Friday, February 15, 2013

Your Client is Not "A Slacker"

As I've mentioned in my previous posts, having a gap in your client's employment history will not come across as negative if he deliberately took time off to polish his skills or increase his credentials.

If your client had enough time to learn and became more proficient, he'll be more confident in his ability to assume responsibilities at work. The result can only be a feeling of empowerment, and of course, a better paycheck.

So, why is it best to create a functional resume?

Here are several excellent reasons:
  • When you adopt this format, you take the focus away from your client's tenure at previous jobs and direct it to his newly acquired skills.
  • The decision to acquire new skills is a good sign that your client wants to prepare himself for the long haul. It has been said that nowadays, the majority of employees must treat their career as "temp jobs," which means that no one is indispensable in the workplace. Professionals must be willing to learn continuously and be highly adaptable in any situation if they want to stay on top of their game.
Stay tuned for more as I continue with this series on crafting resumes.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Why a Functional Resume is Best for This Type of Client

A functional resume would be most suitable to the applicant who deliberately took time off from employment to hone his credentials further. As someone who is hired to make people "marketable" to potential employers, you as a resume writer must make sure that your client's capabilities are highlighted in the best way possible.

First, consider the position for which he's vying, and then come up with a Job or Career Objective.

Here are a few examples:

  • To work and thrive in a fast-paced environment as a copywriter
  • To apply my expertise in computer programming and mentoring to effectively assist beginners in a classroom setting

In some instances, you can simply state the position as the job objective:

Editorial Assistant
Front Desk Officer
Accounting Clerk

The next thing to do would be to sift through your client's previous experience at work. Carefully examine any task or responsibility that's consistently recurring, like implementing procedures, troubleshooting, keeping records, etc.

After proving that your client has exhibited some competency on the job, beef up his resume by citing the skills that he has acquired (e.g. through seminars or weekend classes, continuing education, volunteering, or internships, both paid and unpaid.).

To illustrate, I once crafted a functional resume that I would present during my application as a customer service representative in a company that specializes in business process outsourcing (BPO). Since strong communication skills are highly valued in this industry, I listed all my past participation in workshops that are aimed to help employees perform better at work by improving the way they speak.

I wrote down my qualifications this way: 


Certification in English Fluency
The Corporate Mind

  • Participated in interactive exercises and drills on the basics of grammar, pronunciation, and structuring sentences effectively
  • Was made familiar with the common pitfalls of English language learners and ways to avoid them

Certification in Feature Writing for Magazines
Pals @ Pages -- Creative Writers' Group

  • Learned to conduct an extensive market study about the needs and editorial preferences of a print magazine
  • Worked in group settings and was engaged in brainstorming ideas for a cost-effective marketing campaign

Use strong action verbs and keep tenses consistent all throughout the resume.

In my next few articles, I'll briefly explain why it's crucial to use this format for your client's resume.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Has Your Client Been Unemployed for Quite a While?

Here's another "high-risk" type of client:

(2.) The applicant who's been unemployed for six months or more.

It's a fact that human resource personnel are unanimous in saying that they want their potential hires to have a proven track record with previous companies. In some instances, the job seeker who has been unemployed for a significant period of time may come across as worse than the one who's done a lot of career jumping. An interviewer will immediately see the gap in the applicant's resume.

If this is the case, there's only one thing that you can do:

You have to help your client present himself as "marketable," in spite of his apparent and glaring "deficiency."

But how do you this, as a resume writer?

The key here is to understand the reason your client has not had a job. Has he been actively looking for one and yet, his applications kept getting turned down?

Another valid reason is he may have deliberately decided not to look for a job in order to spend time honing his skills to increase his credentials. Maybe he took classes on business writing, or an introductory course in graphic design.

It is also not uncommon for a former employee to leave their jobs because of problems with certain situations at home, like having an elderly parent or relative who suddenly got ill and needed extra care and attention.

Or he may have invested time and money in a business or enterprise that is fairly new, so it went bankrupt and he wants to go back to the workplace again.

All such cases need particular attention, so in my next article installments, I'll cite possible ways to help you come up with a resume that can land your client a job.