THE MYTH OF ‘WHITE SPACE’ AND OTHER RÉSUMÉ BELIEFS


Labour Day is coming up this year. For me, it is busiest time of year as career minded wage earners hit the streets in search of something more lucrative.

As a result, over the past couple of weeks I ha
ve seen a lot or résumés in circulation. They had a lot in common. They had the name and personal information on the left hand margin nicely shaded, they sported an objective, and they had plenty of white space. In short, they had all the text book attributes that one might have found at the turn of the century.

It is as if everyone got a job 15 years ago and didn’t take their résumés out of the bottom left hand drawer until now.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe these job seekers are going to be competitive in today’s labour marketplace.

It’s time for my first annual résumé clinic.

1. Clean up the contact information
All you need to put here is your name, address, phone number, cell number and email address. Don’t put your age, marital status, or Social Insurance Number. Also, it’s best not to put any shading around it. With old fashioned fax machinesshading resembles a slug’s romping ground.

Remember, and employers won’t call you if they can’t read the information.

Imagine yourself behind an employer’s desk. She is holding a stack of résumés as she reads through them. Where is her thumb? It’s lounging across the upper left hand corner isn’t it? If your name is under her thumb, she may have difficulty seeing it.

Don’t make it hard for the employer. Centre it.

2. Dump the objective.
Fifteen years ago, résumés were almost built around an objective. It appeared right under the contact information, and it was deemed to be the most important part of the whole tome. The argument was that if there is no objective , there are no goals.

Nowadays, employers don’t care whether you have goals or not. They are looking for someone to solve their problems, someone who likes them, and someone whom they like. They want to get the job done and have some company culture left over so they can be in the Top Ten of all the places to work.

Here are a couple of objectives
• Seeking a position where I can grow with a company
• Seeking a position where I can develop my skills etc.

The objective, in analysis, tells the employer what you want. What kind of a bargaining position is that? Instead, tell them what you can do. Give some job titles. In fact, give three job titles as the human brain is used to processing things in threes.

Chose your three, centre them, then bold them and put them in italics. Follow that with a profile written in narrative form, then follow that up with a laundry list of “Key Strengths.” These should follow the job description.

3. Why white space?
White Space, which is space on the document where there is no writing, was once encouraged among résumé writers. The idea was that would take eyestrain from the poor recruiter. In reality, recruiters are going to have more to worry about than eye strain. They are under pressure to get the right person in the right job with minimal hassle.

I used to think that a good use for white space was to write notes in the margins. Recruiters don’t write notes in the margins. They use yellow lined paper and clip it to the resume.
White space is a myth. Fill the white space with facts and skills and useful stuff that might help you get the position.

Also, if you happen to go over one or two pages, feel free to put your name on them. Otherwise they’ll get lost along with all your hopes and dreams.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there “aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look like.
He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105 If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.

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3 Responses to “THE MYTH OF ‘WHITE SPACE’ AND OTHER RÉSUMÉ BELIEFS”

  1. energywriter Says:

    Great suggestions. When I was actively seeking better employment options I added a footer so that each page had my name and phone # as well as page #. Is that what you meant? Does your company offer resume services? It seems like your clients could use that help.

  2. Amedar Says:

    Very nice info and straight to the point. I am not sure if this is actually the best place to ask but do you people have any thoughts on where to employ some professional writers? Thank you 🙂

  3. How to Write an Ebook Like a Pro | My Urgent Information Says:

    […] Writing your Ebook and What Guidelines You Should KnowTaking The First Steps To Writing Your EbookTHE MYTH OF ‘WHITE SPACE’ AND OTHER RÉSUMÉ BELIEFS […]

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