Photos on Resume

23 April 2013 Categories: Gerry's Corner

I must have missed a class somewhere or at some time. During the last month I have received 4 resumes with photos of the applicant on the resume. I have seen photos on resumes before but they usually came from sources outside of North America. These resumes came from applicants from different cities and different experiences and Educational backgrounds. I don’t know if this is a start of a new trend but I find it strange in this time of trying to protect our privacy and identities. The photos could also be used to discriminate.

        Maybe things are changing but nobody told me. Thought I’d share.


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Too many attachments

13 April 2013 Categories: Gerry's Corner

      When applying for employment in person or electronically, only attached your cover letter and resume. Nothing else is necessary. The cover letter serves as an introduction and your resume is the details of your work and education history. Other documents or letters are not necessary to apply for employment. They may become important later in the process usually after an interview.

        Employment references should not be given till asked. It is personal information on your contacts that could be misused. Guard these contacts and only provide them when you are comfortable they are going to be used to help get that job. Written references are not very valuable because a good reference checker will want to talk to these people. Written references can be easily be forged therefore they are useless. Names and phone numbers are the best way to handle references.

       Transcripts are the same. They are proof of your academic achievements therefore they are private and should be used accordingly. Copies of certificates, licenses, trade tickets, diplomas, etc. should all be kept private and shared when it is absolutely necessary.

      Cover letters and resumes are the only 2 documents necessary to apply for employment. All other documents are submitted when asked as they are proof of what is in your resume or what you have disclosed in an interview. Providing too much information is as bad as not providing enough information besides you need to protect your privacy and what is important to you.

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New Resumes

12 April 2013 Categories: Gerry's Corner

  •        There seems to be some new Career Counsellors that are giving bad advice to people writing or re-writing their resumes. First of all a one page resume does not cut it. The purpose of a resume is to tell the prospective employer about acquired skills, education and a history of where and how the skills were learned. Sorry but you cannot accomplish that in a one page resume even if you are a new graduate and even more difficult if you have 20 years of experience. I am not advocating what I call a Harlequin book of 5-6 pages but 1 to 3 pages depending on background is not out of line. Omitting dates of employment is not acceptable either. Omitting dates is like talking about a historic war and not mentioning the dates. The resume is a history of our accomplishments. When I have lots of resumes to consider I do not have the time or patience to guess at information or call people to give me what I need to make a decision. Bottom line is a short resume misses the opportunity. I have seen an increasing number of these types of resumes as of late. Whoever is giving this advice has never worked for an employer and therefore has no idea what they are talking about. A very easy way to put this to the acid test, is ask yourself if I was hiring someone to work for me does this resume give what I need to know to decide whether it is worth my time to meet this person let alone hiring them.

Here are my recommendations for what a resume should include:

  • Give me the dates of where you worked
  • Tell me about the Companies you worked for, I don’t know all the companies in the market
  • Don’t tell me what you were paid to do but rather tell me what you learned, what you accomplished, what new skills you left with
  • Tell me about your work history so I can see your career journey in terms of your personal growth and development
  • Tell me what your Education is as well as why you made those choices
  • List your personal hobbies and interest, it will tell me more about who you are
  • Tell me your future goals and aspirations
  • Write your resume to entice me to want to meet you

If you were writing your Biography what would you tell people about yourself? The resume is the key that opens the door to people who want to meet you. It does not guarantee you the job but it surely gets you closer.

Here is one final comment. When someone gives you advice you have the right to decide does it make sense for you then take what you think are good ideas and come up with your own personally designed resume.

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Employment Phone Calls

09 April 2013 Categories: Gerry's Corner

      Hello I’m back. Yes I have once again neglected my blogs. No excuses this time. The next few blogs will be sharing my recent experiences over the last 6 months in recruiting. The range of recruiting has been from General Manager to Maintenance Technicians to Administrative clerks involving some 1000 plus resumes and 100’s of telephone calls.

       One of my main pet peeves is the phone numbers on resumes. You would think that when you are looking for employment you would be prepared to receive phone calls. You would not believe the high number of people who give you a cell phone number and have no voicemail. How many times do you think I will call to reach someone? Many people have no proper salutation to greet the caller. Salutations don’t have to be elaborate but there is a difference between expecting calls from your buds or girlfriend/boyfriend and a business call like from a recruiter or potential employer. Your greeting message is a 1st impression of who you are as well as the message you may leave when you call back. This does not require a Master’s degree but rather a little common sense.

      When someone leaves you a message about possible employment and you call back, listen to the instructions and be prepared as if you were walking into an interview. Here are a few simple rules:

  • Ø Don’t return the call at 2:00 am after your shift
  • Ø Don’t call back while driving, you may have to take down some important information
  • Ø Don’t call when you have your drunken buddies in the back seat
  • Ø Don’t call as you pull up to the Tim Horton’s drive thru
  • Ø Don’t call when you have a screaming baby in your arms
  • Ø Don’t call when you are walking your barking dog
  • Ø Don’t call from work while you are working at a grinding machine
  • Ø Please don’t call when you have loud rap music on
  • Ø Don’t ask me to send you an email instead of answering my questions
  • Ø Don’t use profane language
  • Ø Don’t take other calls and put me on hold
  • Ø Don’t return the call 4-5 days later
  • Ø Please identify yourself and leave your phone number ( don’t say “ this is Joe call me back”


     The rules are simple. The phone call you take or return may change your life and surely your employment situation. Treat the call as important to you and be prepared for a conversation. Everything you do from your phone message to how you answer the phone and how you communicate is all part of my assessment of you. All of these simple things can make the difference between getting an interview or missing out on the interview.

       A little effort and common sense can make a big difference.

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