Saturday, September 21, 2013

Pro Resumes Made Easy - Book Review


There are a lot of people out there who are looking for employment, and it's a tough job market. I'm sure that if you're someone who is looking for a job, you've done internet searches seeking advice on how to make your resume stand out. Andrea Drew's new book, Pro Resumes Made Easy, aims to guide job-seekers through the process of crafting a compelling resume as well as a cover letter, getting an interview, and acing it.

What is always helpful when researching how to write a resume and cover letter is to see samples of good resumes and cover letters. This book includes lots of samples of both. There is also a list of "action words" at the end of the book so that you don't end up overusing the same verb or not using any interesting verbs to describe what you've done in past/current positions.

One of Andrea's tips is to make sure the formatting/alignment of your resume is coherent and that you don't have any typos/grammatical errors. That is so true! However, I feel like Andrea failed to take her own advice when putting this book together. The author is Australian, and so some words were spelled differently, but that's not at all what I'm talking about. First, the book has many typos. Second, I was reading this as an e-book on my Kindle, and the formatting was all off. This was especially annoying when trying to read some of the sample cover letters because parts of the cover letters were obscured! I tried making the font size smaller, but that didn't work. And in some of the resume samples, the alignment of the text was off. And that comes right after Andrea writes that you should watch your alignment!!

I also feel like the advice given in this book is more suited to Australian job seekers rather than American job seekers. In the chapters about how to write your resume, some of Andrea's examples are REALLY LONG. She writes that employers only give about 30 seconds to each of the hundreds of resumes that pass by their desks, so you've got to get to the point and not bore them. But I hardly see how writing several paragraphs about what you did at ONE job is going to help that cause. 

My resume is actually modeled after one that appeared in Oprah. And, honestly, how could ANY advice from Oprah Winfrey be wrong? My resume is actually one and a half pages long. I was always told that ideally, you want a resume that is only one page. But if you have to use a second page, fine. Don't go beyond that. Andrea says that your resume, if you follow her guidelines, will be three to four pages. (However, many of the final samples in the back of the book are only one page and look more like the resumes that I was always taught to write, so...)

That said, the book does have good advice on how to present yourself at an interview and use references. And if you've been unsuccessful in your job search so far, you're probably willing to take any advice to change up the look of your resume and cover letter. If you're not looking for a job right now, it never hurts to keep your resume updated and ready to go.

Pro Resumes Made Easy is published by Amazon Digital Services and is available to purchase now. I received a free review copy for my honest review.

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