Stand Out on Paper or Stand in Line in the Bakken
Do You Want a Job ?
Let’s see – over 18,000 unfilled oil field positions available in western North Dakota and eastern Montana. High oil field wages have drained the service sector employee base from local employers. As far away as Billings, Montana skilled labor is “flockin to the Bakken” for the big money. The local Taco John’s in Williston, North Dakota routinely hands out job applications with your meal; willing to pay $18/hour to stuff a taco. YouTube videos talk about just showing up at the local pub and walking away with multiple offers within hours. So why bother to dress up your resume or to put some effort into the formal job application? After all – it sounds like anyone who can fog a mirror will get hired !
While that may appear to be true, getting hired by a reputable employer:
- one that’s not going to use and abuse you
- one with a solid safety track record in a hazardous industry or
- one with a history of employee career promotion and progression
- one that provides benefits
- one that provides housing
- one that provides skilled training
does grow on trees, in the Bakken or any where else in America. So, if you want to get the best offer from the best companies; you need to stand out on paper. Ways to do that:
1. Action Words:
Use action verbs and adjectives to show the kind of person you are, the skills you possess, and your demonstration of those skills.
- 1 page, unless extensive education and/or experience (10+ years) warrants more
- Bullets with short sentences help reader scan quickly without missing the important points
- Font should be a standard easy-to-read font (serif or sans serif) and no smaller than 10 point
- Underline and bold face add emphasis to credentials
Chances are good that your resume will be searched using scan technology. The computer is looking for a match of keywords related to the position. Be as specific as possible in job, skill, and accomplishment descriptions. *Another reason tailored resumes are better than generic.*
4. Personal Impact:
- Show both completion of tasks and contribution of work. Use dollar totals, numbers, and percentages to stand out. IE:
General: Operations manager for oil and gas firm
Better: Managed 100 field personnel for projects grossing $15MM annually
- Use PAR: Problem-Action-Results
General: Responsible for implementing and maintaining organization of warehouse
Better: Transformed disorganized, inefficient warehouse into a smooth-running operation by completely redesigning the layout, saving the company $250,000 in recovered inventory
Have at least 3 professional references listed separately to be provided if/when requested. Employers assume that “references are available upon request,” and this phrase may be omitted from your resume.
Be sure to follow Jennifer via her company’s Synergy Station Directory Listing, the company website; and view the various open positions that The Executive Group is actively recruiting for via the Synergy Station Hiring Hall