February 25, 2009

Tell me about yourself

One of the projects I have been working on in the background is building a resume and starting a job search.

As I imagine most of my readers know, I currently work as a real estate agent and mortgage loan officer. And as almost everyone knows, home buying has come to an almost complete halt in the last six months. Fortunately there has been a bit of an uptick in refinances lately as rates have been hovering in the low 5% range. I have also taken over loan processing for everyone in our company so I have been a bit busier lately. Even so, I am looking for a new regular job with the plan to keep active in real estate and mortgage on the side.

It is an interesting exercise to look over your working life and try to sum up the last 10 or 15 years on a single page. And of course the goal is to make your experience and skills look not only applicable to the position, but somehow better than all the other schmoes out there looking for work. This is even more difficult when you are switching careers.

And of course, there are a lot of other schmoes out there right now. Recently 1400 people applied for, and 800 showed up to take the test for - a single job opening for a water meter reader for Tacoma Public Utilities. I have confidence that I can do well in many positions if given the chance, but it is going to be tough just to get to the interview stage with this many people fighting for attention.

I need something to set me apart. I mean there are resumes out there like this I need to compete with. Click to enlarge.

If you still can't read the small fonts when enlarged, here are some highlights:

"...participated in the executive level management of 120 people worldwide in a successful pot smuggling venture with revenues in excess of U$ 100 million annually(...) expert in all levels of security(...) well-traveled, speak English, French and Spanish(...) references available from friends, family, US District Attorney..."

1 comment:

jennifer said...

With WA unemployment higher than the national average right now, your resume on its own won't get you the attention to get an interview. You have to use your network. Talk to people, find out who works where, ask them to recommend you for an interview, or ask them for some names of hiring managers. Then send them your resume directly, with a cover letter mentioning the friend who recommended you. I was speaking to someone up here who had put a help-wanted ad on Craigslist. It was only a 20-hour-a-week, low paying office work ad, and she got about 200 resumes.

Getting to the interview is the key, and with that many people apply for everything in sight, "who you know," not what you know, gets you that first edge up.