Resume & Cover Letter

What? I can email my resume?!

Once I made the mental leap from “should I go back to work” to “I’m going back to work,” it was time to update my resume from its stone tablet status. Ok, it wasn’t that old, but after 10 years home with children, I needed a crash course in what was current with resumes.

When I had last used my resume 13 years previously, it was still commonplace to have a two-page resume including all three professional references.  Most resumes and cover letters were actually printed out (on pretty paper) and mailed (through snail mail) to the business in question. Applying for a job online, much less sending my resume digitally, was not even an option yet. (Hey, at least it went through the mail and not by Pony Express!)

Now, it was a given that I would include my email on my resume, even in place of my mailing address for some.  The focus had changed from adding as many “power words” as possible, to making your point succinctly.

Previous assumptions were that the HR person would at least glance through your first page. Now, you are lucky if they look at the top third. Finally, I had to figure out how to format the resume (as a pdf) so that it looked exactly as intended no matter how it was opened.

And all of these changes don’t even begin to cover what I had to learn in order to focus on my experiences rather than my career timeline. (We’ll save that for another post. Hint ~ the cover letter was integral to this.) This was a classic case of ‘I didn’t know what I didn’t know.’

Did you learn something new about resume writing when you returned to work? Share your comments below so we can benefit from your lessons.

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