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The Ten Commandments of Resumes

resume commandmentsYour resume is the single most important document you will use when you’re looking for a job. Far more than your cover letter (which – despite the name – almost every recruiter reads last, if at all), it is your resume that will determine whether you’ll be invited to interview. Given its importance, I’ll be spending more time here talking in detail about various parts of your resume. But as an introduction, I’m here today to share ’10 Commandments’ of resume writing. The things you must and must not do, if you want me to consider taking the time to interview you.

DO: Make it easy to contact you.

Name, phone number, and email. If you want to include your mailing address you can, but if a recruiter is going to be replying to you by email that’s not necessary anymore. Pro tip: if your email address and outgoing voicemail messages don’t sound professional, fix that.

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If You Were a Tree …

Let me man wandering in trees thinking about trick questions in interviewsget this out of the way first: I hate trick questions. In all cases, but particularly in interviews. I don’t like them, I don’t ask them, and I don’t like it when people ask them of me. I have a strongly-held belief that an interview should be an honest, professional conversation between two people, with the intent of determining whether a given job could be a good fit for the person. Trick questions turn that into a sort of game, and it’s the worst kind of game because only one of the players knows the rules.

If you’re interviewing for jobs, I can promise you two things. First, I’ll never ask you one of these questions if I happen to end up on the other side of the desk from you. Second, I’m almost sure that someone, somewhere, will ask you one of these kinds of questions.

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Hello, my name is…

Welcome to Undercover Recruiter. If you're somewhere in the middle of your working career, striving to move ahead but feeling like there are things you don't know about how to do that, you're in the right place.

My entire career – about 25 years and counting – has been spent working with people in the process of making a job or career change. I've worked as a 'headhunter', recruiting people with a wide variety of backgrounds and qualifications for companies who paid me to find them. I've been a hiring manager at a VP level on the 'inside', devoting my time to finding the right people for my company and getting them in the door. I've led as CEO of a division of a multinational organization,  building a team from the ground up. I worked briefly in a career counselling role, helping people prepare themselves for a job or career search, and very quickly learned that most of the resources available are either out of touch or out of date, or both.

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