The Paranoid Resumes of Paranoid Candidates

FBI Badge & gun.

Image via Wikipedia

I know I’m always telling people what not to put on their resume. Now I’ll focus on what you do need on your resume not to appear a paranoid candidate – or like you’re more interested in protecting yourself from identity theft than getting a job.

Use your discretion on sites where you upload your resume. Depending on their security, amount of access the public or shady employers have to your info might limit what you want to include.

Thanks CareerBuilder, but when I uploaded my resume I did not want to be recruited for 1) The US Army 2) Shady work from home scams or 3) Commission only entry level sales positions.

  1. Full name. Yes, I’ve seen resumes with just a first name. It’ll make people wonder what else you’re hiding.
  2. Email address – you will appear out of touch with technology if you don’t have one.
  3. Phone number you’re at during normal business hours – cell ideally – some companies still always call candidates first – so if they can’t get in touch with you easily, they’ll find someone they can reach.
  4. Home address is a debatable one. I recommend it especially if your phone area code is not a local one or if you most recent position was out of town/state/country. Otherwise I don’t think it’s necessary. No one is mailing you anything. I personally do not keep my address on my resume, but were I to move to a swanky prestigious building I’d add it then 😉
  5. Sterile information – your job responsibilities should not sound like anyone could have done them anywhere. Unless you worked for the FBI or in a similar level of confidentiality, you can’t be discreet about what you did. If you can’t disclose where you did it, list employer as, “Confidential, USA” or similar. If you legally can’t even mention what you did, you’re probably better off leaving the position off your resume, and for the years employed there, note that it is confidential – don’t try to make it sound like you did ‘important things, somewhere’.  Same goes for university – yes it’s fine to be polite and refer to your attendance at Harvard at social events as , “I went to school in Boston,” so as not to come across as pretentious, but on your resume is not the time to be humble.
Advertisements

What Not to Wear to Work

Bill Gates in business-casual attire.

Via Wikipedia - Gates in (Nerdy) Business Casual

I recently remarked to my husband that I wish I could wear PJ’s to work or something equally as comfortable. He said the only socially acceptable way to do this is if we move to Staten Island or New Jersey. But what about all the other people in the office who are wearing things I wouldn’t paint my house in?

I’m not saying my office per se, but in general lines have blurred when it comes to what’s appropriate to wear to an office. I think the suits-only companies left are few and far between – primarily high-end law & accounting firms. I’m sure there may be others, but generally most offices have taken the ‘business casual’ or plain old ‘causal’ workforce attire.

Casual

Anything goes, and if you wear a suit people will assume you’re going for an interview somewhere else after work – unless the head honcho is in town. That doesn’t even apply if you work for a start-up or trendy DUMBO place – the CEO’s there probably are wearing their hipster faded jeans too.

Business Casual   

The ultimate of gray areas. When people ask me what that means at interviews, I generally say, “No jeans, sweats, sneakers, t-shirts, large logo’s, or workout wear – and anything else goes.” What does it really mean in an office environment? It means 3 people in the same exact position & salary – one will be in a collared shirt, tie and slacks. The next guy will be in flip flops, shorts, and a t-shirt. The third person will be in a head-to-toe ed hardy or similar design/logo-covered sweat suit with expensive sneakers. Depending on where you work is how much will fly causally.

Business Attire

AKA suits. Or at least a shirt and tie with a jacket perpetually on the back of your chair. The ladies get to mix it up with either pencil skirts or pants. It is expected that your clothing is tailored to fit you. You should look and act like a professional.

Dress-down Fridays?

I’ve seen the flip flops with shorts in one department of a company on a Friday, where a different department a supervisor remarked, “I couldn’t help but notice you were wearing jeans on Friday…” When in Rome…even if there is a dress-down policy in some departments, it may not apply to all. Take a hint from what your supervisor wears. Also if you have an important meeting on a Friday, that’s a good reason to dress well anyway.

Dress for the Job You Want, Not the Job You Have

This is old advice that many have lived by, and I’ve seen it work successfully. It may come across as awkward if you have a large divide in what the next level of administration up from you wears, i.e. if you’re level dresses casually as call takers, but the supervisors wear suits, it might seem weird if you walk in suddenly one day and going forward in suits. I suggest taking it up one step, but never over-dress. If the boss doesn’t wear a tie or suit, you shouldn’t either. It doesn’t mean that you have to go casual. Wear sleek, classic styles that would make you stand out from the jeans crowd, but not peg you as someone trying too hard.

Dress = Atmosphere

Business clothing brings with it the ‘business’ atmosphere. You wouldn’t yell out, “Who wants to come for pizza with me for lunch?” in a business environment. But if everyone’s dressed casually, why not? I saw an article featuring a start-up that had clothing for the start-up CEO. Yes, I’m serious. It was basically very overpriced durable hipster suit jackets to be worn with jeans and collared shirts. The craziest part? All the comments left on the article were either commending the company – that it’s so hard to figure out what to wear when you don’t want to overdress – but also don’t want to be the brunt of ‘Zuckerberg’ jokes because he’s still wearing sweats with flip flops a few billion later.

Then women got in on it in the comments section – like how men don’t need $400 suit jackets to wear with jeans – women do! That the men are all wearing collared shirts & jeans – but what do the women wear to look put together but casual, and still get taken seriously?

The women were jealous and were hoping this company would do a women’s line. Wow. All I could think was that uniforms are great. That high-paid executives, even business owners, have trouble presenting themselves with clothing – and wouldn’t it be easier to take out all the guessing?

Even if the uniform is black suit, light colored shirt, at least you won’t have to spend hours guessing what’s appropriate for work that day!

So in conclusion  –  know that whatever you wear will be judged in your place of employment. It may never be expressed to you, but the overall impression your coworkers and superiors have of you will be largely based on your appearance. Yep we’re that superficial, now you know – don’t pretend you don’t.

Wearing beach clothes to work is fine if you’re in a dead-ended job and plan to burn your bridges with them on your way out – but if you even think you might want to use them as a reference for your next ‘real job’ – dress up a bit more.

You have nothing to lose except a little comfort. Go get into your t-shirt as soon as you get home, pop open a cold beer, and return to being the unprofessional sloth you really are deep down inside. At least this way no one at work will ever be on to it, and you’ll have a professional reputation!

Shortlink to this post: http://wp.me/pWfpN-fy

Less Design is More – Top 5 Ways to Get Your Resume Thrown Out

25_1_3 Red Swans anad Floral Border Close-Up

 

1. Mail in a hard copy on floral stationary. Or any ‘stationary’. Could be that small companies or those with older hiring managers might be impressed with such efforts, but even those places generally want it faxed in. (On a side note: Can you believe people still use faxes? Sorry, I didn’t get it, do you mind sending it again? Oh, you have a confirmation receipt that it was sent? Isn’t that lovely.)

2. Email in a virtual copy on floral stationary. Or any ‘stationary’. Even the ones in outlook, like simple plaid, are completely unprofessional. Not for sending a resume, not for once you start a job.

3. Put a border on your resume or cover letter. Again, no design is professional beyond a small logo, if you have one. I’m not going to say that if you’re an artist you don’t have more leeway, but for everyone else, NO.

4. Put a picture on your application for any reason beyond modeling-type jobs. If it’s a job on craigslist requesting it, save yourself scumbags checking you out – just don’t apply.

5. Use the resume format template options in word. They’re generally terrible, and show up awkwardly. If you’re not a pro at word you’re better off just enlarging & bolding your name, headings (like “Experience” “Education” etc.), then center everything. Better yet, play with word when making your resume, and make yourself a pro. There are very few professional positions that wouldn’t benefit from those skills.

…I have yet to hear that poultry, kittens, or flowers on a resume helped to make that ‘special’ impression that helped someone snag the job they wanted…but maybe I’m hanging with the wrong crowd!

Catchy Websites Without the Dot Com

Although not career advise per se, I did an interview with Mike Sullivan http://sullysblog.com that you might want to check out –

http://sullysblog.com/Sharon-Siegel

It’s a bit more insight into why I didn’t choose a .com for my site, and why you shouldn’t be afraid to step a bit outside the norm when it comes to branding & marketing yourself.

Looking to Hire: Freelance Experienced Web Designer & Developer Needed


Looking for talented & fast freelance graphic designer/developer (or numerous freelancers to cover all functions).

This is for my personal web design & marketing business. Yes it’s legit. How much work will there be? Well that depends on the week, on your talent, and your turn-around time.

Web design with attention to detail.

Knowledge of the latest design trends.

UI & UE motivated.

Expert Photoshop designer. Providing Clean and organized designs & comps.

Web developer:

Expert PSD to HTML conversion.

Experience with usage of Java libraries (e.g jQuery, Ajax).

Cross browser compatibility.

Clean Code & CSS. SEO friendly.

Please email work samples for consideration. Starting salary $20/hr (no benefits, can be paid electronically if overseas candidate).

This will be telecommuting only. No need to waste time traveling.

Email work samples & questions to: jobs@designsdesigns.com

Footer Fetish: Top 5 Resume Tips

Cool Blog Sociale - 10 July 2008 - I Heart Job...

Image by SOCIALisBETTER via Flickr

  1. Do not list references, unless you like to offer freeloaders access to the info of the most successful people in your life. Recruiters often love this as that it gives them contacts of people who they can send their positions to. If a company wants your references, they’ll ask for them. Don’t even waste space saying they’re available upon request. Of course they are! Use that space for something useful. If anything, write snippets of recommendations from those important people (see below for my example).
  2. Do not include clubs and activities you participated in while in school if you graduated more than 5 years ago. If you did something significant that’s relevant (i.e. fundraised a large sum of money, organized a large event, gathered a lot of people for a good cause) definitely include that, but present it as an accomplishment, not as “Served as treasurer of the Boston University Chess Team and raised money for t-shirts”.
  3. Do not repeat your contact information if it’s at the top of the page, unless your resume is more than one page, which most likely it shouldn’t be. If it is, add it faded as a footer.
  4. Do not put key words randomly at the bottom of your resume. Do not do this in white font for ATS’s to pick up, it will also likely show up then. If you feel it’s important to stress a word use it in the body of the resume, not as a laundry list trailer. I know some people recommend this, but it can also land you in the spam/trash pile where those buzz words belong.
  5. Do use the very bottom of your resume for skills, hobbies, talents, languages, etc. that may be relevant for the position you’re applying to, or might help you stand out of the crowd. Worst case it doesn’t get read, just make sure you don’t come across as an activist or religious zealot if you are not applying to that cause (more on that at http://wp.me/pWfpN-b).

 

Bonus Goodie of the day: Here’s what the bottom of my resume looks like. Yes, it’s a bit much for the average person, but as someone who looks at resumes all day, every day, I make myself laugh with my resume. I probably should make this more formal, but I’d personally like to work for an employer with a sense of humor (oh and one with telecommuting option which allows for a healthy work/life balance, while I’m creating my dream employer).

SKILLS & FASCINIATING THINGS
 Expertise in Word, Advanced Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, SMART Technologies, OpenHire, Recruiting ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems).
 Social Media 2.0 & 3.0 Networking: twitter, linkedin, facebook, myspace, blogger, blogspot, stumbledupon, wordpress, mashable, etc.
 Experience with SEO, NYCAPS (PeopleSoft), SharePoint, HTML, Photoshop, HRIS, Siebel, Visio, Avaya Technology, SPSS, Types 75WPM.
 Published Photographer featured in art shows in NYC. Published poetry author.
 Independently raised & nationally awarded for development of over $25,000 for non-profit organization by editing/publishing journal.

WHAT’S BEEN SAID ABOUT…“Sharon demonstrated an astute judge of talent which was critical in supporting recruiting needs…I would rank her in the top 5% of employees that I have managed in the past five years in respect of her writing ability, research skills, and ability to attract talented staff.” — L.E.S., Asst. Commissioner for External Partnerships and Research, New York State Education Department

“A hard-working individual, Sharon does an amazing job at anything to which she sets her mind…she is very bright, creative and organized. She pays attention to the small details and excels at writing, editing and marketing people, ideas and products. She has the uncanny ability to turn something mediocre into something exceptionally fascinating and vivid. She is also excellent at networking and is familiar with a wide variety of industries. She is never afraid to tackle new projects or ideas.” – E.O., CEO, NYMFCU

12 Steps to a Career You Deserve


Hi my name is Sharon and I’m in a dead-end career/unemployed/underemployed….
All in unison: Hi Sharon.

Remember that you’re still the seller and that etiquette, manners, and patience will bring you much closer to your career goals than bitterness, laziness or rudeness.

1. Figure out what you’re actually qualified to do that you’d potentially enjoy, and reach within your bounds, overshooting them will be a wasted effort and give burn-out

2. Decide what type of position would suit you ideally, p/t, f/t, consulting, internship, etc.

3. Create a consistent, professional brand and profile for yourself: resumes & cover letters for various industries/target audiences, business cards, online web presence, thank you letters, elevator pitch, etc.

4. Apply to advertised jobs with targeted cover letters – I’ve seen many resumes thrown out because the objective or cover letter is targeted to a different job – make it crystal clear why you want THIS job, and why you’re qualified for THIS job, but feel free to mention what else you’d consider or to keep things broad

5. Send your resume to places you want to work, explaining why you want to work there & what positions you’d like, even if they don’t have advertised positions

6. Network with people in the industry you want to be in

7. General networking: make sure everyone you know or meet knows what you’re looking for and why

8. Follow up with sincere, personally written thank you notes to everyone who does anything for you in the process from introductions to interviews – but NEVER give a deadline or imply one, i.e., “I hope to hear from you regarding your decision by September 1” – it’s in poor taste, and perhaps it takes a month for the company to come to a decision – do you want the company to think you’re not longer interested because they couldn’t accommodate you?

9. Present your very best: have an excellent dark suit, pressed collared shirts, and classic bags/shoes/accessories/portfolios to present at interviews. Have something a little more daring for networking events to look professional but stand out of the crowd.

10. Confidence works: Interview and network like you’re everyone’s favorite person, try to figure out culture of others and tailor all responses and actions to where you are – when in Rome, do as the Romans

11. Realize that different strokes work for different folks: just because a technique landed your last job, don’t expect it to automatically work again

12. Negotiate offer, unless it’s clearly set in stone. Never expect to get more than you’ve asked for previously, and don’t expect much more than a job was advertised or offered at. Most companies figure nowasdays that they can find someone to do the job at the salary they want to pay, and they’re OK if that person isn’t you – but generally it doesn’t hurt to ask if a little more is available due to your extraordianary skills, value and talents you bring to the company. Reinstate why you want this role, why you want to work for the company, but is there any room for flexibility?

It can’t hurt – if a place rescinds your offer because you asked to negotiate you probably don’t want to work there anyway…that’s not nice!

Short link: http://wp.me/pWfpN-61