In today’s emails was this request for advice on how to write resumes.
Surfing your blog I found three-four posts about universities and future career. But I have never seen any posts about how mining engineer cvs should be look like. What do you think: should it be very long with a lot of detailed paragraphs describing your work responsibilities and achievements, or vice versa should it be short? People believe when you are writing cvs, you have to accept some formal rules. I mean such paragraph, as Interests, etc. In my opinion most of managers don’t read cvs at all and writing such paragraphs is a wasting of time. Would you be so kind to take a look at my cvs, which I wrote. My friend told me that is too long for a man, who was employed only for a one company? But I can’t agree with him, while he is an economist and I am an engineer. I think, that its not so easy to express mechanical engineers responsibilities in 1-2 words and it would be unclear for readers. May be, you have some ideas about it?
There are many books on writing resumes. Nevertheless this request appears to come from Eastern Europe where such books may not be readily available. Any rate, it seemed easy enough to give some advice. Here is what I replied:
I think your resume is very good. Brief, yet informative, it provides details of what you have done and what you want to do. It shows that you have worked on interesting projects and been involved in relevant technical issues.
Obviously with time, as you work on other mines, other projects, and solve other technical problems, you may want to shorten some of the details—but for now I would keep it as it is.
The fact is that potential employers do look at resumes, and they look for these things:
- Is there a record of continual improvement.
- It there an indication of increasing responsibility.
- Does this person understand the industry and the technologies of their trade.
I once worked for a successful manager and his thesis was that if the resume of a young person showed a move to a new job (or set of responsibilities) every two to three years in the first 8 to ten years of their career, that was good. For it showed that they were advancing and learning. Conversely, he believed that if with time the person did not settle down but continued to move companies or change jobs every 18 to 24 months—that was a bag sign as it generally indicates an inability to settle down, or stay in a job—for that is the time it generally takes to realize a person cannot do the job they have been hired for.
Your resume is neutral. All too often though one finds a resume where there is displayed a distinct attitude: arrogance; cynicism; overt pride; bravado; and so on. Watch for that and avoid it. Keep in mind your resume is your first potential entry to a new group, a new tribe, and new company. They will seek team players and not individualists. If you seek to be a extreme individualist, do not go the resume route to find a job or build your career.
Then keep in mind that you may have to rewrite your resume for every new use. I have rewritten mine many times. For every new proposal, I have rewritten my resume. In a proposal, your resume has to be crafted to be specific to the needs of the people who will read the proposal. Look at the evaluation criteria for winning the job and them make sure you tell in your resume just how you meet all the evaluation criteria.
Similarly, I urge that you rewrite your resume for every new company or group to whom you may submit your resume. Find out what they do, what they need, and what they want. Then tailor you new resume to their activities, needs, and requirements.
Thus as general rules:
- No resume is every good enough.
- Update your resume every time you issue it and make sure it is specific to those to whom you issue it.
- Update generally at least once a year to trim detail, focus on advances and successes, and keep in tone with the times.
Here is the introduction from the resume–maybe if this is the type of person you are seeking, let me know, and I will forward you the full resume and contact details:
As a mechanical engineer with three years experience of mine project developing at consulting company. I am driven, hardworking and complete all projects to an excellent standard, on time and to budget. I am looking to take the next step in my career with an international player in the mining market.