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  • Julie Marseu, Head Resume Writer

Don't let your resume ruin your career

I've been a professional resume writer for many years, and I know the power of a strategically written resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile because I have personally helped more than 10,000 people exponentially project their careers forward. That's why it always amazes me to hear people say they can't afford a great resume. This is especially true with new graduates, whose resumes can make or break their careers before they ever get off the ground.

The saddest case I ever saw was a woman who had spent in excess of $60,000 earning a Bachelor of Technology degree, plus living expenses and lost potential income during those 4 years, not to mention all that time and effort. When she graduated, her husband had shopped around to find her a resume writer; unfortunately, the price was one of his main deciding factors. I suppose he thought all professionally written resumes were the same. Anyway, three years after they hired a lower-cost resume writer, this woman still had not had a single job interview in her field. When I saw the resume, I was not surprised. There was virtually nothing on that resume that was I.T.-related, except for the name of the degree. Unfortunately by then, her technology degree was outdated and her skills were completely forgotten...all to save $100. What's most ironic is she could have earned that $100 back in a few hours if she had gotten hired in her field.

On the other hand, I recently wrote a resume for a new graduate, and it paid off for him with a fantastic job offer in his field within weeks of getting his new resume. Given the current job market in Alberta, I wonder how long the other 50 or 60 students in that program will have to wait before they find a job, and how many of those will never work in their field.

My advice to new graduates is this: if you hire a resume writer, make sure they take the time to discover the skills you learned in school (build a detailed list of technical skills) and all the experiences you have had. This includes employment (relevant skills only), practicums, co-op placements, internships or other student placements, school projects/hands-on lab work, education, awards, scholarships, clubs, committees, volunteer work, sports teams, sports achievements and anything else that would show you have the knowledge, skills and personality to do the job.

Above all, make sure your resume is done properly, and that it's strategically targeted toward your chosen field. Anything less will probably never make it past an automated applicant tracking system.

If you have put out countless resumes with zero calls from potential employers, please email me your resume and ask for a free resume evaluation. At the very least, you will know why it's not working.

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