy of my resume in plain ASCII/TXT format like you would get with vi or Notepad for pasting into those websites.

My manager at my first job after I graduated made a comment about having had to sift through over 100 resumes to find a handful of people to call for a phone interview to fill the position that I got, he had developed a technique for quickly scanning a resume and deciding if they got a call or not. I didn't ask about what he was looking for, but each resume had maybe 20-30 seconds of his time before he moved on to the next one. It's impossible to say what each hiring manager is going to be looking for when scanning quickly, but a concise resume that focuses on your true strengths and experiences is better than one filled with fluff to pad it out in an effort to make it look more impressive.

What ever you do, don't claim to know something you don't. At my current job we have a guy that loves Perl and will ask Perl programming questions of anyone who puts that claim in their resume. It's surprising how often a recent college grad will claim Perl experience because they used it once in a class but are unable to answer simple questions about it. They don't get hired because they lied about their skills and knowledge.

Lee Schierer
05-14-2012, 10:24 PM
Above all else you want a resume that is completely truthful and that you wrote using your own words. There is nothing more embarrassing than having an interviewer ask you to explain what exactly you mean by a phrase in your resume and the words are not yours. Putting falsehoods of any sort in a resume can also prove embarrassing as you don't know the experience or background of the interviewer and that person might know enough to determine that there is a lie or embellishment in your resume. I interviewed a designer once that claimed to have designed this wonderful piece of equipment for the company he worked for. Little did he know that after he was fired, I was hired to fix the problems with that piece of equipment. Needless to say I didn't hire him.

Write your resume, then write letters followed by a phone call on people who could be potential employers or work in the desired field of work, but may not currently be hiring and ask for 20 minutes of their time to review your resume and job search plans face to face with you. Most professionals will willingly do this. You may also ask them for names and contact information of associates, higher level management people or friends to get another perspective on your resume and search efforts. Be sure to follow up each of these meetings with a nice thank you letter.

I found three of my four jobs that I held during my working career that way. None were ever advertised.

curtis rosche
05-15-2012, 1:30 AM
Write your resume, then write letters followed by a phone call on people who could be potential employers or work in the desired field of work, but may not currently be hiring and ask for 20 minutes of their time to review your resume and job search plans face to face with you. Most professionals will willingly do this. You may also ask them for names and contact information of associates, higher level management people or friends to get another perspective on your resume and search efforts. Be sure to follow up each of these meetings with a nice thank you letter.

I found three of my four jobs that I held during my working career that way. None were ever advertised.


every job ive worked so far, has never had a help wanted sign when i go in. i stay away from places with help wanted. theres always a reason they need people. so either the work sucks that they lose people, or no one really wants the work.

Ben Hatcher
05-15-2012, 12:34 PM
If you're up for learning something, find a format you like and try to replicate it in word without using a template. By the time you're finished, you can honestly claim to have experience using word.