Forums

I was just part of a layoff recently and while the info within my resume was current I hadn't put alot of thought into the layout of it. I then purchased the Interview Series as well as the Premium Content and changed my resume to emulate the MT resume style.

I have been in telecom as an account manager, a technical consultant and a sales manager since 1995. On three occasions, I was promoted from within the same company from a technical consultant/solutions consultant to a sales manager. I had a lunch meeting yesterday with the person responsible for getting me out of my hometown to what I feel has become a fairly successful career (did I mention I was just laid off?). When I found out that he was in my area and asked him to lunch I just wanted to catch up with him and see what resources he may have to aide in my job search. He sits down at lunch and pulls out my resume and proceeds to tell me that THIS is why I am not getting any calls about my accomplishments. I spent a ton of time crafting the right verbiage and only focusing on my accomplishments only to be told that there is no "story" to my resume. He said that attention is immediately drawn to the company name and the date that I worked there vs. my job title and what I did for each company.

He suggested that I reconfigure my resume to go like this - Strengths, Accomplishments (sub section for sales management and sub section for account management/technical consulting), Employment (lists the company name, city, date and one bullet describing my role at the company) and Education (I only attended one semester of college right after high school but have since begun taking classes non-stop to get my Bachelors degree- he felt that leaving this off because I didn't graduate wasn't smart).

I know that M and M don't have to time to critique resumes for everyone on here but I sure could use someone's assistance to help get me pointed in the right direction. Suggestions>

HMac's picture

I'll be brief - because I think this will be a lively thread!

I too have had my M-T resume receive mixed reviews. I'll make one suggestion: don't rely on any one person's view about your resume. Show it around a bit, ask for candid comments. And here's the key: show it to people who can critique it as if they are in the position of the company recruiter or the hiring manager - because they're the people who count in this instance (more than your mentor, more than your friends, more than your spouse, more than M/M, more than anybody!).

Remember the purpose of the resume is to GET THE INTERVIEW (not to "tell a story"). So make sure to ask people you respect: if your were the hiring manager and you saw this resume, would it get me the interview? And listen to their answers.

jhack's picture

Yahtzee,

It's no secret that not everyone agrees with the M&M format recommendations. As a hiring manager, I like the format. It allows me to understand quickly what someone has done, and is the basis of the interview. If the format and wording is right, attention IS drawn to the accomplishments.

You use the cover letter to talk about your strengths and what you can do for the firm. That's not the job of your resume.

DO NOT deviate from a reverse chronological approach. It raises questions (what are you trying to hide?) and confuses the reader.

"Telling a story" is not typically done for positions below six figures. John Lucht's book, "Rites of Passage..." (which I HIGHLY recommend) has a great discussion of when and how you use a resume to "tell a story."

John

yahtzee's picture

[quote="HMacNiven"]I think this will be a lively thread![/quote]

Man, I sure hope so.....if there has ever been a thread that I need to be lively it is this one....

[quote="HMacNiven"]show it to people who can critique it as if they are in the position of the company recruiter or the hiring manager [/quote]

Ironically, the person that I met with has owned his business for 15 years, taught at Va Tech and is exactly the type of person that will be looking at my resume moving forward in my job search. That's what has me so concerned.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Hi Yahtzee

Sorry to hear you were laid off. It is painful. Having done an MT revamp of my resume, I would say 90% of my feedback has been positive.

My experience is that everyone thinks they are a resume format expert and that if you ask questions related to format, you are going to get all sorts of stupid feedback. Among them will be comments like "too hard to read, not enough white space, I don't like the chronology, I don't like the font."

Generally, these comments are ridiculous. Have you ever met anyone who said they stopped reading a book, magazine or newspaper because it had inappropriate white space or a bad font? Not likely. People throw these words and phrases out even though they are not qualified to make any judgements on them.

Stop asking for this type of feedback - it will only drive you nuts and cause you to spend endless hours redoing your resume that someone else will not like.

Good luck

*RNTT

BJ_Marshall's picture

[quote="yahtzee"]Ironically, the person that I met with has owned his business for 15 years, taught at Va Tech and is exactly the type of person that will be looking at my resume moving forward in my job search. That's what has me so concerned.[/quote]

His impressive background doesn't necessarily mean he's an expert on resumes. Example: I spoke to a colleague two levels up whom I admire and who I know has conducted lots of interviews. She showed me the questions she asks in her interviews. NONE of them were behavioral questions. *groan*

Work your networks, plant your seeds, and don't worry what one guy says about your resume.

Best of luck to you in your job search!
BJ

lazerus's picture

The MT resumé is intended to get you an interview. I like having measurable accomplishments in a bullet list below the job activity, because it forces you to remove wording like "as a dynamic and seasoned professional, I've always delivered value added service and reliable performance..." blah blah blah. As opposed to:

[list]•Created and maintained shopwide quality control system, which resulted in a 40% reduction in rework.

• Led the IT team during successful technology transition from multiple unconnected desktop workstations to Server/Client system (SBS).
[/list:u]

This last one doesn't have a hard measurement, though it is a significant accomplishment that definitely has a story behind it. I want MY res to show a potential employer exactly how I can help their business as a manager, and I think the MT resume does that without any gobbledeygook.

By the way, I had almost exactly your experience recently. I asked someone in my network to look at my resume and pass it along to people he thought might be able to help me, and instead, told me to change my resume! So very helpful! I'm glad you are in love with your own resume style! Oh well. :roll:

eagerApprentice's picture

When I made my MT resume, ALL the feedback I got from friends in fortune 500 cos, ex-coworkers/managers, etc was bad...

But my interview rate spiked. :wink:

US41's picture

Be careful about listening to feedback on the resume. Most managers are D's, but there are some out there who are not - they are S, C, or I, and they might want a more narrative, more descriptive, or more detailed and lengthy resume with more complete data.

But most managers will not.

Do not manage your resume by exception. Do not allow one negative feedback to turn your resume into a multi-page train wreck that someone like me (and most - but not all of my peers by the way) would not want to see and would find to be a tedious exercise in excessive detail.

[quote]•Created and maintained shopwide quality control system, which resulted in a 40% reduction in rework. [/quote]

Very nice.

[quote]
• Led the IT team during successful technology transition from multiple unconnected desktop workstations to Server/Client system (SBS). [/quote]

Measure how long it took. Example: ...in three months. You can measure all kinds of things - you can measure:

* Time
* People
* Labor hours
* Money
* Productivity
* Efficiency

There's a measurement. Find it.

lazerus's picture

Thanks, US41 for pointing this out. There is always a measurement.

yahtzee's picture

Thanks for all of the replies....I have taken my MT resume and made it even better. I do have another question....I have been promoted on 3 different occasions within the same company (company a promotion, company b promotion and company c promotion). Do I list those sections any differently on my resume? Maybe in a way that lets those three companies stand out instead of looking like a lot of jobs at first glance?

mikehansen's picture

This has been covered before in more detail at http://www.manager-tools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=2318.

Each promotion is a seperate section with a seperate description and accomplishments. It does not matter if it is the same company. A promotion typically involves different responsiblity and thus is a different job.

It will read fine and show the progression in your career.

Hope that helps, Mike.

balert's picture

Just thought I'd chime in on an experience I had presenting my MT resume' to a recruiting firm.

Toward the end of the interview, I was asked if I could provide a resume' in a format other than the one I gave, i.e. the MT resume'. I said that I use the MT site regularly and was directed to craft it in this manner for focus and efficiency. Half jokingly, the recruiter said that advice is bullsh*t and there's no white space, it's difficult to read, etc.

Well, not taking the comment personally, I said I would find one or make one. I did, and now they're happy. Well, if it gets me in the door, I'll keep a MT copy and a curriculum vitae-style copy. My concern is that I usually only have one shot to make a good first impression. If I continue to receive this kind of feedback from recruiters, it'll call into question for me the veracity of the MT format.

yahtzee's picture

Ironically, I spent all of today at Lee, Hecht and Harrison going through orientation and spending an hour with my newly assigned career coach. My former company paid for 3 mos of this service after my layoff so I thought I would at least check it out.

The orientation was fine and my career coach was almost taken back when he saw how prepared I was. The one thing he mentioned was how difficult it was to read my MT resume. I am all for doing it the MT way but the only people that have found my resume of a good format have been the people on MT. As I said, I am not wanting to buck the MT system. I just want people to see my resume and want to interview me. My interviews to date have come from networking, not my resume so I have yet to see the effects (other than the negative comments) of my awesome MT resume.

jhack's picture

What has been the feedback from actual hiring managers?

John

yahtzee's picture

[quote="jhack"]What has been the feedback from actual hiring managers?

John[/quote]

Yesterday, I had a VP at a very well respected Fortune 77 company ( :) ) tell me that my resume looked like I have worked for a lot of places in my career....While I have had some run ins with some layoffs, mergers and acquisitions, three of the company's I have listed have promoted me to the next level. The MT way makes it appear at first glance that i have a laundry list of jobs when in fact it could almost be cut in half if I were to put each job under an employer once. Other than that, I have been interviewing my rear end off.

yahtzee's picture

Also, I am trying to tweak the MT version to lump my promotions at the three companies but it isn't looking pretty.....anyone done this with any success?

Here is what I have so far...just doesnt look right......

[url=http://www.daryl.com/MT_combined.doc]MT Revised[/url]

tomas's picture

yahtzee,

Looking at your resume, it appears that in the last 10 years you have been with companies, with an average stay of 1 year 5 months. There are a couple of gaps between jobs, which I'm sure you have a valid explanation for. Your most recent stint has been longer than the average at 3 and a half years, which shows an encouraging trend.

It doesn't really matter how format your resume, those statistics are going to make some hiring managers wary. I think formatting positions at one company so that they are clearly understood as being with the same company is a good idea, but at the end of the day no resume format is going to change the fact that your work history shows a certain amount of "mobility".

At this point you are probably better off honing the content, or practising your interview skills so that you make the most of the opportunities that do come your way.

HMac's picture

Hey - don't lose sight of the overall objective of the resume (to get interviews). So far, you seem to be succeeding! Maybe there's room for some more tweaking (OK, there's ALWAYS room for tweaking :D ), but don't discount the results so far: your resume is getting you interviews.

yahtzee's picture

[quote="tomas"]yahtzee,

Looking at your resume, it appears that in the last 10 years you have been with companies, with an average stay of 1 year 5 months. There are a couple of gaps between jobs, which I'm sure you have a valid explanation for. Your most recent stint has been longer than the average at 3 and a half years, which shows an encouraging trend.

It doesn't really matter how format your resume, those statistics are going to make some hiring managers wary. I think formatting positions at one company so that they are clearly understood as being with the same company is a good idea, but at the end of the day no resume format is going to change the fact that your work history shows a certain amount of "mobility".

At this point you are probably better off honing the content, or practising your interview skills so that you make the most of the opportunities that do come your way.[/quote]

I can see how it appears from the outside looking in (as is the case with all hiring managers looking at my resume) but it is what it is. There is nothing I can do to change the past only focus on improvement in the future. I have never been fired from an organization and 3 of the 4 shorter term employment stints have ended as a result of entire business units being dissolved and/or as a result of a company going away completely.

yahtzee's picture

[quote="HMacNiven"]Hey - don't lose sight of the overall objective of the resume (to get interviews). So far, you seem to be succeeding! Maybe there's room for some more tweaking (OK, there's ALWAYS room for tweaking :D ), but don't discount the results so far: your resume is getting you interviews.[/quote]

I appreciate your comments but of the 7-8 interviews that I have had in 2+ weeks, NONE of them have come as a result of my resume. They have all come out of my networking relationships. That said, I shutter to think what I could be doing each week if my resume WAS working for me. I have spent hours sending out my resume to specific jobs that interest me and joined theladders.com for 30 days just to give it a shot. Interestingly, that site does have plenty of jobs that I don't see anywhere else yet I haven't gotten a single bite (other than mention of a poor resume that I would need to spend $695 to fix). Also, there is an option on that site to send your resume to specific recruiters and I have actually received notifications back that almost half of them have actually declined my information. I know they are weeding through many resumes but what I send to them is both the MT format in a word doc as well as the same format in cut and paste style (as they request). Hoping that Mark can shed some light on some things soon.

Thanks,

DW

tomas's picture

yahtzee,

If you do want to work on your resume, I have a couple of suggestions you might like to think about. These may take you outside of the MT standard resume template, so please don't take this as guidance. It is more in the way of a brainstroming session.

1). I wouldn't normally include any information in my resume about the circumstances around the move from one company to another, but I wonder whether you can somehow indicate where, for example, you have changed company due to a merger. Maybe add brackets after the company name with a description of the merger. eg:-

XYZ Ltd Jan 2000 - Dec 2001 (Due to merger with ABC Ltd)

I would be interest to see what others think.

2).Most of the companies you have worked for seem to be pretty well known, but to the extent that they aren't you could include some background information to provide more context. This is really more relevant where they are small provately held companies, rather than the big telecoms you seem to have worked for.

3). The MT resume format does include a description of your responsibilities in each role, which you already have. You might think about fleshing this out a bit more, especially on your more recent roles.

It would be interesting to conduct a split test on your resume. i.e. format one resume as the standard MT resume, and the other as more traditional resume with more whitespace etc. Send one resume to half of the recruiters you contact, and the other style of resume to the other half. Track which one gets you more responses. After all, if the idea is to get interviews, why not gather statistical evidence to support which resume type is the more effective? You would only do this if you were really unsure which format was the more effective one.

yahtzee's picture

[quote="tomas"]yahtzee,

If you do want to work on your resume, I have a couple of suggestions you might like to think about. These may take you outside of the MT standard resume template, so please don't take this as guidance. It is more in the way of a brainstroming session.

1). I wouldn't normally include any information in my resume about the circumstances around the move from one company to another, but I wonder whether you can somehow indicate where, for example, you have changed company due to a merger. Maybe add brackets after the company name with a description of the merger. eg:-

XYZ Ltd Jan 2000 - Dec 2001 (Due to merger with ABC Ltd)

I would be interest to see what others think.

2).Most of the companies you have worked for seem to be pretty well known, but to the extent that they aren't you could include some background information to provide more context. This is really more relevant where they are small provately held companies, rather than the big telecoms you seem to have worked for.

3). The MT resume format does include a description of your responsibilities in each role, which you already have. You might think about fleshing this out a bit more, especially on your more recent roles.

It would be interesting to conduct a split test on your resume. i.e. format one resume as the standard MT resume, and the other as more traditional resume with more whitespace etc. Send one resume to half of the recruiters you contact, and the other style of resume to the other half. Track which one gets you more responses. After all, if the idea is to get interviews, why not gather statistical evidence to support which resume type is the more effective? You would only do this if you were really unsure which format was the more effective one.[/quote]

Interesting that you mention a re-tooling......tell me what you think of this one....

[url=http://www.daryl.com/dww1.doc] Revised [/url]

tomas's picture

yahtzee,

I personally prefer your revised version, but it is clearly not the one page format favoured by Manager Tools. I think the fleshed out job descriptions are much better, and think the brief description of each company is a good addition. Even if the reader recognises the company name I think it is good to specify the focus of the company.

I think the additional whitespace is good, but I have a 20 inch widescreen monitor and can read the pages side by side. I find I have to zoom in to the one page format and scroll up and down, but maybe thats just me. I would find it annoying if I was going through 50 two page resumes, and then had to fiddle with zoom levels to view a one pager. But to be clear, Mark probably has about 10,000 time the experience I do in terms of reading and reviewing resumes so you may want to weight my opinion accordingly.

At the end of the day it has got to be about what works and what doesn't.

As an aside, not sure if you meant to obfuscate the name in the header of the second page.

yahtzee's picture

[quote="tomas"]yahtzee,

I personally prefer your revised version, but it is clearly not the one page format favoured by Manager Tools. I think the fleshed out job descriptions are much better, and think the brief description of each company is a good addition. Even if the reader recognises the company name I think it is good to specify the focus of the company.

I think the additional whitespace is good, but I have a 20 inch widescreen monitor and can read the pages side by side. I find I have to zoom in to the one page format and scroll up and down, but maybe thats just me. I would find it annoying if I was going through 50 two page resumes, and then had to fiddle with zoom levels to view a one pager. But to be clear, Mark probably has about 10,000 time the experience I do in terms of reading and reviewing resumes so you may want to weight my opinion accordingly.

At the end of the day it has got to be about what works and what doesn't.

As an aside, not sure if you meant to obfuscate the name in the header of the second page.[/quote]

Fixed...Thanks....anything you would change about the revised version?

tomas's picture

Looks ok to me, but I've really just given it a cursory glance.

It does spill over onto a third page in Word 2004 on the mac, but is fine in Word 2003 so I suspect it is not really an issue,

yahtzee's picture

[quote="tomas"]Looks ok to me, but I've really just given it a cursory glance.

It does spill over onto a third page in Word 2004 on the mac, but is fine in Word 2003 so I suspect it is not really an issue,[/quote]

Would you keep the last part about my "early career"?

tomas's picture

I'm not sure the "Early career" section adds very much, but doesn't really cost you anything either so I don't have an opinion either way.

iann22's picture

[quote]I have spent hours sending out my resume to specific jobs that interest me and joined theladders.com for 30 days just to give it a shot. Interestingly, that site does have plenty of jobs that I don't see anywhere else yet I haven't gotten a single bite (other than mention of a poor resume that I would need to spend $695 to fix). Also, there is an option on that site to send your resume to specific recruiters and I have actually received notifications back that almost half of them have actually declined my information. I know they are weeding through many resumes but what I send to them is both the MT format in a word doc as well as the same format in cut and paste style (as they request).[/quote]

Maybe I am making an incorrect inference here, but I would suggest that you do not rely on the job seeking sites to forward your CV and sell your skills.

Instead get the recruiters name and number. Call them directly. Send your CV to their private email address.

And close when you speak to them e.g. I would like my CV to be forwarded to this client and here's why…"

More communication is better.

This is working for me and I hope it helps you.

TomW's picture

[quote="yahtzee"][quote="tomas"]Looks ok to me, but I've really just given it a cursory glance.

It does spill over onto a third page in Word 2004 on the mac, but is fine in Word 2003 so I suspect it is not really an issue,[/quote]

Would you keep the last part about my "early career"?[/quote]

Why did you go that route instead of just listing the companies you worked for, like all the other positions? To me, it seems like it was too recent to generalize a bunch of positions, and almost seems like you're hiding something with it.

This is much better than the last version, with many more measurable accomplishments listed.

I like the multiple positions indented under one company. The downside of it is that it forces you to indent all positions, even if you only had one position at one company, burning up a lot of space on the page.

I think the "promoted to..." lines are redundant when the position is listed right above it.

Maybe it's just Mac Word 2008, but I'm seeing different bullet styles at the bottom than at the top (diamonds instead of circles). Are you seeing that too?

I don't think the company descriptions are necessary. They take up a fair amount of space that could be put to use in other ways (or just make the resume shorter) Not to mention, if someone in the US doesn't know Sprint, MCI, and ADT, you don't want them to hire you anyway because they live under their desk without electricity.

HMac's picture

Hi - chiming in with a couple of thoughts (because you asked!):

I think you've made it look a lot better.

I'm not convinced you need the whole "Sales Management Executive" section, and here's why: Wouldn't somebody already know/assume you're a "Sales Management Executive" based on your cover letter, or based on the job for which you're applying? So does this section really ADD anything? It's a tough call - but editing is always a tough call..

I'd be careful about using the term "Executive" to describe yourself. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned here, but only one of your titles includes the word "executive" - and some might think characterizing yourself with the term "executive" is an overreach. I realize it's a term that's been used histrorically in the sales field - but it always seems aggrandizing to me (and I've been a "sales executive" myself!).

Why use the space for a header "Professional Experience"? Seems unecessary, as the entire resume is about professional experience.

Finally, bee careful about "waffle words" and descriptions that really can't be quantified or aren't strictly accurate - for example "hard charging", "unique", "my relentless pursuit of over-achievement"

Sorry of any of this sounds harsh - feel free to use/reject it, because ultimately, you have to be comfortable with your resume...

tomas's picture

Now that you've got the substance right, all you need to do now is squish it all into the one page. :D

I really hope Mark does review your resume as mentioned in your thread about TheLadders.com, I'd love to see the comparison between your most recent revision and the Manager Tools version.

I do agree with HMacNiven about some of the hyperbole in your resume, but I figured that was just how you American sales types communicate!

yahtzee's picture

[quote="HMac"]Hi - chiming in with a couple of thoughts (because you asked!):

I think you've made it look a lot better.

I'm not convinced you need the whole "Sales Management Executive" section, and here's why: Wouldn't somebody already know/assume you're a "Sales Management Executive" based on your cover letter, or based on the job for which you're applying? So does this section really ADD anything? It's a tough call - but editing is always a tough call..

I'd be careful about using the term "Executive" to describe yourself. Maybe I'm just old-fashioned here, but only one of your titles includes the word "executive" - and some might think characterizing yourself with the term "executive" is an overreach. I realize it's a term that's been used histrorically in the sales field - but it always seems aggrandizing to me (and I've been a "sales executive" myself!).

Why use the space for a header "Professional Experience"? Seems unecessary, as the entire resume is about professional experience.

Finally, bee careful about "waffle words" and descriptions that really can't be quantified or aren't strictly accurate - for example "hard charging", "unique", "my relentless pursuit of over-achievement"

Sorry of any of this sounds harsh - feel free to use/reject it, because ultimately, you have to be comfortable with your resume...[/quote]

I too was on the fence about the "early career" section. My two first jobs that I had in sales/telecom were almost three years a piece (seems like an eternity in this industry) so I wanted something there to be able to spark some conversation about them. Also, based on my resume content what would be a good way to describe my type of experience? You had also mentioned the hard charging and unique piece of my resume.....how would you change that? Thanks!

yahtzee's picture

[quote="tomas"]Now that you've got the substance right, all you need to do now is squish it all into the one page. :D

I really hope Mark does review your resume as mentioned in your thread about TheLadders.com, I'd love to see the comparison between your most recent revision and the Manager Tools version.

I do agree with HMacNiven about some of the hyperbole in your resume, but I figured that was just how you American sales types communicate![/quote]

Good luck with getting all of that on one page. :D I think that I have done a good job of blending the MT way (accomplishments, etc) and a format that is well-received by hiring managers.

Still looking forward to hearing from Mark.

HMac's picture

I don't really think there's anything wrong with the "early career" section per se - as a way to succinctly summarize things that are a long time ago.

The tradeoff is that it might raise questions about whether you're hiding things (I really doubt that would be the case, given how open you are leading up to that...), and what you get in the tradeoff is space by combining things. But y'know, the bottom line is that I think by the time you're deep on the second page of a resume, the reader is only scanning - at best.

[i]Maybe I'm kidding myself: although my resume goes to a second page, I won't let it go more than halfway down the second page...they're probably only scanning page 2 anyway, so maybe they'll pay a little more attention because it's not another full page of text...[/i]

Regarding the word choices - [color=darkblue][b]first, consider eliminating anything you can't "prove" in the document [/b][/color](if you can show quantifiable or verifiable accomplishments that make the reader believe you're "hard charging" have at it - otherwise, it comes off as a self-description which may or may not be true).

I'm a nut about the term "unique" (sorry) - in that I think it's overused to describe the unusual or the rare, but not the truly "unique" (that is, one of a kind).

Here's one other thought: don't make the resume try to "do too much." - You mention that you include the early career as a way to spark some conversation. I'd argue that's not the job of the resume, that's the job of the interview. By that I mean it's in the interview that you say things that "spark conversation" (remember that great example Mark gives in his opening statement about mentioning that he really learned about himself by not being accepted to medical school...it was essentially a "hook" he put out there to draw the interviewer into a conversation).

[color=darkblue]Because I could drive myself nuts tweaking my resume, I've taken two things from the MT casts and sort of turned them into mantras that apply here:[/color]

"The job of the cover letter is to get them to read the resume / The job of the resume is to get the interview / The job of the interview is to get the offer."

AND:

"ONLY include things on the resume that explain: 'What did I do, and how well did I do it / What did I do, and how well did I do it / What did I do, and how well did I do it..."

It's almost a chant :lol: But it keep me focused on the right things!

tomas's picture

[quote]"The job of the cover letter is to get them to read the resume / The job of the resume is to get the interview / The job of the interview is to get the offer." [/quote]

That's absolute gold.

TomW's picture

[quote="yahtzee"]Good luck with getting all of that on one page. :D I think that I have done a good job of blending the MT way (accomplishments, etc) and a format that is well-received by hiring managers.

Still looking forward to hearing from Mark.[/quote]

I've got it down to 1 1/4 pages.... still trying to squeeze that last bit out!

lazerus's picture

It's not easy. The first time I upgraded my rez to the MT style it took me about a week, including several weekend hours.

I had to prune the bulleted accomplishments that were just padding, and really focus hard on word choices that described previous positions succinctly. I think that's part of the point, and why Mark recommends 1 page only, to make your REAL accomplishments stand out and to FORCE succinct wording. Both of which are preferable for a hiring manager, especially one with a lot of resumes to go through.

smholland10's picture

Folks,

Just got the VM saying I was not being considered for a promotion. Please call to receive feedback.

After a little bit of phone tag I finally got to speak with the internal recruiter. He tells me my CV was too short, we are not an American company. He suggested that an internal applicant shuld have at leats a 3 pager to show where they are and where they have come from to get there.

Its obvious you have a lot of experience you just need to break it out more and give us at least a 1/3 to 1/2 page per role. If I did that I would be back to a 12 page diatribe that belongs in the bin. Has anyone else in Australia had this experience with the MT Resume?

Regards

Stephen

HMac's picture

BLUF: What the internal recruiter might be true (and you need to adjust your resume), or it might be a phoney objection. You need to find out - because changing your resume might not solve anything.

smholland10 - It's a bit surprising that you got blown off without consideration by YOUR OWN COMPANY (you noted this was an internal promotion).

Here's a suggestion: Have coffee with the internal recruiter as soon as they're willing to do so (they might be reluctant to doing so while this position is still "active"). You may well find out that their response was bogus - that the position is already "wired" for somebody internal or external. Or that something else is affecting the consideration of you for a promotion.

If the objection about your resume is genuine, then this experience reminds us all that there's no single best way that applies in all circumstances. Allowances have to be considered for culture, for industry, and even for company. The very best thing you can do is to find a way to ask about what's expected, what's acceptable - what the hiring authority needs in order to make the decision.

tomas's picture

Stephen,

I agree with Hugh that it seems pretty strange that your resume would play a large role in being rejected for an internal role where they should have a lot of other internal data to work off.

I'm really in two minds about the effectiveness of the one page resume in the Australian job market. It might work with particular hiring managers, but I suspect there will be some who feel that it lacks substance and see it as a bit of gimmick. On the other hand, the discipline of refining your resume to the bare essentials and eliminating the waffle is beneficial.

smholland10's picture

You express my feelings on the recruiting for the role that it is filled and they are waiting for the pre-wire to be freed up to take the role.

Especially given this promotion is back to the level I held in an IT company two years ago. I took a career break stepped down a level to come to this organisation while my wife and I tried for and successfully had a baby, now I am ready to go back to the rough and tumble of the executive manager.

I have a colleague who used the same style (M-T) when he applied to join the organisation, they asked him to pad it out to 3 or 4 pages and resubmit.

This incident confirms my view on Australian Middle and Senior Management which is they struggle to fulfil their real jobs, see my other post about IP to the point where they are challenged to understand what their real role is. When I refer them to M-T they say it is just american BS it doesn't and won't work here. These are people who can't understand that when you have a term license for a piece of Software that when your term expires, you have to buy the product again and start the negotiation work all over again. You can't just budget for a maintenance and support fee.

We shall see what the future holds I have a brand new 5 week old son who brings joy to my life

Stephen

HMac's picture

Stephen; congratulations on the birth of your son. Your career break paid off (imagine the M-T resume version: activity description, followed by bulleted accomplishment! :lol: ).

Best wishes.

smholland10's picture

Hugh, thank you.

My world is much better place as I now have three sons. Two who are 18+ that make me proud with their daily accomplishments on their chosen paths and the new addition that brings you down to earth as you realise what you can really do that matters. Between them all (including my very beautiful wife) my life is fulfilled.

I work to ensure that I can provide my family with the things that make life comfortable, the love I give to my family is returned many times over. This means that nothing that happens outside the family ever gets to me. To quote anonymous I work to live, I refuse to live to work.

wvkelly's picture

I just wanted to make a quick comment about tweaking the MT style. I'm a college student, and I've found that making certain alterations to the MT resume have helped a lot as I've searched for internships and co-ops.

First of all, a few changes that are applicable at any career level: For the basic information of each position, I moved the employment dates for each position to the END of the underlined portion. I also put the dates in parentheses. I've been told by several recruiters/advisers that it is much more effective to put emphasis on the POSITION this way. The dates are still easy to scan at the end of each line. Additionally, I made my name font size 24 and bold, so that it is easy to sort/stands out.

Secondly, some changes that may only be relevant to fellow students. I kept the MT format for work experiences the same (with the exception of the date move mentioned above), but I put that section in the LOWER 2/3 of my resume, with the header "[u]Relevant Experience[/u]." In the top portion, below my contact information, I added "[b]Objective:[/b]," "[b]Education:[/b]," and "[b]Relevant Skills:[/b]."

The "Objective" line has gotten a lot of flack around MT, and for good cause. The only reason it is of importance to college students is due to the sharp distinction between those looking for internships, co-ops, and full time positions. I've been told it makes sorting student resumes much easier, especially after career fairs. As for education, the reasons for putting it at the fore are pretty obvious; employers are more concerned about what degree(s) you're pursuing and your GPA, especially since your work experience is minimal. The "Relevant Skills" section is good because it allows the student to list minor technical abilities and program familiarities (especially IT students) that recruiters might not be aware of without a transcript of classes.

Again, many of my alterations might not be applicable to more experienced professionals, but I believe other students may find them helpful. I can send a copy of my altered resume to anyone who's curious to SEE what the changes amount to (I don't know how to imbed it in the post). Private message or email ([email protected]) me if you're interested.

HMac's picture

Just a couple of recent learnings:

The [i]order[/i] of the items like title, company, location and dates isn't as important as the [i]consistency[/i] in how you display them. We could debate endlessly about which comes before which. The really important thing is that your resume, whether "pure MT" or not is set up in such a way that the reader can navigate it easily.

Which brings a similar comment about the "objective." You make a great case for why someone in your particular position in your career might have a brief "objective" at the top of the resume. But if you're gonna do that, make sure it's not some meaningless string of generalities ("hard working, results oriented, blah blah blah...).

Everything on your resume should be there because it [b]brings value to the reader[/b]. It's either factual descriptions of what you did and how well you did it, or it's information that helps the reader understand where you've been and who you are.

wvkelly's picture

HMac, I totally agree with you. In fact, my objective line literally says "[b]Objective:[/b] Co-op/Internship" It's as simple as that. "Brings value to the reader" is a great rule of thumb for anything you put on your resume. I like that.

tlhausmann's picture

At the Chicago Manager Tools Conference Mark Horstman announced that the Manager Tools team was willing to review resumes for a very modest fee.

Consider searching the site for details.

token's picture

I delivered a one-page MT style for the first time this week, met a very seasoned recruiter this morning to talk through it - unprompted by me, she commented:

"Thanks by the way for this format. Very to the point; not like some of the epics we get sent."

The two interviewers had gone through, highlighted the exact points they wanted to ask questions about, and it worked very effectively. Nobody flipping pages, and I knew my CV inside out so I didn't need to even glance at it.

They asked me for some separate extra padding/detail on one particular skillset, but only in relation to one particular role they want to have a crack at - ie. more in the nature of cover letter material than suggesting the format isn't good.

I love the MT format but this is the first time I've ever tested it in real life. It worked. Nuff said.

refbruce's picture

I've been giving this subject some thought, particularly since I'm currently the hiring manager on 3 positions. A cavaet here is that I work in a very technical/scientific environment, mostly with Ph.D. types, so your milage may vary.

For the first pass through on applicants, the MT style works very well for me (I've gotten a few that are close), in order to quickly decide if we want more information. For technician positions, that's enough to decide who gets an interview. For more senior technical positions, going back to the top half dozen or so applicants and asking for a longer (3-8 page) CV seems to work well, as that has a lot of the details the evaluation team needs to see.

My experience elsewhere (18 years in R&D in Fortune 200+) also suggests that a longer format resume (2 pages or more) is desirable for evaluation on internal promotions, even in much less technical areas. Knowing what the internal evaluator is looking for and asking questions is important. Yes, a manager evaluating someone for an internal promotion may have access to the detailed information on what you've done and when (but in my current situation, I don't, since I'm not in the person's management chain). But putting the information they want to see on the piece of paper makes their job easier in evaluating you as an applicant. It also says some things about your ability to communicate the informatin that this manager wants to see.

No resume is perfect, but my opinion FWIW is that the MT style is generally best for a large applicant pool and/or an initial contact with someone. A given resume may need to be tweaked a bit for a particular job or company. Different countries and different industries may have different practices, though, so understanding that is critical.

HMac's picture

refbruce - thoughful post. The trick, I think, is that "your mileage may vary" is often true.

After hearing M/M talk about John Lucht's book (Rite of Passage at $100,000 to $1 million +), I FINALLY bought it and read it. The resume section alone is worth the price. I say that because that approach helped me find the right approach for me, for my circumstances, and for my industry. But your mileage may vary!

I do think that M/M give two [b]great [/b]principles in their resume casts, and I used them as "stars to steer by:"

[list]Information in your resume should tell WHAT YOU DID, and HOW WELL YOU DID IT.[/list:u]
[list][list][i]The corallary is that other that contact information and employment facts,
anything in your resume that doesn't tell precisely what you did/how well you did it should have a pretty compelling reason for being there.[/i][/list:u][/list:u]

[list]The objective of your resume is TO GET INTERVIEWS.[/list:u]
[list][list][i]So no matter what you might think of it, if it ain't getting your interviews, it ain't working...[/i][/list:u][/list:u]

In those two bits, I knew how to edit what I had put in my resume, and how to evaluate it's effectiveness.

-Hugh

Pages