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Wednesday, March 14, 2007
I was thinking this morning about time and how quickly it passes. It seems like just yesterday I was using an IBM WheelWriter typewriter and I thought that was great because it had correction tape built in so I didn’t have to erase or use correction fluid. Now we have computers with my favorite key – the backspace key! The backspace takes you back so you can change things, fix things, say something differently, or choose not to say anything (often the wisest choice).

The first PC I ever used was an Apple IIc and I really cut my teeth on the IIgs. When I moved up to the “pizza box” Mac, I was in high cotton. The first computer I actually purchased was a Pentium I. I also purchased a laser printer at the time because of the quality of the printer over dot matrix. I was stylin’! Of course, I was not hooked up to the Internet at that point but I did have a couple of dial-up bulletin boards I checked daily and then there were user groups on Usenet which was sort of the Internet. I can remember the first time I logged on to the real information superhighway at a speedy 2400 baud. Wow! And when technology migrated from 5.25 inch floppies to 3.5 inch disks – man, what an improvement! No more “Insert Side B to continue”.

Hopefully, by now you are wondering what in the world this little “blast from the past” has to do with your job search or resume. Let me connect the dots for you. Does anyone still use any of this technology daily? No – it’s in the Smithsonian. (Except for my trusty laser printer which is still chugging along believe it or not) No one uses this technology and none of you care that I learned the skill of typing from dear Mrs. Chumbley back in 1982 rather than keyboarding. So tell me – why do you think information from that far back in time has any relevance to your job search today? There must be a reason because you keep putting all this old information on your resume even though employers don’t need it and really aren’t interested in it at this point in time. I see resumes everyday that go back twenty or more years in time. I saw one the other day that listed jobs all the way back to 1963! I kid you not.

Keep the information on your resume relevant to today’s job market. Everyone’s career is built in layers. You start out at one level and then build on what you learn. At some point, the earlier layers need to disappear off the resume so more space and attention can be focused on what is recent and most relevant to today’s market. Employers generally want to see the past ten to fifteen years of experience on a resume. If there is information from before that point that has relevance to your current goal, there are some strategic ways to bring that into the resume.

People get attached to achievements in their lives, achievements that are long past their prime (very much like my old laser printer), and they don’t want to let them go. Inclusion in a resume of scholarships won thirty years ago or an Eagle Scout designation from your teens is emotional rather than logical. One of the benefits of having a professional develop your resume and cover letter is the objectivity that comes along with the expertise in developing marketing materials that really sell you. As an objective party, we can see what is relevant, what needs to be included, what doesn’t need to be included and what needs to be emphasized. It’s called strategy and it’s the first step in writing a great resume. Without good strategy, you just get a listing of layers.

November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 /


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