Just The Facts Please

Do you want to drive a recruiter or resume writer crazy? Then be sure and give long rambling monologues as answers to simple questions. Just like in the movie, "Dragnet", resume writers and recruiters are looking for. "Just the facts, ma'am".

If you hire a resume writer you should be prepared for an interview (some use questionnaires instead of personal interviews) in which you will be asked questions like "what kind of budget did you manage", "how many employees did you manage", "what was the scope of your job", and "what did you accomplish in the job". And of course, we need metrics to demonstrate that you achieve what you say you did. Those are the facts and that is the information that we need to help you create a great resume and to prepare for job interviews.

What we don't need are diatribes about how unfairly the company treated you. We don't need to hear the entire company history and how some minor aspect of that relates to how you were hired 20 years ago. We don't need to hear excuses for why you didn't keep any records of your sales numbers or sales quotas 10 years ago.

If you hire a resume writer think about the relationship as preparation for a job interview. A great resume anticipates the questions an interviewer will ask and answers them in advance. If you work with a resume writer, like me for example, you can expect to be asked to "prove" that you are as good as you say you are at every turn. If tell me that you were the number 1 salesman at your company I will ask what metrics you have to prove that. Some clients don't like questions like that. Some of them get very frustrated and angry that I don't take it at face value that they were the best salesperson in the history of their employer.

But guess what? I don't care if you were or if you weren't the best - I just need information from you can that I can use to craft a resume that makes you look like a star. If you can't give me enough information that I can do my job then I guarantee that no recruiter worth his or her salt is going to give you the time of day. Recruiters won't waste time with people who can't answer their questions - they will just put your resume in the "round file" and move on to a candidate who is polished, professional, and who can prove their value by utilizing metrics and specific examples.

Rambling and unfocused answers to any question asked in an interview or resume writing situation are a symptom of a larger problem: disorganized thinking. Sometimes the rambling answers are also a sign that the interviewee is not a good listener - if you listen carefully to the questions you are asked you should be able to craft concise and specific answers. If you want to ace an interview with either a recruiter or hiring manager you need to present yourself as someone who is an intelligent high achiever with clearly organized thought processes.

Tips for preparing to work with a resume writer:

1. Gather facts, numbers, and information on projects related to each job you have held.
2. Think about how you plan to approach your job search once the resume is complete and discuss this with the resume writer.
3. Think about what kind of jobs you want to apply for and communicate that upfront.
4. Talk to the resume writer about how information on your resume can be used to enhance your social networking profiles since recruiters often use Facebook, LinkedIn, and other online tools to target talent.

If you hire someone who can create a great resume for you the interview process for jobs should be a breeze because you should have already been asked almost every question a good recruiter will ask. The resume writing process can be great preparation for your job search - just make sure you use the resume writer's time wisely. If too much time is spent on long rambling stories you won't get the resume you want and you won't be as prepared for interviews as you should be.

A job search is about the wise use of resources - those who remember that have much shorter searches and find great jobs quickly. 

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