By Jeff Altman
Resumes haven’t changed much over the years. Originally, interviews were offered after a word of mouth introduction by a friend or trusted business associate. Once the need to expand the circle of sources expanded to people who were strangers, resumes became the way that a potential employer knew something of your experience before meeting with you.
When I began in the agency business in the early ’70s, resumes were mailed or messengered to companies on parchment paper with matching envelopes. People fussed over the watermark of the paper, thinking that having a watermark denoted class.
Then, someone came up with the idea of using colored paper to stand out in the pile of resumes (I used canary yellow).. Eventually, this was replaced by the fax machine which made everything either plain paper or slick/slippery fax paper.
Now with technology, we no longer look at resumes. We see screenshots that show approximately a third of a page at a time. This is what a typical resume looks like: when you open it (it is a fictitious resume):
1222 Ocean Avenue
New York, NY, 10023
EDUCATION: New York University, Medford, MA, B.A. ‘03
Economics major, Entrepreneurial Leadership minor
GPA 3.5, Major GPA 3.62
Cum Laude, Deans List
Inducted into National Society of Collegiate Scholars, top 1% of Class selected
Invited to participate in the International Economics Program in Hong Kong
Selected to Participate in MIT’s 10k Competition for Entrepreneurial Leadership
EXPERIENCE: Global Fund Services
Full-Time Position as Hedge Fund Accountant (6/2004-current)
Accurately research and resolve reconciliation inquiries for various onshore and offshore hedge funds
Produce supporting documentation for calculation of the general ledger Calculate expense/interest accruals, charge and book all legal, admin, performance and incentive fees. Reconcile trade, dividend, redemption and subscription activity through share series or equalization format outlined by fund’s sub documents
Provide accurate NAVs for each fund to client/transfer agent on a weekly/monthly basis
This is the first screen that you would see when opening the resume. In this first screen, the job applicant gets across what his relevant experience is that pertains to the job that he would be pursuing (hedge fund account) and the specific experiences he has. Does yours do that?
It is essential that you get your resume to show the experience that matters to the reader within two page downs (or screen shots).
Like this person, always provide a cell phone number to facilitate ease of contact. Remember, the person who doesn’t offer ease of contact (only the home number) will probably get to interview for the job a lot later in the queue than someone who does offer their cell.
Do not use an immature email address. What does it tell you about this person when their address is email@example.com?
Make sure the fonts in your resume bring a reader’s eye to what you want them to read. Many resumes are a messy hodgepodge.
I have been telling people for years, “Make it obvious, as though a 6-year-old were reading your resume, that you are a fit for the job.”
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2005, 2010, 2015, 2021
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.
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