Transcript of Live Chat
September 29th, 2004
Welcome to our online chat with Aurora Brito, career coach and organizational trainer. Ms. Brito has over ten years of experience as an Executive Recruiter and Career Development consultant, and is currently the Managing Director of the Alchemy Solutions Group. She has an MBA in Organizational Development and an MFA in Dramatic Arts. Ms. Brito is also a certified Five O’Clock Club coach. Welcome Aurora!
aurora_brito: Good Morning everyone. Are we all here?
NYPL: Hi Aurora, we sure are!
aurora_brito: Wonderful. This morning we will discuss job readiness skills, resume building techniques in marketing yourselves.
aurora_brito: A little about me: I've been a recruiter for many years, both in the provate and non profie sectors. Regardless of the sectors, I can not emphasize enough the need for a strong, well-positioned resume. Does anyone have any questions? Feel free to ask as I go along.
NYPL: Why do I need a resume?
aurora_brito: A resume is a marketing piece; it is your presentation and usually the first impression a hiring manager or prospective employer gets of you. You want to be able to distinguish yourself from your competition, yet, let potential employers know what you do and what it is that you have accomplished.
NYPL: What's the difference between a resume and a curriculum vitae?
aurora_brito: A resume is very often done in a chronological style--most recent information up front first. A CV is usually used by people in certain sectors: An academic professor may use one because he will list out his books, presentations, lectures...it is a little more involved. A CEO may have a CV. In short, there is much more information on a CV that would be relevant to say a committee seeking the next Provost of their University--
NYPL: Do I need an objective on my resume?
aurora_brito: I love this question!! Listing an Objective is often perceived from two different views. 1st: "Oh, this person is very focused, knows just what she wants, great!" 2nd view: "oh, my, this guy is limiting himself, sorry, but I don't have anything in MIS management. I guess that's all he's looking for....next resume please!" So what can one do? I use a summary of qualifications and strongly suggest that you do as well. If you don't want to say summary, use Profile. This section goes right under your name. It lists very briefly, but right up front, list of accomplishments, what you've done, what you like to do. It isn't as limiting as an objective. Additionally, in today's marketplace, you want to have your resume on disk, so that you may change it and target it for different sectors and different jobs that you would be qualified for. An example: management/Organization development specialist, over 8 years development and stand-up training experience. Financial and exporting industries. Proven skills in Needs assessment and organizational research etc. Does this make sense?
NYPL: Yes, thanks!
aurora_brito: Can you all see the difference between the summary of qualifications and the objective? Whereas an objective is often one line: "Seeking a marketing position where my skills and abilities will be utilized in a growing company"
aurora_brito: A summary is more extensive: you have room to describe yourself, and it serves as a cheat sheet, if you will, when you go into an interview, and the person asks: Tell me about yourself? You have your summary right there, to help you if you get stuck. However, you should know what you can do and who you are!!! But people often get nervous...but I think the summary is very effective.
aurora_brito: Are there any additional questions? Anything else people would like to know?
aurora_brito: It is strongly recommended to check and double check your resume before sending it out. Have a trusted friend, or colleague look at it to see if anything glaring stands out. By this I mean typos, grammar, mistakes etc.
aurora_brito: unfortunately, in this field, it takes a recruiter about 10 seconds to "scan" a resume. And I am sure, now, it is less--we live, afterall, in the MTV quick flash sound bites...
aurora_brito: So, you often have about 10 seconds to create an impression on an employer...unless of course you were referred and then you get an interview.
NYPL: Should I include my volunteer experience on my resume?
aurora_brito: I see all wonderful questions! Yes, definitely include volunteer experience. This should also be part of your summary--that's right, you can put it in the summary. Too often people leave this extraordinary part of themselves out.
NYPL: Can you share any tips on posting resumes online, for instance at monster.com?
aurora_brito: This kind of resume is what we call an Electronic resume. Here it is important to know keywords. When you see a job posted on monster, read the description carefully. When I used to post my jobs, I would scan those resumes that came back with the words I was looking for.
NYPL: Can you share any tips on posting resumes online, for instance at monster.com?
aurora_brito: If I was seeking an Admin asst. I would have keywords in my description: Detail oriented, Microsoft word, type 50 wpm, excellent communication etc. Recruiters do this so that they can weed, hate that word, but to weed throught those that don't fit...it is easier to go through 50 resumes with key words rather than 500 or more, which is what I would get!
NYPL: Should I include jobs I've had that don't relate to the job I'm seeking?
aurora_brito: Yes, you can. You may not list the job ( I don't list my jobs now from over 10 years ago) but you want to remember those transferable skills that you had used. You may find that while the job may not be relevant, the skills used would lend themselves wonderfully. For example: A former ballerina--while that may not be conducive to say, an IT position, the discipline, the committment, focus, learning different dance techniques, some of those skills may transfer...see what I mean? You are selling yourselves...you're presenting your unique abilities to others who need help in solving a hiring problem. Can that be you? It's all on presentations and knowing yourself!
NYPL: What would be the top 3 mistakes people make on a resume, and how can they be avoided?
aurora_brito: Hmm...top 3 mistakes? The typos...they drive me crazy! It means you didn't take the time to really review your resume. Unfortunately, a recruiter or manager may suspect that you would do the same thing in his office on his memos etc. Not presenting themselves well...sometimes I would be interviewing someone, and then, lo and behold, they tell me a wonderful story about how they volunteer and enjoy that process...they come to life...BUT IT'S NOT On the resume!! That can be a wonderful talking point...so decide what you find would be helpful for someone to know. You can list it up in the summary, or, if you want, down below under Additional Activities or however you want to list it
NYPL: Can a resume be more than one page?
aurora_brito: Yes, a resume can be more than one page. While there may be some sectors that still require one page, it really doesn't have to be. If you are an entry level employee, maybe a recent grad, I wouldn't expect you to have a two or three page resume...a seasoned professional, well, that would only make sense. So, yes, resumes can be more than one page--but make the extra pages count. Have pertinent and relevant information on them.
NYPL: Can you talk a little bit about the different types of resumes?
aurora_brito: Besides the chrono, there is also the functional... I don't go by "different types." Years ago, they were using functional when many women who'd stayed home to help raise children decided to go back out to the workplace. To make up for work experience, they would pull skills and volunteer work into a functional resume. Unlike the chrono which lists most recent jobs, the functional was set up differently to showcase abilities. Having a profile, or a summary can really help in positioning yourself and then have it followed by the work and experience you have.
NYPL: Do you think an online portfolio might be useful in some sectors?
aurora_brito: I don't know that it would hurt. In the financial sector, people want to see what you've done, where you've worked, and if you are targeting them, then, it would make sense to have your resume targeting the industry--if you decide to venture to another sector or say another industry, you need to look at your resume/portfolio and see if it is meeting the requests and needs of that sector.
aurora_brito: Are there any more questions? have I answered you all? Anything need clarification?
NYPL: Last chance, everyone! Don't be shy...
NYPL: Aurora, was there anything that we didn't talk about that you'd like to mention?
NYPL: Thank you Aurora, for taking the time to chat with us today.
aurora_brito: I guess I would mention again taht the resume is not a mystifying piece of paper. I t really is a life journey--I used to tell my students that. It's your life's journey, and it will shift and change as you shift and change. You control it. Don't give away that power or control to the "recruiter or hiring manager or interviewer" it's up to you to stand out, to make sure you are happy with how you "look on paper." So many people will have opinions on resumes, take what you like, discard the rest. Just make sure you are comfortable with how you are coming across and that you are fulfilling the needs requested in an opening.
NYPL: Can you let people know how to reach you and about your workshops? Can you tell us a little bit about the services you offer, and your work with the 5 Oclock Club?
aurora_brito: I use the Five O'clock Club methodology. For more information, you can go to www.fiveoclockclub.com. You can look up the books in the library, they should be there. They are written by the Founder and President, Kate Wendleton. You may look at Building a Great Resume.I provide career coaching--we do assessments and find out what you really want to do. Where do you want to be in say the next ten years...does your current job position allow you to move internally...or do you want to paint in New Hampshire by then? What will get you there. I do that kind of thing. I also do training and workshops. So, perhaps we can have a workshop or seminar one day at the New York Public Library!! Shameless self-promotion!!