As I navigate this time of unemployment, one of the most confusing parts is getting your résumé just right.  The problem is that everyone you talk with has a different idea of what makes the perfect resume.

I was talking to a friend today who is a recruiter, and she says there is no perfect standard.  Each hiring manager is looking for something else, however, they don’t tell anyone what that perfect resume looks like.  She told the story of one hiring manager who didn’t want to interview one of her clients.  When she asked why, noting that this candidate was seemingly a perfect fit for the job, the manager said, “He has references in the résumé!” Of course, there are bound to be other hiring managers out there that think references should be in the resume.

Looking online for guidance can be a mess of confusing and contradictory information.  Each article will tell you something different.  This  article will tell you the number of pages doesn’t matter, as long as the information is relevant.  The next article will tell you no more than two pages.  At one of my networking groups, one of the guys got a job after posting his résumé for only nine days, and his résumé is seven pages long!

I’m going to stick with two pages for now.  I’ll keep tweaking the wording, and hopefully, I’ll stumble upon the right resume for the right job.

Learning new software…

The other day, I came across a job posting that mentioned a software package that I had never used.  Being the good internet user that I am, I googled the software, and went to their website.  What a wonderful treasure trove of information I found there!  Not only  was I able to download an evaluation copy of the software to work with, they offered a number of FREE online tutorials that would be helpful, not only for a new user, but for an existing user that needs to learn something new. The best free online tutorials I have ever seen were for MadCap Flare, XML-Based Single-Source Content Authoring for Multi-Channel Publishing. (

There are a number of companies that offer evaluation copies of their software.  There are often limitations on how you can use the software and how long you can use it. However, it can be a great way to add a skill to your résumé or evaluate different software programs before you buy.

So, the next time you see mention of a software package you aren’t familiar with, check it out online.  You may be surprised!