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November 21, 2002

I graduated from Earlham College, a small Liberal Arts school in the Midwest, during the 1981-82 recession. Like many of my peers, I sent out hundreds of poorly targeted resumes to potential employers, all under the misguided assumption that I had now performed a "Job Search". My friends and I followed up our scattershot resume bombardment of hapless employers with phone calls that went something like this: "Hello, is Mr. Hiring Manager there? Did you receive my resume yet? No? Would you like me to send another one?"

While variations on these pathetic Job Search tactics do occasionally succeed, they are the exception, not the rule. Some career counselors estimate that the likelihood of getting a job from sending out resumes is less than one in a thousand. Reasons for this are abundant. Employers prefer to hire someone they either know, or someone who is referenced by someone they know. Resumes are used primarily to screen you out of the Employee Search, rather than into it. Resumes that are actually handled (looked at by the first wave of professional naysayers) generally get fifteen to thirty seconds of actual eyeball time, sometimes as little as eight to ten seconds.

Yet Job Seekers are driven to produce millions upon millions of resumes every year. They are the objective(!), hard copy version of our skills and ambitions. We will lie on them, prospective employers will infrequently catch us in our prevarications, and sometimes we will get the Job we're not quite qualified to fill - and then grow into it. Resumes are by no means the best way to catch a Job, but they seem to be like business cards - you hate to be without one when opportunity rears its ugly head.

Several Internet sites are excellent sources of resume writing tips. Try: For writing electronic resumes, another good source is: These sites give you examples of how to write decent resumes, and show you places to post your resume either free, or for some nominal fee. Some Internet sites will help you build your resume online.

Next I'll review some of the best sites to post your Online Resume.

Mark Poppen

Archives ...

We Adapt ~ September 10 2002
If At First ~ September 11 2002
Jobseeker, Hire Thyself ~ September 12 2002
Courting Your Employer ~ September 17 2002
Changing Uniforms ~ September 18 2002
Not Your Job Search ~ September 19 2002
Internships in Accounting ~ September 24 2002
Networking ~ September 25 2002
Us Against Them ~ September 26 2002
Working References ~ September 27 2002
Fudging The Facts ~ October 9 2002
Fun With Statistics ~ October 15 2002


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Copyright © 2002, Decklin's Domain,
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Revised - 2002/November/21
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