Resume Etiquette

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Vince Maskeeper, Dec 9, 2002.

  1. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Is it considered in bad taste to include honor societies such as MENSA on a resume? I'm always uncomfortable mentioning this, as it seems like some sort of overt bragging- but if it can help me in the job market- I'm all for it. If you were to include this- where would it go- under education?

    Also, is it worthwhile to list this or other honor socieities on a resume? In terms of academia, I have qualified and joined 4 different honor societies (so far) and will graduate with some honor standing- and I'm wondering if it's worth wasting space with that type of information.

    Your thoughts?

    Vince
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Mensa is not really an honors society. And I don't know how to mention membership to it on a resume without seeming to brag.
     
  3. Dennis Reno

    Dennis Reno Supporting Actor

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    If its an honor society related to academic achievements then I would put it in. I wouldn't include any others with two exceptions: 1) You hold/held office in the group 2) It is directly related to the industry
     
  4. Dave E H

    Dave E H Supporting Actor

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    I'd agree with Dennis. I'm a hiring manager - I don't think I've ever cared about those on a resume. For my perspective, while I don't think that I've eliminated resumes because of a mention of some honor society, I am fairly sure people do eliminate people because they think its either resume filler or bragging.
     
  5. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    On my resume, I once listed Expert Poofreader as one of my qualifications, but I never got an interview until I took it off my resume.
    I would have thought it was a good idea until I read this thread. But since I've never been on the "hiring end" of a job search, I defer to the experts who have already responded.
    (And, yes, I'm kidding in that first sentence. [​IMG])
    Good luck in your job search, Vince. I hope it goes well.
     
  6. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Vince, I’ve been a hiring manager for many years. And I have some thoughts, but the problem is that all managers look at resumes with their own bias.
    First, some general comments (all in my opinion, of course).
    Although you should always keep an updated resume on hand, you should tailor your resume to the company you are applying and to the job you are seeking. Put another way, emphasize your financial experience, if applying to a bank.
    Many U.S. companies hire through their HR departments. Should this be the case, find out in advance what they would like to see and how they would like to see your C.V. presented. While the HR department may not make the selection, they might select you out, based on some obscure, internal bureaucratic criteria or which you are unaware.
    I personally am never impressed by any personal information. In my opinion this kink of information should be left off resumes submitted in the States. There are countries where it is the norm to include personal information. If you are making such an application, check it out first.
    As far as things like MENSA, I would research your target culture. Some businesses are very suspicious, for example, of academia. Successful managers in such a company will likely not be impressed by such mentions. On the other hand there are other companies that place a high premium on hiring smart guys with impressive degrees and such. While MENSA is not in that category, mention might at least get you considered by such a company.
    It is never inappropriate to mention professional memberships. And sometimes helps.
    Most managers get pretty jaded by resumes after a while, and expect some degree of self-promotion. And will not be put off by such a mention, even if they are less than impressed.
    This comes under IMO, but I am less than impressed by resumes that are too long. I think that if you have to write a lot, then you have not done very much. Still, I will wade though a long resume. And if you are preparing a C.V. for academia, then it is probably appropriate to include every paper you ever wrote and that was published.
    Hope this helps. Good luck.
     
  7. Justin Lane

    Justin Lane Cinematographer

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    Vince,

    Since I am still in college, I have an activities/societies section at the very bottom of my resume. I put this there because it is the least important aspect, and work experience/skills should be more important. In this section I mention some hobbies (maybe a bit too personal), societies I am a member of (ISA, IEEE) and any other college related activities I find important.

    I would think such activities and memberships would be appropriate for people coming right out of college but once you have been in the work place for some time, I would only lst those activities or societies which are directly relevant to the job.

    My rule of thumb would be if it is strictly the HR department who decides on hirings, then put as much extraneous information as you want because they are usually easily impressed. If it someone who is a manager/supervisor making the decision, keep it relevant.

    J
     
  8. Max Knight

    Max Knight Supporting Actor

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    I would leave off MENSA, but include academic honor societies. I deal with resumes day-in-day-out, and while I'm not directly in HR (rather I work for a company in the HR space), I would say that after the age of 25 no one really wants to see anything other than business or academic experience. Before the age of 25 you can get away with having a short section of "other interests" because you won't have as much work experience.
     
  9. AviTevet

    AviTevet Stunt Coordinator

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    Throughout college I had an "Activities and Awards" section on my resume. I think I had 5 points... as I got more awards I gradually took off activities. So it started with stuff like Golden Key NHS, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society, the posts I had held in my fraternity, and the scholarship I had received from the school. By the time I graduated the section was a couple of scholarships, a peer award, an engineering honor society I participated in, and something else I can't remember.
    My criteria was that if the manager had asked "Why is this on the resume?" I would be able to answer something relevant to the business. The scholarships showed continued high effort and ability, the peer award showed that others recognized the value and quality of my work, TBP taught me some things about organizing groups/events, etc... I don't think there's any good reason to include MENSA because it doesn't show anything except that you took a test. It should become dramatically clear to the manager during the interview if you are a genius [​IMG]. And delete any honor societies you're not active in... I was in GKNHS but didn't do anything, and I might have been in some other math honor society that I didn't participate in.
    I think if you are highly acclaimed at anything (acting, music, soccer, etc) it's worth it to include on the resume because it shows commitment and ability to work hard to be the best. But my general opinion is that it's better to have a shorter resume with less filler than to have a longer resume with "impressive" filler.
     
  10. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer
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  11. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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  12. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    I've been a hiring manager for many years and I look for Experience and Education, with differing emphasis depending on whether the candidate is coming out of school or changing jobs. I'm an actuary which means I'm always looked at hiring math majors for insurance companies.

    I'm going to buck the consensus here and say that I like to look at personal information like hobbies and such. It can reveal depth and breadth of interests which I believe are correlated with creative thinking. I like to ask questions about these during interviews to get a feel for how people think and whether they are capable of passion about something that might be even remotely relevant to the actual job.

    A big item for me and my department is the intangible "culture fit" issue. Is this person a good fit for the department? It's a squishy, illusive criterion but you don't want to dread working with someone. It's like what Sam Seaborn said on The West Wing: "He's one of us!"

    On the issue of length...Size does matter. One uncluttered page is enough.
     
  13. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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  14. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    Christ,
    Yeah, that's a bunch of crap, imo. That's typical for recent grads, but most people (including me, a recent grad) can't fit enough on one page and present the knowledge that they have.
    Heck, my previous two jobs, education and skills don't fit on a single page. It's not remotely verbose. I DO put the most important information on the first page since that's all some managers will look at. [​IMG]
    In my profession, managers are looking for very specific skills and experience. Now over two pages is usually pushing it; you don't need to list every job you've ever had (and I don't!) -- but I know some consultants that have seven pages resumes, but that makes more sense...
    Also, I put down honors and activities, but only ones that can relate fairly closely to the job I'm applying for:
    ·Western Mass State Programming Contest – Fourth place 1996; First place 1997
    ·Northeast Regional Programming Contest – First Place, 1997
    ·M. Ross Burns Award (laboratory science), 1997
    ·Paintball Central, Webmaster/Designer, 1998-1999
    ·President’s List, 2000
    ·Math and Science Club, 2000-2001
    ·Lion Audio Video Consultants, Webmaster/Designer, 2002-present
    (I'm a software engineer)
    I've been turned down for a job because I didn't fit their corporate culture (I think both sides would have hated it!)
     
  15. AjayM

    AjayM Screenwriter

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    I think the one page thing is going away, at least in certain industries. I used to follow the same rule with a one page resume, every headhunter told me to fill it up to 2 pages and no more than that. There were also some loose resume writing rules floating on Monster that went into it, basically it said if you have been in your field for awhile then you can expand to 2 pages, but if you are a relative newbie to the job market (or changing careers) then one page is the max. Of course that's just one opinion, but I've seen a lot of people use it.

    As to the original question, on the little bit of hiring that I've done, I do tend to look at the "other" field on a resume, and I would consider something like a Mensa memebership as a professional membership/organization, and in my eyes will apply to any job that he's applying for, as opposed to somebody saying they are a member of Greenpeace or a little league coach, both are fine, but don't apply to the job, where as being a mensa member shows that the person has some intelligence. Basically I don't care if it's there or not, but if I had two resumes that were basically identical in terms of experience and such, I'd probably call the Mensa member first.

    Andrew
     
  16. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    I think my resume is pretty tight- I stay at one page (I too have encountered a dozen people who throw away anything longer without reading it). I do however have an extensive version available in HTML online to allow any follow-up desired.

    Essentially, in the Experience section I list Position and Duties. I tried to format the education section in a similar way, listing the information like:



    So, i was just considering adding MENSA to the list after my BS degree- and wondered if that would be out of place or uncouth.

    -Vince
     
  17. Denward

    Denward Supporting Actor

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    Expanding on what I said earlier, if I saw MENSA on a resume, I would ask you why you thought it was significant to put on your resume, what it means to you, etc. Be prepared with an answer.
     
  18. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    And I would, once again, not include it. (I've been a member myself but have never mentioned it on any resume nor included the information in any application; why even list it other than to be able to say your IQ is higher than 130?)
     
  19. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I'm not sure if I'd even include the high school stuff (then again, it was so long ago for me...) [​IMG]
    By the time I was out of college, I had 9 quarters of co-op experience, so I didn't feel the need to mention anything about high school honors/achievements.
     
  20. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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