Education Career Services

March 27, 2009

Career and Resume Development, a radio broadcast

This morning I was asked to be a guest speaker on a local radio station and respond to career-centered questions in an expert capacity.  All went well but I must tell you, getting prepared and ready to perform at 6:30 am is a chore in itself. 


During the conversations, several concerns arose and I will address them here for those who were not aware of my radio presence.  If you did get a chance to check out the show, let me know what you think…


What should we consider first before beginning a career search?


First and foremost, think about passion, what is important in your life.  Are you money driven or family driven?  I believe an objective self analysis is paramount to success and happiness.  It is estimated that approximately 80% of all employees are dissatisfied with their job.  That’s a lot of people!  If you like working with people, or in the arts, or with computers, or even on a radio station; follow your dreams.


True enough one needs to be realistic and can’t play just because its fun.  Take a serious look into yourself, examine your limitations, and begin the steps necessary to accomplish your goal.  I suggest creating short-term goals leading up to your career goal.  For example, if what you want to do requires a certain level of education or experience, now is the time to take the steps to secure each requirement.  One can not be a doctor without going to school—unfortunately, due diligence is required.


If I’m writing my resume on my own, what are some things that are most important to include?


What to include is just as important as what NOT to include.  Understand your resume defines you as a product or tool.  Simply put, you must show immediate return for the hiring company.  How does one show this?  You have to be confident in your approach, direct, and on target.  Include in your resume specific contributions you WILL make immediately by showing how you have added to the bottom line in previous positions.  For example, if you developed a more efficient way to schedule employees or make widgets in the past, that gives the hiring company a clue as to what you will do for them.  Make no mistake, in any position, you are being considered for the effect you will have on their bottom line.


With the huge amount of resumes coming in to every job posting daily, the most important area of the resume is the top third, often called the hot zone or the sales zone.  If you are lucky enough to have a real person look at your resume, you have 8 seconds to 15 seconds to convince him or her you don’t belong in the pile of rejects. 


Do not include information which may automatically disqualify; for example, do not mention religious affiliations, age, or race.  And try to limit soft meaningless words to a minimum.  For example do not claim to be a team leader, a detailed-oriented professional, energetic, etc.—as they are meaningless words and completely overdone. 


In a nutshell, the top third of your resume is where you prove validity.  Your objective should not be a general one—it must be focused to the position and the rest must express value and contribution.


Think about the person opening your resume; he or she has opened hundreds over the last few days.  What would it take to grab your attention?  I know what it would take to lose my attention,


  • Template
  • Errors
  • No objective or a gunshot approach
  • Meaningless words
  • Sloppy display

 Ultimately, that single piece of paper represents you; it IS you….wear it well.


I will go over a few other questions Monday.  Until then, have a safe and groovy weekend and give me a shout now and then,


Danny Huffman, MA, CPRW, CPCC, CEIP

Education Career Services:

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