R�sum�s: Before and After

Three HR experts offer tips

by Joe Conklin

My friend Deming Juran Crosby (D.J. for short) and I go back a long way. He recently decided to look for a new job and wanted some feedback on his r�sum�. He sent me the one shown on p. 72.

It looked all right to me, but I suggested D.J. get a more professional opinion. We decided no one was better qualified than the people who handle r�sum�s every day.

We were able to pull the names of three such people out of our address books: Christie, Lena and Bruce. Christie and Lena know the business from the recruiting side. Bruce is an instructor in the human resources department at the local community college. D.J. asked them for feedback on both appearance and content.

Christie liked how the r�sum� was organized but thought the objective section was skimpy. She suggested D.J. replace it with a two- to five-sentence summary of his experience. The objective could then be embedded in the summary. D.J. liked the idea and agreed to try it.

Lena liked how the r�sum� focused on a few key accomplishments. She wanted to see a little more detail on the day-to-day duties of D.J.'s different jobs. She thought the combination of this detail with the key accomplishments would contribute to a better rounded picture of what D.J. had to offer a new company.

Lena's professional background was not in the quality field. She was unfamiliar with the abbreviations FMEA, SPC, CQE, CRE and COQ. She suggested D.J. spell them out. She pointed out that the first person to screen the r�sum� at a particular company might not have experience in D.J.'s specialty.

Bruce made the most reformatting suggestions:

  1. Put the name in all capital letters.
  2. Take out the boldface type for the address.
  3. Include a fax number and an e-mail address.

Bruce added two more suggestions about the job summaries so they would be seen sooner by someone scanning the r�sum�:

   4.   Move employment dates to the right of the employer's name.
   5.   Put the job title and summary above the employer name.

Bruce also asked if D.J. could add answers to the following:

  1. How exactly did you help improve mean time between
    (continued on p. 76)

failures (MTBF) for new product?

   2.   What was your role on the cost of quality (COQ) team?
   3.   How many did you train in statistical process control (SPC)?

From these questions, D.J. could see the value of adding more information about his key accomplishments. After everybody's helpful suggestions, D.J. came up with the version shown on p. 73.

D.J. preferred the second version to the first. It took him the better part of an afternoon to finish it--less time than he expected. He believes the new version does a better job of presenting his strengths. As his search progresses, D.J. will edit his r�sum� further so it can be tailored to the needs of companies he is interested in.

I've noted the suggestions D.J. received. I will keep them in mind the next time I update my own r�sum�. In the meantime, I won't be surprised if my old friend lands a new job soon. Then it will be time to celebrate.

JOSEPH D. CONKLIN is a statistician with the U.S. Census Bureau. He helps assess the quality of the operations and surveys it carries out. He is presently evaluating how well optical scanning and imaging technology can read census forms. Conklin earned a master's degree in statistics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and holds the following ASQ certifications: quality engineer, reliability engineer, quality auditor, quality manager and software quality engineer.

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