Monday, January 26, 2009

How to Say it on Your Resume, book review

How to Say it on Your Resume is part of the How to Say It series which tackles common business writing or business communication issues.

On the plus side, this book has plenty of samples for college-educated job seekers, especially more mature job seekers, people with plenty of job experience and miles between them and their post-secondary education. Each sample is introduced by a case, such as Sally Seeker is a comeback mom with a four year gap, an MBA, who is currently underemployed, and a before and after version of the resume.

On the minus side, the reader would need to recognize what their career issue is--they're a job hopper or have a gap that they need to account for--to realize which case suits them. There is also a layout problem with the before and afters: it would help to have them on facing pages so the reader can see the changes. And the font! I needed my magnifying sheet to read the typeface (I'm old, but not that old) to take a look at the changes. Each of the samples is virtually identical and there is no commentary about why some of the changes were made, though the afters do look better. There is no table of contents that identifies what type of position or industry the resume sample is for, meaning that this is a generic Jane Jobseeker book. The three sample cover letters, heavy on autobiography and light on how to write to fit an organization, just made me groan.

If you knew exactly what your career issue was--a gap, job hopping, not sure how to transfer between industries--and you were a college-educated professional, I would take a look at some of the samples. The lack of a table of contents--though there is a good index--and limited advice on why changes were made mean that this book is not my first choice to give to a patron who says they haven't written a resume in a while. This book might be helpful to a professional resume writer.

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