Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Long Work History... What to Do?

I'm a technical writer and editor with 23 years of experience. I'm from Michigan (Detroit suburbs) and began my career in Michigan with, what else, automotive. I wrote and edited technical documents for an engineering company, then moved to another company that contracted with the army to write mil-specs for army automotive (e.g., tanks). How can I get all this on my resume? Continue reading...


Anonymous said...

I think those are great suggestions, and that's what I'm going to do. But I'm still going to write a slightly different resume for each employer so that it concentrates on the type of business that employer does. In other words, I'll include only information on my resume that's relevant to that particular employer.

Now let me tell you what I think about putting a summary at the beginning. I don't. That is partly because it takes valuable space.

The other part is because I've been on the other end; I helped a supervisor find a new editor once, and she didn't want people emailing their resumes to her inbox, so I got them, and I told her which she should take a look at.

Summary statements didn't mean a darned thing to me other than to tell me what someone thought of themselves. I knew what we needed, and I looked for what we needed. That's all we cared about.

We didn't care about length, type size, bold face, bullets, objective statements, summary statements, etc. We cared only about what the resume said.

If I know little about a particular employer, I skip right to my work history. If I am responding to a job post/advertisement with a description and requirements, I begin my resume with HIGHLIGHTS and list under that how I meet each requirement.

So my plan is to do as you suggest except for the summary. There I'll do what I've been doing. Sound right?

Susan Ireland said...

I agree that you should customize each resume you send out, according to the job objective.

I recommend the job objective and summary sections, especially if you're looking for work other than what you've been doing in your most recent positions. Employers like to pigeon-hole applicants into their recent past. One way to get them to see your experience otherwise is through the objective statement and/or summary section near the top of page one.

However, I hear your strong note of distaste for the job objective statement and summary section, and I have to respect that. It's important that you feel good about your resume.

The ultimate test is to send your resume to employers and see what response you get.

Please let The Job Lounge know how your job search progresses. Good luck!