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Thread: Resume formats...

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Resume formats...

    So, I happened to run across a position that would be absolutely perfect for me. I am eminently qualified for it, it's where I want to be, etc. It would be a step up in the career ladder, however, as a managerial position. Since I've never applied for such a position before I'm curious as to how I should go about updating my resume. The last time I did one it for my current position right out of school, so it was short and focused more on knowledge acquired through planning school, conceptual knowledge, some skills, and of course no professional certifications and the like. It was fairly short.

    For applying for the new position:

    1. Should it be longer? How many pages would be acceptable?
    2. What type of headings should I use? What areas should I focus on the most?
    3. What skill areas should I emphasize?
    4. What type and how much personal information should I include?

    Also, when dealing with searching for a new job, how do you do references if you are trying to keep it under wraps from your current employer? I don't want them knowing I'm looking elsewhere.

    I appreciate any answers/responses to these questions.

    Thanks!

    Also, does anyone have a link to or example of a resume for applying for a Planning or Economic Development Manager position?
    Last edited by Gedunker; 09 Jul 2009 at 7:50 PM. Reason: seq. posts
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    How many years of exp and how many positions do you have to list? I have 3 positions I list with 4-8 bullet points for each. Also have undergrad and graduate programs to list. I was at 1.5 pages, I used the last half page and put 4 contacts on my resume.

    Depending on your exp and education if you can keep it to 1 page I would, unless you can fill up 2.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    How many years of exp and how many positions do you have to list? I have 3 positions I list with 4-8 bullet points for each. Also have undergrad and graduate programs to list. I was at 1.5 pages, I used the last half page and put 4 contacts on my resume.

    Depending on your exp and education if you can keep it to 1 page I would, unless you can fill up 2.
    I have about 8 years experience in planning/ED jobs. That's between only 2 positions. I also have some military experience but not related and of course my educational background.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Rygor, like I said my resume is 2 full pages. I start with the typical Name, Addy, and Phone. Then I have a mission type statement about smart growth and versitility. I followed that up with a paragraph about myself and the different types of skills I bring to the table. I then have about 5 bullet points of the skills, i.e. comp planning, ordinance interpretation and writing, and so on. Then comes the work exp. newest to oldest, that's page 1. On page two is my education, then other skills such as computer software, organizations past and present, then 4 references/contacts.

    I've been told a few times in the past few months how impressive my resume is, I hope this helps you. If you want to bounce it off me you can email or PM me and I'll share mine.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    My resume is four pages and I've been out of school for over 30 years. I would not go more than 4 pages. As for personal information, it depends on what you are referring to. Items such as birth date and marital status should be left off. Public sector hirers can't ask about that and don't want to know since it opens them up to EEO issues. It is good to include relevant memberships such as professional organizations, and any relevant certifications. Things start getting gray around volunteer activities. It can be good to show community involvement but you tread a line with them sometimes (organizer of the annual skateboarders/druid bonfire and rock concert might not be a positive). I leave things like hobbies and interests off, but I admit when I review resumes some of them pique my interest and make me take a closer look (cuts both ways, however).

    The main thing in your particular case is to tailor your resume to the position. Show how your earlier jobs and other experiences prepared you for this one you want. In doing that I would leave off any sort of "objective" statement. Every one I have ever looked at (and I have looked at thousands) is plain BS (well, actually some are fancy BS, but still BS). I don't know why anyone puts them on their resumes.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Thank you everyone who responded. This gives me a good idea of where to start. I'm going to start modifying mine tomorrow and perhaps when I have a good draft I'll bounce it off some of you on here.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  7. #7
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    Mine is similar to Otis'. The basic resume is 2 pages, roughly 1/2 page for each job. Bullets announce signifcant achievements after the general job description.

    Attached to that is a page of significant continuing education programs and a page of presentations/ publications. (I have been around long enough to have pages of this stuff)

    Skip the objective statement--I only read those for entertainment value. Volunteer info can be valuable, shows a community involvement. I gave up years ago on not listing some because it identified my religion. But being the "Knight of the Year" with the Knights of Columbus and president of a parish council has helped more than it hurt. (in my younger years I said "head of church governing board")

    Military service: if it is meaningful, list it. Resume readers who have served know what it means to have been in action, elaboration is not necessary. Those who have not served do not care.

    As for references, I always add a line "available upon request". You should always let a reference know that a reference check is forth-coming. Work on references: they can come from different arenas.

    It appears this will be your second planning job. The resume should be 2 pages. Educational acheivements are still proper...if signicant.

    Personal data? No one cares. Except there was this one time...secretarial application listed that she was "Queene of the Peach Festival"' (her spelling). She did get an interview, I recall that it was a lengthy interview. She did not get the job however.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Thank-you, Mike. Great advice.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

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    I found this thread to be very helpful. As a newbie MUP student, I just revised my resume for fall semester internship applications. I realize now that I should put much more of an emphasis on the skills I've gained from previous job experiences and downplay the tasks (often mundane) I was actually performing.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    As for references, I always add a line "available upon request".
    I'm going to quibble a bit with this. Of course references are available on request. So I don't see a reason to put it on the resume.

    BTW, when I apply for a job, I submit three things: first, a cover letter tailored to the position and the location, showing in a few short paragraphs why I am the one for the job and why my desire to move from where I am to where they are isn't as stupid as it seems ; second, my resume, again tailored to the position; and third, and by far the hardest and most time consuming, a detailed document addressing the knowledges, skills, and abilities (KSAs) highlighted in the job announcement. This last document usually goes several pages and lists each of requirements followed by how I meet those requirements, including descriptions of projects or things I have done that demonstrate it. There are books that show how to do this KSA work. It is a lot of work, but in every instance when I do all this I have gotten an interview. It's my personality in person that turns them off.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Otis View post
    My resume is four pages and I've been out of school for over 30 years. ....
    Same duration here, but I truncated mine to two (one of my careers was editing). I would think that, even listing all the student internships and non-credit courses, someone in early career status would easily fit on one page.

    I'd also be happy to review your work in progress (another job stop was running a resume-writing office franchise).

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Right now I've got it to a page and a half. If I take off the reference section it's just over a page.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Narrow the margins, change the paragraph space leading, edit the widows (sentences with only a couple words) and you'll have one page.

    HTH

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
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    Play with font size as well. Shrinking the font size from 11 to 10 doesn't make it noticeably harder to read but does shrink the length and can help squeeze it onto a single page. If it does make it harder to read, play with font style. Some styles are easier to read at smaller font sizes.

  15. #15
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    1. Should it be longer? How many pages would be acceptable? It depends on how long you worked - remember to put the most important stuff on the first page because many managers will only skim the pages after the first one

    2. What type of headings should I use?Bold headings - we often get over 50 resumes for one position so sometimes even page 1 is skimmed What areas should I focus on the most? the experience that makes you qualified

    3. What skill areas should I emphasize? projects you worked on

    4. What type and how much personal information should I include? 3 things that show that you have a life beyond work but not too much such that you only work for the weekend

    Also, when dealing with searching for a new job, how do you do references if you are trying to keep it under wraps from your current employer? I don't want them knowing I'm looking elsewhere. don't list them as a reference - if you get a second interview, then you can say whether thy can call your employer or not - but remember, this profession is a small world, and managers talk


    Good luck - let us know how it went!

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    1. Should it be longer? How many pages would be acceptable? It depends on how long you worked - remember to put the most important stuff on the first page because many managers will only skim the pages after the first one

    2. What type of headings should I use?Bold headings - we often get over 50 resumes for one position so sometimes even page 1 is skimmed What areas should I focus on the most? the experience that makes you qualified

    3. What skill areas should I emphasize? projects you worked on

    4. What type and how much personal information should I include? 3 things that show that you have a life beyond work but not too much such that you only work for the weekend

    Also, when dealing with searching for a new job, how do you do references if you are trying to keep it under wraps from your current employer? I don't want them knowing I'm looking elsewhere. don't list them as a reference - if you get a second interview, then you can say whether thy can call your employer or not - but remember, this profession is a small world, and managers talk


    Good luck - let us know how it went!
    Regarding the 4th point, I went ahead and let them know that I'm applying for the job. They knew I would be leaving for sure within a year anyway, once my wife finishes up her PhD. The boss is supportive and said he would "say good things" about me. Department director said the same and offered to review my resume, etc. before it goes out.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

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