The Damn Good Resume Guide: A Crash Course in Resume Writing

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The Damn Good Resume Guide: A Crash Course in Resume Writing, by Yana Parker 2002. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press 73 pages, $9.95, Softcover

Intended Audience(s): A, H, I

Major Headings from the Table of Contents:

Ten Steps to Writing a Great Resume; Sample Resumes; Appendix A-G

How Is the Book Most Useful for Its Intended Audience?

Step by step directions for writing a resume. Direction on how to overcome various challenges of a person's job history. Advises on formatting techniques and writing accomplishments. Provides numerous samples

The Top Five Things You Learned from Reading this Book:

Determining your career direction is the most important and the first step to creating an effective resume.

Do not include all jobs on a resume.

How to choose the right format based on my own situation.

How to write accomplishments.

The need to state key points at the top of the resume.

The Damn Good Resume Guide: A Crash Course in Resume Writing is an excellent resource for job seekers with no or limited experience creating a resume, particularly those at the entry or staff level. Content is somewhat conversational. Readers feel they are receiving personal advice. Format is primarily bullets and hot tips to easily breeze through the information.

This resume guide begins by providing a chart of the 10 steps to write a great resume, so the reader has a clear idea of how the book proceeds. It then goes on to provide a section on each step listed. I was particularly impressed that the first step not only discusses how to determine your job target, but also points out that this is the most important step! This book clearly communicates the necessity to clarify career targets before creating a resume so the job seeker can then identify what critical skills will be important to catch an employer's eye and articulate their value proposition.

One of the highlights of this book is the hot tip. Hot tips are found on most pages to draw attention to important points, including reasons people do not write effective resumes. One reason that I believe will surprise readers is including all past jobs.

Further into the book there is a section on writing accomplishments. While it asks the reader to initially write their list without consideration of their career direction, it then goes on to emphasize the importance of refining the accomplishment list based on the job target. The specific examples of accomplishments provided for various positions are very helpful. Sound advice is given for those who think they do not have accomplishments. The author also discusses qualitative accomplishments when there are no quantitative, measurable results to include.

Within this same section, the P-A-R approach (problem, action, and results) is defined and includes examples that are helpful in showing how job seekers can bring out their own achievements. …