Tue | Oct 23, 2018

Glenford Smith | Creating a professional resume

Published:Saturday | October 14, 2017 | 11:05 PM

QUESTION: Mr Smith, do you know of anyone who offers the service of creating a professional rÈsumÈ?

- J. K.

CAREERS: I want to thank the person who sent me the above question. It reveals a major inadequacy as far as producing a winning rÈsumÈ is concerned. It assumes there is such a thing as 'a professional rÈsumÈ'; and that recruiters and personnel managers are on the lookout for such a rÈsumÈ.

And finally, it suggests, although this is not necessarily the case with the questioner, that the creator of a professional rÈsumÈ has the secret that gives the hopeful job applicant an edge. Let's discuss these, one by one.

There is a professional-looking rÈsumÈ, and every jobseeker needs to adhere to what makes it so. This article is not focused on that. Beyond that, however, a professional rÈsumÈ is not 'something' to aim for. To the credit of the email writer, she mailed back in response to my question, 'What is a professional rÈsumÈ'?

She said: "I am glad you asked that because my phrase construction was not quite correct."

So, it was a matter of phraseology for her. But I have heard the expression used to describe a rÈsumÈ beyond the basic neatness and professionalism. As a job candidate, a professional rÈsumÈ does nothing for you.

A winning rÈsumÈ, on the other hand, is a valid description.

RÈsumÈ writers and career coaches make the same mistakes of creating a professional rÈsumÈ, from time to time. And they take on the task of creating a professional rÈsumÈ or application letter. The candidate leaves them with the hope of getting a document with the secret ingredient put in.

Then they are disappointed when they fail to land the job. This leads to the second issue about personnel managers and recruiters and what they are looking for. What they look for is the sign that the interviewee is conversant with their company, and is equipped to solve a problem they are having or fill a need.

They will select the best candidate who can do this; they are not looking for a professional rÈsumÈ.

To make your case, you have to include aspects about yourself that are unique, that show your specific qualifications for the post being interviewed for. A professional rÈsumÈ doesn't do that.

Finally, a winning rÈsumÈ is the product of deep introspection, mature self-knowledge, and a masterful knowledge of a prospective employer's problems and needs. The candidate needs to be an integral part of this process from start to finish. There is no place for someone to do it for you.

Sure, someone can and should guide you with the process. But to hand out your rÈsumÈ with the hope that some professional rÈsumÈ writer know more about you is wrong. It is also


RÈsumÈs have changed since the 1980s when you just had to have your subjects in the correct place; and a neat with a professional finish.

The Jamaican Job Seeker's Guide by Dr Henley Morgan was published in 1983. It proved very helpful to me at that time, but now job requirements are more stringent. Jobseekers would do well to upgrade their jobseeking skills to match.

Glenford Smith is a motivational speaker and success strategist. He is the author of 'From Problems to Power' and co-author of 'Profile of Excellence'. Email glenfordsmith@yahoo.com