GREENSBURG — In her eight-and-a-half years as a human resources specialist, Nemia Cooper, Honda Manufacturing of Indiana, has seen a lot of resumes.
Many have been good; many have been bad. For Cooper, though, “bad” does not necessarily mean a lack of qualifications, an insufficient work history or an unimpressive list of references. For Cooper, in fact, the difference between a “good” resume and a “bad” one is often a matter of presentation; presentation can mean the difference between a candidate landing the job and a resume being thrown aside, as Cooper sifts through the stacks, looking for the one resume that stands out.
Effective resume writing is not an automatic skill, though. Fortunately for his students, Decatur County Community Schools (DCCS) Alternative Education and Vocational Teacher Andy Honeycutt understands the importance of constructing an eye-catching, easy-to-read resume.
That’s why, on Tuesday morning, Honeycutt invited Cooper and her Honda HR colleague, Marilee Hoffman, to speak about effective resume writing to one of his Interdisciplinary Cooperative Education Classes at South Decatur High School (SDHS).
Some of the guidelines Cooper offered might seem like common-sense rules for resume writing – proofread multiple times; make sure to keep the phone number/address information updated and valid; keep things as succinct as possible. Other bits of advice the HR compensation specialist offered might not seem quite so obvious. For instance, contrary to prevailing belief, using relatives as references is not strictly forbidden.
“Obviously, you don’t want to just list your mother,” Cooper said, but added that, if a relative has valid knowledge of a job-seeker’s skills, work history or ability to do a particular job, then it is okay to list that relative as a reference.
Cooper also implored the students to be mindful of the email account from which they send their resumes. In example, she related one job seeker she once encountered who mailed his resume from an account with the word “fuzzy” in it, paired with another word for part of the human anatomy not suitable for print here. HR specialists, she said, won’t find such “gag” email addresses amusing in the least. More than likely, in fact, the resume from such an account won’t be taken seriously or even read.