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Southern California Job Market : A Special Report On Employment Trends : Finding A Job : Keep Resume Short And Simple

September 20, 1987|MARTHA GROVES

Career consultant Rudy Dew once received a resume from a job-hunting executive making more than $100,000 a year. It was 17 pages long.

In the opinion of Dew, a vice president in the Los Angeles office of Hay Career Consultants, and other job experts, that's about 16 pages too many. All right, if someone's a real hotshot, he or she might get away with a two-page resume, but no more.

Here are other resume tips gathered from Dew; Robert O. Snelling Sr., president of Snelling Inc., a network of franchised employment services based in Sarasota, Fla., and Victor R. Lindquist, director of placement at Northwestern University.

Put material in order of importance, highlighting actual accomplishments rather than simply describing past duties.

Avoid including pictures or references to race, religion, age or other factors that might keep you from getting an interview. "The purpose of a resume is to get you an interview, not the job," Dew says. "Since it's a negative screening process, you don't want anything that might get you excluded." (However, Dew notes, if minority applicants believe that their chances might be enhanced because of their race, they should consider carrying the resume to the employer rather than mailing it.)

At the top of the resume, put together a summary that says why the reader should be interested. Dew recommends something like this: "Manager with 25 years of line and staff experience. Major skills include public speaking, profit and loss responsibility, negotiating, acquisitions and divestitures."

Of course, anything said here must be supported throughout the resume.

Avoid what Snelling calls "blockers," such as details of jobs from 20 years ago or lists of references. "You supply those later only if there's interest," he said.

Keep it honest. "A few years ago, one would accept a resume on face value because the altering of facts was not that common," Lindquist says. But no more. Now, he says, employment offices report that 25% of their unsolicited resumes have false information.

Keep it simple. Dew has seen resumes on pastel paper with scalloped edges. His advice: "Nothing beats good, high-quality, white bond paper."

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