Thursday, April 12, 2012

Resumes should be succinct, contain no personal stuff; Maryland passes law protecting job applicants' and holders' social media passwords

Business Insider has a long series of resume tips, interview tips, and lists of things not to do when job hunting, and it starts here. The tips are presented in a series of panels that resemble Power Point slides. 

Today, the attitude is “less is more”.  Don’t put hobbies, references, even “objectives”.  Avoid wordiness.  Quantify your accomplishments.  According to the intro of the panels, the average recruiter spends six seconds on a resume before making a “preliminary” decision.

The list goes easy on the recommendations for online reputation.
When I was working with an outplacement company in 2002, more “detail” was considered acceptable. For example, I wrote:

“ Facilitated cross-selling, by installing new life insurance products on legacy systems. I installed these products by modifying and testing Assembler code in CFO and sometimes in (COBOL) VLN legacies, and then by providing interfaces to the salary deduction system. Often the work involved revising batch JCL and procs with considerations for restart, recovery, and generation data groups.

“ Enabled efficient customer service and cross-selling after merger, by implementing legacy replications and gateways to a common GUI customer service workbench. I wrote these replications in COBOLMVS and DYL280, and I wrote a COBOL II CICS gateway to a Vantage-NBU (new business) system, using XPEDITER as a development debugging tool.

“ Enhanced security of an accounts payable system with a new signature approval process. I created a new batch job with COBOL, VSAM and JCL. I also supported a vendor supplied accounts payables system (MSA) and supported 4GL Information Expert (IE) modules, while on one occasion reformatting checks.”

Way too much?  A mouthful of words?  By today’s standards, yes.  Maybe not in 2002.

There’s something else about the “6 seconds”.  I spend maybe three seconds on an email trying to get my attention for publication, before deciding if it’s relevant to what I do.  When someone communicates with me, I take it as like sending a “resume” or maybe a “query letter” to “get published”.  I know the other side, now.  I really don’t have more time, when there are thirty of these a day.

I suspect that the major television producers  (Anderson, Nate, Ellen, Kelly, The View, etc) find the same thing with (scripted) emails from people who want to be on the show. There are just too many of them.

Here’s something else about online reputation. The Maryland legislature just passed a bill forbidding employers from asking for social media passwords, Baltimore Sun story here. 

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