By Lisa Elmhurst – Employment Facilitator
Often I have had conversations with clients who did not realize how much information and time it takes to develop a strong well written resume that highlights your relevant skills in a clear, concise way.
Unless you already have a strong resume that clearly demonstrates your relevant background and education for the job, more than 20 minutes will be required. Expect your appointment to take approximately an hour and a half to two hours. This is because the Employment Facilitator will need to take some time to get to know your work self and therefore, will need to ask questions about your work and volunteer history as well as education and training. This is an important step in assessing what does and does not need to be added to your resume.
Equally important are discussing your job/career goals. “Anything” is not a job title and it does not describe what industry you want to work in or what kind of work you want to do. The skills required for a Carpenter are very different to the skills required to be a Health Care Aide, for example (yes, I have had clients with skills and training in two very different employment fields). If you do not have a reasonably clear career goal, or at least a sense of the industry you would like to work in, it is very difficult for us to assess what is relevant and put what is needed in the resume. Your relevant strengths, skills, attributes, and education will be different based on the kind of work you are applying for.
Remember that your resume cannot be longer than two pages, so how can you possibly ensure that all of your best skills and attributes are reflected, without overwhelming or maybe even frustrating your potentially new boss? Research shows that managers spend approximately 30 seconds to three minutes reviewing a resume, which is all the more reason to put only what is relevant to the position you are applying for.
To maximize your resume appointment, be prepared to discuss (without having to guess) the following information to save time (it is helpful to write it down):
- Employment | Volunteer | Education | Training Dates: The month and year of your start and end dates of the last 15 years of your work (if you have lived long enough to have worked that long).
- Names: Proper names of places you worked, training institutes, courses/programs, job/volunteer titles, workshops, online training, etc.
- Computer Programs | Equipment | Heavy Equipment | Tools | Machinery | Vehicles
- The Extras: Have you participated in or been a part of planning any small or large projects or events, served on any committees, or have any professional memberships?
- Accomplishments Big or Small: Improvements that benefited the company, customers, clients, patients,
- Quantifying and qualifying your accomplishments or responsibilities is a great way to demonstrate value to the employer
- Let’s talk about sales: Did you meet or exceed goals or targets? By how much? How often? Percentages are good to keep track of without giving away personal financial information of the company you worked for.
- Lastly, discussing your daily, weekly, and monthly responsibilities. Maybe your responsibilities do not change from day to day or month to month. That is ok.
The goal of the appointment is to show your abilities and describe what valuable contributions you can make to your new boss, so the easier it is for you to recall important information, the easier it will be for the Employment Facilitator to most accurately describe you on paper.
I hope this information is helpful and will help you to make the most out of your resume appointment. We book resume appointments on a weekly basis. If you would like to book one, call the centre on Monday mornings by 8:00 am. If you get our voicemail, please leave a message with your name and phone number so we can call you back. We would love to assist you with showcasing your best you!