How to write a resume – Prior experience

The Prior Experience section allows you to list other employers and positions separately to your main employer positions and achievements section. The prior experience section can come immediately after the main work history or the education and training section.

Resume Prior Experience

By splitting your work history into two sections you can easily separate the most relevant employers and positions (based on the needs of the position), from the less relevant positions you had in a different career, or positions from more than 10 – 15 years ago that are less relevant today, and still display a consistent track record of employment.

Excluding these older positions can camouflage your age, and is worth considering if you feel your age may be working against you.

How to write a resume – Education and training

Normally the education and training section would come after the work history section, but a good tactic for recent school, college or university leavers, who have little or no work experience, is to include it towards the top of the resume to focus the readers attention on your academic qualifications.

education and training

What education and training to include?

You want to include both the formal and informal education and training that’s relevant to the needs of the position, and you should aim to include all your formal education and qualifications. This tells the reader you’ve attained a particular level of education, and have been adding to your skills and knowledge with additional training or courses.

Education details.
List the formal education, the most recent first, and include university, college, junior college or community college, as well as trade school or high school. The basic information is the name of the school, city and state, as well as the qualification. It’s not necessary to list your high school if you attended a school beyond high school.

You can still list a college program you didn’t complete. One way for people to do this is to list the name of the school, city and state, and then to use phrasing like “50 credits towards B.S. Degree in Psychology” or “Courses in Economics and Sociology.” If you just list the school without an explanation, it could be interpreted that you graduated when you might not have.

It’s fine for you to list your college program major and it’s also acceptable to state that college preparatory classes were your high school focus. For advanced degrees, you will want to list a thesis topic. In any of these educational settings, it’s good to list a major and minor course of study, and if you’re a recent college graduates you can list your GPA (grade point average) if it is high, else you may want to consider leaving this out.

Training details.

This section can contain programs where you were awarded a certificate, and it can also include training that you received on the job or in seminars and workshops. List your formal training in this section, but it should not become a catch-all for every course you’ve ever taken.

Again the rule for this section is if it will make a difference and meets the needs of the position – leave it in; if it doesn’t – take it out.

How to write a resume – Work History (part 1)

The Work History section is the largest part of the resume, and will provide details of your employer, the positions you held, and your achievements. Before we dive into the Achievement Statements (part 2), It’s worth taking a quick look at the employer and positions details you can provide.

positions-1

In addition to the employers name, address (city and state) and dates, you can also add an employer summary statement.

An employer summary statement is a short sentence that would give the reader an understanding of what the employer did. Include an employer summary statement if you think the reader is unlikely to know the employer, or you need to add some context for each employer.

For example, listing a company simply as “Hotel Le Grand, Anytown, PA” gives the reader some information. Adding an employer summary statement such as “350-bed, 4 star hotel located downtown” gives the reader a context for your experiences, and they can better see how your experiences relate to their needs.

As the above example shows the key is to include only the most important two or three aspects of the employer, such as their size, industry or locations.

Examples:
A $200m, multi-national manufacturer of precision measuring devices.

or
50 person computer software consulting practice.

or
Large full service bank with 20 local branch offices.

When listing your position, you may want to include a position summary statement, which are similar to the employer summary statements and give the reader a better understanding of the role you performed and your responsibilities.

Position summary statements can be as short as one sentence or as long as two or three sentences.

Based on your actual job description, pull out the key elements of your responsibilities that best match the open position, or would provide a better perspective for your achievements.

Short description examples:
Responsible for creating, enhancing and supporting web-based applications.

or
Actively recruited to set up and manage the companies new integrated customer service department.

or
Provide customers with advice and guidance in their fashion purchasing decisions. Maintain an attractive and welcoming shopping environment.

or
Utilize in-depth knowledge of educational principles and practices to construct lesson plans for 7th to 12th grade students.

Long description examples:
Responsible for creating, enhancing and supporting web-based applications. Maintaining release plans, feature and function lists for each release and shepherding each release through the development life cycle. Evaluating new web technologies for inclusion within the company’s tool-set.

or
Actively recruited internally to set up and manage the companies new integrated customer service department. Responsible for choosing and setting up technology infrastructure, including ACD phone system, email system, web-chat, quality monitoring systems. Designed and implemented employee remuneration and incentive scheme, holiday, vacation and sick policy.

How to write a resume – Contact details

Always found at the top of the resume, the purpose of this section is to let the reader know who you are and how to get in touch with you. In addition to your name, you will need to list your mailing address, a contact phone number and an email address.

 

Resume Contact details

Name:
It’s best to spell out fully the names your called by, though you can abbreviate other names
e.g. John A. Smith

Address:
List your full postal address including the zip/postal code and state/county. Using P.O. Boxes is also acceptable.

Phone:
I’d suggest having one phone number dedicated to your job search, and include just this number. Make sure the phone is yours (not your work number) and ideally not shared by anyone else. If you’re not available to answer a call, record your own professional voice message requesting the caller to leave their name and contact details, and a time to call them back.

Email:
Use a personal email address (definitely not your work email address), and one you can access and check regularly. Make sure your email address name is professional and not a cute name (such as koolchick or beerdude or something equally unprofessional).

Job search the Randori way – No.20

Randori (translated as “making order out of chaos” or “grasping freedom”) is an ancient eastern art. Typically practiced in a number of forms of martial arts, it revolves around 20 principles to manage 6 factors: Mind, Movement, Body, Purpose, Communication, Environment. We’ve taken a little “poetic license” but have come up with the job seekers Randori, or the translation I really like “making order out of chaos”.

Interject, pause and redirect

To adjust an interpersonal situation and engage them more with your randori mind, use atemi and unbalance the situation. Once unbalanced you can easily resolve and redirect it to a resolution.

When you find yourself in a stressful situation, you can resume a more relaxed and balanced mind-set by mentally distracting the source of your stress. There are many forms of mental distractions, from a smile at an unsuspecting person, to a movement or clearing your throat or a statement. The point is to do something socially acceptable but at an unexpected time. The purpose of the unbalancing is to completely, in a moment, shift the focus of the meeting from the path it has taken.

When you unbalance the source of your stress there is a pause in the conversation or situation. You have the opportunity to take a momentary breather from the pace and gather your thoughts. You are now able to continue directing the conversation or situation in a more controlled manner, and guide it back on a productive course.

_______________________________________________
Other articles in the Randori series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Greg, an expert Aikido practitioner, had taken these Randori principles and applied them to a business setting, and we thought they applied equally to the job search itself. You can learn more about Randori and Greg at Randorimind.com

Job search the Randori way – No.19

Randori (translated as “making order out of chaos” or “grasping freedom”) is an ancient eastern art. Typically practiced in a number of forms of martial arts, it revolves around 20 principles to manage 6 factors: Mind, Movement, Body, Purpose, Communication, Environment. We’ve taken a little “poetic license” but have come up with the job seekers Randori, or the translation I really like “making order out of chaos”.

Lead to your goal

You cannot make anybody do what they do not want to do, or go where they haven’t committed themselves to go. You can, however, keep them going in the direction that they have chosen and in the single moment of their imbalance stabilize them in a deflected direction. Intercepting a situation with applied force or resistance freezes your mind and body. This allows the situation to control you.

Instead of waiting for the interviewer to ask the “right” questions, you can lead the conversation by directing their attention. A useful approach is to take what the interviewer has presented, answer the question and ask them to expand upon their topic. When they follow your request, you are now leading them to give more information to you. There is a point when you can then hand the lead to the interviewer so they can assume control and pace of the conversation.

When you’re leading it is important to avoid using negative words or phrases, these will freeze the conversation and potentially shift the outcome onto a single question. The conversational flow requires a continued positive approach by both participants.

The reciprocal use of this leading technique is important to ensure each person fully understands the position and skills necessary to perform the job function. Once you have achieved this conclusion you can both make an informed decision.

_______________________________________________

Other articles in the Randori series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Greg, an expert Aikido practitioner, had taken these Randori principles and applied them to a business setting, and we thought they applied equally to the job search itself. You can learn more about Randori and Greg at Randorimind.com

Job search the Randori way – No.18

Randori (translated as “making order out of chaos” or “grasping freedom”) is an ancient eastern art. Typically practiced in a number of forms of martial arts, it revolves around 20 principles to manage 6 factors: Mind, Movement, Body, Purpose, Communication, Environment. We’ve taken a little “poetic license” but have come up with the job seekers Randori, or the translation I really like “making order out of chaos”.

Relieve tension and frustration

If you communicate tension or attempt intimidation, others will sense this, causing them to resist and apply their strength and intentions against you. Your chances of achieving your goals will diminish severely because your aggressive direction has elevated the group’s resistance.

Recruiters and hiring managers don’t want to feel as though you are stalking them. Attempting to force yourself into a situation or outcome can make the other person resistant to your desires. We need to purposefully pursue our goals, doing so with a combination of civility, courtesy and common sense. Applying these three traits will allow you to enjoy potential long term benefits to your career path.

Conversing with recruiters, personal contacts and hiring managers requires finesse. The career related purpose of these conversations is to identify areas of mutual benefit. When you use a calm and controlled communicating style you have the chance to observe and listen, allowing you to understand their needs. When you understand their needs you can assess how your agenda fits in with theirs.

Avoid showing your personal tensions by regularly calling recruiters to ‘just check in’ or ‘seeing what’s new’. You can show your professional side when your call is geared towards advancing their goals, fill a requirement or add to their pool of candidates. This type of conversation gives you the opportunity to reconnect with professionals and strengthen your network of contacts.

_______________________________________________

Other articles in the Randori series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Greg, an expert Aikido practitioner, had taken these Randori principles and applied them to a business setting, and we thought they applied equally to the job search itself. You can learn more about Randori and Greg at Randorimind.com

Job search the Randori way – No.17

Randori (translated as “making order out of chaos” or “grasping freedom”) is an ancient eastern art. Typically practiced in a number of forms of martial arts, it revolves around 20 principles to manage 6 factors: Mind, Movement, Body, Purpose, Communication, Environment. We’ve taken a little “poetic license” but have come up with the job seekers Randori, or the translation I really like “making order out of chaos”.

Build from a solid base.

Each first connection is brief; sometimes the connection isn’t even physical. So enter each encounter and make the contact with the end already achieved. Commit yourself to the details of the resolution before you have to apply them.

First impressions happen in the very first seconds of a meeting, the rest is either a building process or an extraction from the situation. Imagine meeting someone who sneezes into their hand and then extends it to you; end of the meeting in your mind.

Reaching a positive resolution from any meeting comes from maintaining the connections you established at the initial encounter. An interview is the time to explore possibilities and determine how you can benefit the employer and vice versa. The resolution develops when you arrive at an understanding of their needs and matched with your abilities.

Begin every conversation knowing a resolution will arrive; remain open and unattached to a specific outcome. Your openness will allow you to maintain the connection and gain information about a company and the perspective of the hiring manager.

The information your gathering, combined with your ability to sustain interest and connections throughout the meeting, will lead to a resolution. While there may or may not be a fit for you from this particular meeting, the people in the meeting will remember you and your ability to discuss their needs. Having established a good connection from a productive meting, this connection may serve you well in future job searches or career progress.

_______________________________________________

Other articles in the Randori series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Greg, an expert Aikido practitioner, had taken these Randori principles and applied them to a business setting, and we thought they applied equally to the job search itself. You can learn more about Randori and Greg at Randorimind.com

Job search the Randori way – No.16

Randori (translated as “making order out of chaos” or “grasping freedom”) is an ancient eastern art. Typically practiced in a number of forms of martial arts, it revolves around 20 principles to manage 6 factors: Mind, Movement, Body, Purpose, Communication, Environment. We’ve taken a little “poetic license” but have come up with the job seekers Randori, or the translation I really like “making order out of chaos”.

Powerful communication is non-verbal.

Use the more powerful forms of communication to direct the people and then use words. Your words then become assurance to the listener and not a point of argument, conflict or tension.

Others see our personality, temperament, attitude and esteem through our mannerisms and behavior. Business value is created by matching capable people to the needs of the job. The people who achieve their goals instill trust and confidence in others. These same people translate a thought into a result and thereby become a valuable asset to any employer.

Whether you’re in a career transition or job search, being able to quickly and confidently communicate your value lets you set a good first impression. Even before you say a word, you set a good first impression when you move with assurance and grace. During a meeting or conversation be very aware of the personal space between you. Gaining closeness to somebody shows agreement. Others will do this to you when they perceive you as an asset, often by simply leaning forward a small increment towards you. This movement is so subtle you need an open and relaxed attitude to observe this important gesture of agreement or acceptance.

A conversation is often half way concluded before anybody speaks, and this is evident to those who have taken the time to learn non-verbal communication. It is said our body language controls our mind as much as our mind controls our body. Be assured, stand erect, proud without arrogance, smile, get your shoulders back and walk with dignity.
_______________________________________________

Other articles in the Randori series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Greg, an expert Aikido practitioner, had taken these Randori principles and applied them to a business setting, and we thought they applied equally to the job search itself. You can learn more about Randori and Greg at Randorimind.com

Job search the Randori way – No.15

Randori (translated as “making order out of chaos” or “grasping freedom”) is an ancient eastern art. Typically practiced in a number of forms of martial arts, it revolves around 20 principles to manage 6 factors: Mind, Movement, Body, Purpose, Communication, Environment. We’ve taken a little “poetic license” but have come up with the job seekers Randori, or the translation I really like “making order out of chaos”.

Deploy more than one tactic

When a number of problems arise involving a group of different people they are focused upon their narrowed viewpoint and little else, creating an artificial boundary for their perspective. Use this presumptive boundary by placing the different groups into each other’s path. When you do this it causes confusion and destabilizes the problems. Once they are destabilized, you can seize the void and direct your selected group more readily

Job searching tactics each have their own benefits and limitations which form the boundaries of your response. These boundaries can cause a diminishing return to your efforts, and your search can become stalled. For example, searching only job-boards, or only newspapers can result in limited results or interviews. This is especially true when you follow the prescribed rules and boundaries, which place you into a pool of thousands of applicants.

When a company advertises an open position solely on job-boards they expect a barrage of resumes. Finding and submitting your resume in another manner directly to the hiring manager will exploit this artificial boundary to your advantage by circumventing the storm of expected replies. Networking to get your resume into the hiring manager’s hands would present a more powerful tactic; doing so before the job is ever posted online, gives you a unique unfair advantage over everyone else.

Your search efficiency, the ability to get noticed and interviewed, will grow when you can see these boundaries and apply a variety of alternative search and submit tactics. Balancing all your search and submit methods keeps your search flexible, you avoid constructing your own self-limiting boundaries and stay one step ahead of everyone else.

_______________________________________________

Other articles in the Randori series: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Greg, an expert Aikido practitioner, had taken these Randori principles and applied them to a business setting, and we thought they applied equally to the job search itself. You can learn more about Randori and Greg at Randorimind.com