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Resumes – Space Management December 3, 2007

Posted by Darth Sidious in Resumes.

When I’m reviewing resumes of Storm Troopers and Imperial Guards, I don’t care that they were security guards 10 years ago.

When you’re working on your resume, you only have a few seconds to capture interest of the reader, so every word has to count. And any word that doesn’t help you, definitely works against you. The reader is going to spend 60 seconds max looking at your resume on the initial assessment, so if it looks like they have to read a book their brain automatically gears to a higher level and tries to just scope for key words.

I.e., they’re not even going read all your words if there are too many – your resume is an advertisement as we’ve written before. You have 2 pages max to generate enough interest to cause them to call you in for more. So managing how you allocate those 2 pages is extremely important.

The key to that is focus on allocating more space for your current job, and the older the prior job is, the less space it gets. A lot of people make the mistake of trying to give each job equal weight, but this is a mistake. A hiring manager doesn’t really care what you did 2 jobs ago. Back then you were more junior and probably functioning in a different capacity – so unless you want to do that exact job again, do not allocate much space for it.

For jobs that are 10 years ago or older, you’re really just writing one or two lines… nothing more. Even if you’ve done something amazing, that’s great, but as the saying goes “what have you done for me lately?” Managers hire for what you’re currently capable of, not what you once did. So in your resume, those one or two lines for these old jobs point out those amazing things, but don’t go into any more detail.

Save the detail for your current position, because in the interview when asking about your experience, 90% of it will be related to your current position.

Darth Sidious


Resumes are Advertisements November 6, 2007

Posted by Darth Sidious in Resumes.

Think of a resume as your advertisement, and the interview as the sales pitch. What would appeal to you more, an ad for a Star Destroyer that does nothing but dump diagnostic information (ship weight, number of bolts, fuel capacity, etc…), or an ad for a Star Destroyer that talks about how you can dominate in battle and crush your enemies?

Treat your resume like an advertisement, not like a biography. The purpose of an ad is to get the viewer interested – not to land the deal. The goal of the ad is to generate enough interest to make you want to find out more.

It’s same thing with a resume. It’s not about your life story; it’s about generating enough interest to get you called in for an interview.

What is the longest advertisement you’ve ever seen? Even the longest ones are short, and most have about 3 seconds to capture your initial interest, and another 27 seconds after that to capture some mind share.

You have the same thing for resumes. When a hiring Sith is looking, at least they’re committed to making a purchase (i.e. hiring someone), unfortunately for you you’re up against many other competing ads (resumes).

So your advertisement has to standout from the others, and it has to do that within a handful of seconds. This is very challenging!

Here are some guidelines to help:

  • Humanoids are only capable of processing a small amount of information quickly.
  • Make EVERY WORD count. If a word doesn’t add value, it takes away value. Make sentences concise and short as possible. Do not add unnecessary qualifiers!

Bad: Personal Sales Average of $23M compared to an estimated Company Average of $12M per Sales person.

Good: $23M Personal Sales Average (Company Average: $12M).

  • Stick to 2 pages. Some have a feeling that they’ll provide the most important stuff up front, and if the reader is interested they’ll keep reading on… No, it back fires. The reader will see your entire set as too much information to absorb at the moment (because they’re busy) and move on. As well, no one cares what you did 10 years ago, they care what you’re doing right now. And what you were doing 10 years ago was a lower ranking position anyways, so unless you’re interesting in downgrading to that why would you waste valuable resume and mind time on it?
  • Focus on ACCOMPLISHMENTS and not DUTIES. Everyone knows what a System Administrator does, or a Project Manager, and so on. So why would you waste space highlighting the exact same duties that all your competitors have done as well (and most likely will be putting on their resume)? It doesn’t differentiate you; it makes you the same as anyone else in that profession. What distinguishes you are your accomplishments. Write about how much money you’ve brought in on sales, or time saved through process engineering, money saved, operational margins, level of quality of your software, etc…

Darth Sidious