Monster.com, that is. Constructing my own resume is a big enough challenge. Rating my skills – on a scale of what? Who are you comparing me to? Coming across as confident, but not cocky, successful but not swaggering, listing the advantages of hiring me without sounding like a self-centered egomaniac. It’s a hard balance to strike.
Now try doing it for someone else. Someone you don’t know. Someone who you’re not sure even knows what their skills are, but you do know that typing isn’t one of them. By the way, do they speak English?
People come in to fill out applications online all the time. Some of them do not have good reading skills. They don’t know how to type, not even two-fingered. They do not know where the AT sign is, or the letter E.
They sometimes don’t have an email address or understand how email works. They don’t understand why they have to have an email account so that their prospective employer can contact them. “I have a phone,” they explain to me.
They can figure out how to fill in the resume template pretty well, most of them. I do have to explain occasionally that they delete the template words that say, “YOUR NAME HERE” and put in their name instead.
The thing that is most difficult is filling out the skill survey. Many people ask me if ONE experience counts as - well….experience. Most surveys I've seen don’t have a place to list how long you’ve done the skill. They don’t have a scale even as simple as Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced.
Many people want to know if related skills count. A woman who had raised three children was applying for a nurses’ aide assistant position. The skill was listed as caretaking, and she wanted to know if her care for her children counted.
How can I know? If she works in pediatrics, sure - uh, maybe. Moms give medication, they change diapers, they feed kids a special diet when needed. But trying to do these services for an 83 year-old Alzheimer’s patient in diapers requires an expansion of those skills.
The men I have helped seemed to get caught in secretarial skills. “I typed my resume, “ they tell me: a long, painful process I observed and helped with. “Should I say I can type?”
One man who required me to sit beside him for 10 minutes, figuring out his form, how to get from one page to the next, how to fill in a button on the screen asked, “I’m filling out this survey on the computer. Do I have computer skills?”
I hate to be the monster, but…