We Jamaican's, at home and abroad, love to take things to the extreme. Of course I am making a generalisation, for some Jamaican's do not fit into this category.......all the time.
However, we either love to the Nth degree or hate with a passion; go all out or don't budge a muscle; cuss till our vocals have used all the words in the English, Jamaican Patois, Spanish and now German and Russian dictionary or DO NOT SPEAK AT ALL.
And with our resume's it's the same thing!
Some young people are either cramming too much information onto one page or putting absolutely nothing of any interest, to any employer, on their resume.
From delivering our Career Development Drive at the beginning of May, we found that although we advised the young people to list their previous work experience, skills and qualities; many were afraid to.
After the drive, our follow up calls, found that a majority of the young people thought that their new resumes were 'TOO WORDY' and because of this employers would bypass their resume for somebody else's.
I had to investigate this attitude towards the content of resumes further.
I had a conversation with a young man who came for a resume consultation at Brown' Town Library. He said;
'Mi neber puh h'all mi lass jub dem pon di resome like yuh seh car di ting luk like mi av too moch pon i. I betta fe kip d ting simple, yuh see mi.'
No I don't, I replied.
Even though two weeks previously our resume expert Mr Max- Orumbie created a stunning resume for this young man'. He proceeded to hand me a very watered down version, of which he wanted to apply for a job with.
I had to show him why it's important for his past work experience to be mentioned on his resume. So, I asked him to tell me what he has been doing since he left high school in 2005.
DO YOU KNOW THAT THIS YOUNG MAN HAS BEEN IN CONSTANT EMPLOYMENT SINCE HE LEFT SCHOOL! WORKING AS A TILER WITHIN THE TOURISM INDUSTRY!
His work was so good that his contractor would be recommended to somebody else, and that company would recommend him to another company and cycle continued. Each post lasted between one and two years!
He has recommendations pouring out of his pockets. But still did not want to show potential future employers that he IS EMPLOYABLE, because the resume would look too wordy!
I asked him why he feels he is not finding work? He did not know.
Explaining to him that if I received his watered down resume I would not interested in employing he. His resume clearly showed me he was somebody who has never had a job and probably loves idling more than working.
I nicely yet firmly explained that this is what his resume is telling people.
I then looked at his recommendations. One from a JP and the other from a Pastor!
HELLOOO! Having a JP and a Pastor are good recommendations, but why was he not using recommendations from the reputable companies he has worked for? Mi neber tink fe h'ask dem fi one. He sulked. Now he was understanding what I was trying to say.
We all have to show past, present and future employers that we are fantastic employees that will assist their company in offering the best service to their customers; thus creating more profits; inevitably, so that everybody can put food on their table and enjoy life with the pay cheque they receive at the end of each month.
This could not happen if companies employed people whose resumes showed a lack of customer service, poor use of initiative, non commitment, poor effort and no transferable skills.
Gladly, this young man had excellent employability skills and only required a little confidence boast. Do you know what he said after our session whilst looking at his new resume? 'Jah kno mi gud mon'.
I hope this young man puts down 'the myth of the resume' and starts to sell his skills and qualities in an effective way.
The question is did he get a job? Well, we have to wait and see.
Remember to have the confidence, belief in yourself and an effective resume (or portfolio) is the right place to start.....and can only lead to greater things.
By Elen B