By Mary Ann Faremouth,
It’s interesting how a memory from the distant past can have important present-day applications. When I was a young woman in my early twenties, an advantaged, sophisticated elderly woman told me about calling cards. According to her, “a society woman’s calling card follows her everywhere she goes.” Such cards, also referred to as visiting cards, have a long history dating as far back as the fifteenth century in China. They were later used by dignitaries in the seventeenth century and became popular with England’s nobility in the nineteenth century. The cards served numerous social purposes, including as a means of introduction and to further acquaintanceships.
Now, many years later, as a recruiter in the New Work World, I deal with another type of calling card: the resume. Like visiting cards among British nobility, a resume introduces to employers a prospective candidate’s work history and background. Because of the algorithms and keywords used in today’s hiring programs and procedures, your resume can make or break your chances of securing an interview in the current employment market.
The resume is such an important piece of the puzzle in finding employment in the New Work World, I decided to interview professional resume writer Donna Wallingsford on my podcast, “Career Can Do.” Although many resources are available to candidates these days to help them compose a resume, including resume templates and books, Donna provided some wonderful tips that could assist job seekers in their quest to secure their next employment opportunity. You can find the full interview on any major podcast platform, such as iHeartRadio, Stitcher, Spotify, or the Compliance Podcast Network, but the following are a few of the tips she shared with me:
- Try to keep your resume to a maximum of two pages. A resume that is any longer may not be well received in the New Work World. Employers prefer to review only a snapshot of your background, with education and experience presented in a professional and concise manner.
- Proper formatting, accurate spelling, and correct grammar and punctuation are very important variables in the selection process of a prospective company representative. Resumes made in haste and not properly reviewed before submission have little chance of being selected for future interviews.
- If you are a recent college graduate or have limited work experience, you should only cite your GPA if it is 3.0 or above. If you have a longer history of work experience (five years or more), listing your GPA on your resume is unnecessary.
- If you are a recent graduate without much work experience, the inclusion of any internships is a good idea. Also include any volunteer work that might apply to the position for which you are applying.
- When applying for a job, it might be appropriate to include a cover letter that expands on your resume and how you might be a good fit for the company. Not all job application platforms allow for the submission of a cover letter, so make sure you comply with each platform’s requirements. As they are for resumes, many resources are available for the creation of professional cover letters, including books, websites, and writing services.
- Cover letters and references should be submitted in separate documents and not included in the resume.
These tips are not mandatory in every case. Certain situations might call for exceptions to these suggestions. But overall, you want your calling card to represent your best self and be something a prospective employer finds pleasing and interesting to consider. Tune in to “Career Can Do” for an expanded report of what employers are responding to in the New Work World, and if you have any questions that haven’t been addressed in the podcast, you can reach out to me at faremouth.com.
Mary Ann Faremouth
Mary Ann holds a CPC (Certified Personnel Consultant) credential, was certified by the Board of Regents of the National Association of Personnel Consultants in Washington, D.C., and was awarded an Advanced Communicator Bronze, Advanced Leader Bronze Awards by Toastmasters. She cofounded Jobs: Houston magazine in 1997. Mary Ann maintains affiliations with professional organizations, including oil and gas, financial, construction, IT, and structural, mechanical, and civil engineering. (www.faremouth.com)
Mary Ann’s award-winning first book Revolutionary Recruiting has been listed by Book Authority as Number #1 Best 100 Recruiting Books; #1 Best Seller, Non-Fiction, Amazon (2019); Top 20 Recruiting books, Recruitics; Readers’ Choice finalist (2019), Houston Literary Awards; Best Non-Fiction (2018), Best Cover (2019), and Best Self-Help (2018), Authors Marketing Guild. Her books support individuals and corporations, tap into each candidate’s unrealized potential to find the right person for each job, maximizing both employee satisfaction and the employer’s bottom line. Mary Ann showcases her expertise of the recruiting world on a monthly podcast for The Price of Business and weekly articles for USA Business. Her new workbook, Revolutionary Reinvention, was recently released on Amazon. Mary Ann lives in Houston, Texas.