Tuesday, May 27, 2008


by Amrita Douglas, ResumeEdge.com Editor

So you’ve finally rendered every last trim and run Compressor with your fingers crossed for the last time. After weeks of being a slave to cornea bending slices of time, you are very wisely stopping just before you ruin your work. You would trade two weeks in Tahiti for two weeks in REM, easy, but before you go anywhere, you have to remind the world you’re still in it. Your reel is up on blogspot, but then so is everyone else’s, and the videos still take a while to load—are you going to hand out business cards with your blog address and hope for the best? Wait until someone kindly offers you a few hours of work in Dreamweaver for free so you can finally get your web site up?

Better to illustrate your resume in Word! As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, especially if any old mail program can open it. These days, Word can perform all sorts of tricks that once only Quark could do. You can import pictures and resize them in place, run text around images, over and under them, distort them and add animations. But it’s best not to get carried away, because your resume should be about what you can do, and not about what the application you write it in can do.

Choose your text carefully. Keep it spare and simple, and make its content traditional, because this time the pictures are going to do a lot of the talking. If you position an image right by the relevant text, it will illuminate the text. But if you list your work for the Discovery Channel, don't place your favorite, most recognizable frame from A Clockwork Orange next to that listing. Overall, make sure that the images you select are in keeping with the work you're applying for. If you badly want to work on John Waters’ next film, it’s better to show that you made a promotional spot for the BBC version of Life and Loves of a She-Devil or even Teletubbies than to put in a frame from Army Wives. If you have a special hand with certain kinds of transitions, select a frame that shows an actual transition to show what you can do.

Make a folder and fill it with images that you have grabbed out of halted footage. Assign a key in Photoshop to cut down on time when reducing the file size of each image to just short of thumbnail, and don't bother with anything bigger than 72 dpi—it needs to stay small. When you have the text saying exactly what you want, avoid using text boxes and start positioning pictures straight into the text using the commands under Insert and the Formatting Palette under View. Click on the image to start manipulating it in the Formatting Palette. You can do more positioning manually if you go to Wrapping then Style and select Through. Once you have the pictures positioned as you want in order to project a particular overall concept, save the document as a PDF and then use Acrobat Pro to optimize and further reduce the file size, ready for deployment at any time. You can go back and re-illustrate the same text with different sets of images to highlight different aspects of your work experience and save different versions ahead of time so you can respond to openings immediately.

By all means, display the url for the site where you have posted your reel in a prominent position. After looking at your resume, people should be tempted to move on and check out samples of your work in action.

Amrita Douglas is a writer and an editor of both text and footage, with an academic background in Psychology, Biology, English Literature and Design. She lives in New York City and has transliterated research papers from many parts of the world into Standard American English. Culturally omnivorous, she draws on her background in India, Britain, the East Coast of the United States and other places, to reach out to others from beyond those parts of the world. As an editor, she takes particular interest in the ways that English is developing in different countries and in learning about the concerns and values of a wide variety of clients. Request Amrita for your ResumeEdge.com product by keying in her last name only, no caps (douglas) in the 'request your editor' field of the ResumeEdge.com online form.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


by Lou Huskey, ResumeEdge.com Editor, CPRW

When applying for a specific position, it is important to make sure you include as many keywords within your field of expertise in order to generate a potential employer’s interest. Companies are receiving hundreds of resume each day and yours needs to stand out among all the others.

1. If there is a specific position that you are interested in applying for, be sure to research the company and thoroughly go over the job description and position requirements. If they have specific requirements for the opening and you have experience that fits what they are looking for, highlight this information early on in your resume so the reader can quickly see that you “match” the position. Use caution that you aren’t repeating the wording in the advertisement and don’t rule yourself out even if you feel you’re not a close match. Send the resume and let them decide.

2. When submitting your resume to various job sites and employers, it is important to include contributions and achievements along with, of course, explanations of your duties and responsibilities with current and past employers as well as your educational background. The resume is basically your advertisement and your goal is to create enough interest that will result in the organization wanting to learn more about you by telephone or in a face-to-face interview. When too many heavy details are included, you run the risk of overloading the reader, which can result in missing important accomplishments you have contributed during your career. A prospective employer isn’t going to take the time to read a resume that is too lengthy.

3. Finally, if you have been caught in a reduction in force, be assured that you will eventually have success in landing a job. Candidates who appear to be in a desperate situation simply don’t come across as well as candidates who have an image of confidence and self-worth. Many times when someone is no longer working, they feel lost and unsure. If you can look at an unemployment situation as a way of putting 100% of your efforts into the new job search, you will find far more success than those who sit by the phone waiting for it to ring. Get out there and make things happen!

Lou Huskey served over 25 years as a professional recruiter first with a private employment agency, then with Management Recruiters, and eventually as owner of her own recruiting and consulting firm. She is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and has prepared thousands of resumes for candidates at all levels over the span of her career. Lou has a solid understanding of exactly what prospective employers are looking for in a resume and how to “sell” an individual’s background by creating effective resumes, cover letters, follow-up and thank you letters for each of her clients. Request Lou for your ResumeEdge.com product by keying in her last name only, no caps (huskey) in the 'request your editor' field of the ResumeEdge.com online form.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


by Darlene Zambruski, ResumeEdge.com Managing Editor, CPRW, SME

Although computers have simplified document creation and delivery (at least most of the time), there are some basic formatting rules to follow so that the document you see on your computer screen will look the same on the potential employer’s PC.


The most basic rule to follow is to choose a font that is universal on all PCs and Macs, rather than one of the more stylish designer fonts. The reason for this is simple – not all computers have all fonts. In fact, many have only a few (this would include the universal Times New Roman or Arial). Therefore, when a document with designer fonts is downloaded onto an individual’s computer that doesn’t have those fonts, another will be substituted. The font may be far larger or smaller than the one originally chosen. This, of course, throws off formatting, creating a document that’s two pages (when it should be one), or three (when it should be two). To avoid this, always use Times New Roman or Arial to maintain formatting.

If your document absolutely requires a designer font because you’re in an artistic field (eg: graphic designer, artist, writer, etc.), then you can create an Adobe PDF of the document. It will transmit beautifully to any computer – however, keep in mind that an Adobe Reader is needed to view the document. If the potential employer doesn’t have one on the company computer, your beautiful document will come up as code.


In this case your only choice would be to provide an ascii/txt resume, which you’ll paste into the body of your email.

What is an ascii/txt resume?

It’s your Word resume, converted to a non-formatted layout. That is, all text is flush left with no italics, no bolding, and no underscoring. Instead of bullets, asterisks (*) are used.

For example, a portion of a Word resume might look like this:

CUSTOMER CARE REPRESENTATIVE, Taylor’s, Lawrenceville, New Jersey 2002-Present
- Manage 14 major trade accounts, including EDI orders, and online store information for 200+ titles.
- Process inclusion and major trade credits; acquire proof of delivery for all major trade shipments.
- Conduct weekly inventory and provide backorder adjustments.
- Provide phone/customer support for CyberEdit.com; handle all e-mail support for various divisions.

That same information converted to ascii/txt would look like this:

CUSTOMER CARE REPRESENTATIVE, Taylor’s, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, 2002-Present
* Manage 14 major trade accounts, including EDI orders, and online store information for 200+ titles.
* Process inclusion and major trade credits; acquire proof of delivery for all major trade shipments.
* Conduct weekly inventory and provide backorder adjustments.
* Provide phone/customer support for CyberEdit.com; handle all e-mail support for various divisions.

To convert to ascii/txt simply save your Word document as Plain Text, then go to “Start” “Run” “Notepad”, then wherever you saved the document on your computer. Once it’s on your screen, clean up the formatting by taking out unnecessary spaces. That’s all there is to it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


by Darlene Zambruski, ResumeEdge.com Managing Editor, CPRW, SME

Many entry-level candidates either graduated in a field that is considered “industry-soft” (eg: History, English, Liberal Arts, etc.) or in such a crowded field (eg: Information Technology, Marketing, Education) that when it comes time to find a job, they must seek something outside their field of interest.

This creates the challenge of proving to a hiring manager that despite a non-related degree, the candidate is a good match for the opening. To overcome employer objections, adhere to the following guidelines when creating your resume:

1. Fully research the job opening: Look at several openings in the same field you’ve targeted to get a sense of what an employer is looking for in terms of qualifications. Make a list of all the qualifications required that you meet.

2. Dovetail what an employer wants with what you can do: Taking that list of qualifications you’ve just made, write a brief sentence on how you fulfilled that qualification in the past (eg: “Bachelor’s Degree needed” -- Received Bachelor of Arts in History in 2004). This will build your summary of qualifications which will open your resume.

3. Showcase previous work history that’s related to the new opening: Even if you only worked summers and part-time at night during school, list any professional activity that’s related to the new job. For example: If you worked in customer service and received stellar reviews because of your interaction with customers, this can be used in a resume in which you’ve targeted a sales position, which is certainly people-oriented.

4. Emphasize general coursework if what you learned will help in the new job: Every college student has to take math, English, and a host of other general academics in order to graduate. If you are considering an entry-level job in which math is important, showcase the math you took during college, while also including any academic awards you received.

5. List general skills that are sought by all employers: This would include typing speed (if over 40 wpm), ability to do 10-key, experience in answering multi-lined telephone systems, and computer proficiency (be certain to include names of applications as hiring managers always prefer specifics).

6. Also include specialized skills: Languages in which you are fluent, licensing if it can be used by the employer (eg: notary public, medical billing), and anything else that will enhance your candidacy.

7. Volunteer work or community activities: If you’ve met goals in fund-raising or helped a candidate get elected to office, these are invaluable people skills that could be parlayed into a sales position.

The idea is to take what you have and show how it relates to the current job opening.