Resume Tips

Monday, May 23, 2011

Resume Samples

New resume samples have now been added to the website.
Resume Samples

The great part about these sample resumes is they are listed by category, as well as position so that if you are looking for a way to write a sample resume using specific key words or phrases, this is a great place to get started. We are adding new positions and bullet points all the time, and welcome any suggestions!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Website now open!

Just wanted to let readers and followers as well as visitors to this site know that I have moved these articles to my new website at Writing a Resume

Also there are additional resume templates, a job club radio, videos, resume samples, and new Job Scam articles to peruse!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Top 10 Resume Tips

Top 10 Tips for Resume Writing

Resume writing is a skill, and unfortunately most of us are less than prepared to know how to write a resume that will land us an interview much less a job offer. In consulting with candidates on a daily basis for the past 5 years, I have narrowed my resume tips to the top 10 so that you can be ready to apply for that next job.

Resume Tip #1: Look Carefully at Job Descriptions and Ads

Learning how to investigate the key words that employers provide in their job ads and job descriptions becomes a powerful tool in writing a resume. For example, I did a brief search on Craigslist and found the following ad:

Human Resources Representative

Will serve as liaison between different departments as it relates to human resources. This person will be responsible for knowing and communicating company procedures and benefits information to employees. Other responsibilities will include but are not limited to: employee relations, processing new hire paperwork, benefits administration, training, and recruiting/hiring employees, as well as, assisting in the development and administration of human resources policies and procedures.

This ad, while small, is very precise and lists keywords that can help you on how to write a resume that matches what the company is looking for. Do not be tempted to embellish your resume with skills that are not accurate to your actual work history, but if they are related to your past or present duties, use the key words the employer is using to prepare a better resume sample

Resume Tip #2: Pay Attention to Employer Needs that are Hidden

While the list of skills and qualifications are prevalent in the advertisement I have listed above, it is important to remember the hidden message within the advertisement. For example, this employer will need someone who can deal effectively with other employees. Since the market is such that there are many candidates competing for the same position, it is important that you identify and anticipate the full range of needs each employer faces and write about how you can address these needs (a great way to prepare a cover letter by addressing such needs and how you can resolve them based on your experience and skill sets).

Resume Tip #3: Sell Your Benefits and Skills

Most of the resumes I have seen provide a list of duties that each applicant has been responsible for without really explaining the benefit of those skills to the employer. For example, a sales manager’s resume might state they have trained employees over the course of a year. This statement lacks an explanation of how this training benefits an employer's bottom line. The real benefit is that the employee can effectively train and develop new hires, saving the employer time and money in seeing the success of new hires. A better statement for this person's resume might be:

  • Achieved top production volume by training and developing new hires with a high degree of accuracy and efficiency.

  • Cut training expenses by over $8,000 annually by eliminating the need for extra training time after the initial 3 week program set by management.

  • Increased sales volume of new hires by 22% after the first three weeks of training compared to last year’s sales volume.

Resume Tip #4: Quantify Results (When Possible)

The descriptions you provide of your skills and abilities will determine greatly how many interviews you generate as well as the level of salary offers you receive. This is a common mistake I have seen in the 100s of sample resumes I have reviewed over the years. I have included an example below to explain:

Maintained records for new applicants for open positions in the organization
Reviewed, managed, and screened over 3,000 applicants working directly with Hiring Managers to provide quality candidates for open positions.

Based on these two descriptions, which one do you feel is the stronger description? Knowing some exact numbers to help quantify your particular skill or description becomes a powerful selling tool in describing your ability to handle the position the employer is seeking to fill.

Resume Tip #5: Use Power Words and Content that Sells

Using numbers to describe your achievements and responsibilities can greatly expand and elevate how an employer perceives your skills. Using numbers and quantifying creates vivid images in my mind when I read them in a resume I am reviewing, whereas general statements like the example above is easy to skip over or forget. Typically the more specific you can be in describing your duties the better.

Another strategy to control that first impression an employer has about you is to use Power Words or verbs that match the level of position you want. For example, let’s say I want to use the experience I have gained to move into a management position. To strengthen the perception of my skills I need to use management type words.

Typical Verbs:
Gave work assignments to staff of entry-level recruiters.

Power Words:
Directed workflow, supervised and trained recruiting staff to better qualify candidates for hiring manager reviews, resulting in an increased interview to hire ratio by 47%
(Notice the use of power words and the quantification of the data!)

Resume Tip #6: Grab their Attention with Resume Design

Employers make snap judgments when glancing at your resume. I cannot tell you how often I would look at a resume and knew within 5 seconds if I wanted to continue a further review of qualifications. Unrelated job titles or skills would cause me to make an immediate assumption that you were not qualified for the job I was looking to fill. Adding to this problem is the fact that most employers don't have the time to read through each of your job descriptions to determine if you have the skills they need.

The design of your resume sample must highlight the most important information about your work experience, skills and education. At first glance this information forms the image that employers have of your skills and abilities. Be sure to use a design that is easy to scan and has the ability to highlight key points quickly.

Resume Tip #7: Use Titles and Headings that Match the Job you Seek

With employers receiving hundreds of resumes for each position you must make sure that your resume hooks an employer's attention within a 5 to 10-second glance (mentioned previously). A great way to do this is to use job titles and skill headings that relate or even match the jobs you want. For example, look at these before and after headings:

Recruiting / Recordkeeping
Computer Skills

Management of Company Recruiting
Computerized Applicant Tracking and Payroll
Departmental Administration / Confidential Recordkeeping

Even though my title was that of a recruiter, I actually managed the recruiting for the entire company at the level of a Director, participating in management meetings and making decisions on hiring without management approval. Using skill headings that market the true nature of my job duties will be better at marketing what I actually did.

Resume Tip #8: Prioritize your Skills and Content

Another big mistake that job seekers make is to list very important data in the lower sections of their job descriptions, if at all. As you compile bullet points for your resume, you should prioritize them by importance, impressiveness and relevance to the job you want. Remember, a strong statement that uses power words and quantifies will affect every statement underneath it.

Not Prioritized

Maintained applications control, filing, orientation paperwork and other documents.
Managed screening functions to support the managers for a staff of over 200 Sales Professionals.


Managed screening functions to support the managers for a staff of over 200 Sales Professionals.
Maintained applications control, filing, orientation paperwork and other documents.

The order is important, so you will need to pay attention to the order you place your bullet points.

Resume Tip #9: Create an Image that Matches the Salary you Want

As you write a resume, keep in mind the level of job and salary you want. For example, language used in a resume for an entry level $8 an hour position is much different than the language used for a middle manager level of $16 an hour. Be sure to create an image that presents you at the appropriate level, even if you may not have all the experience required for that level.

I had a candidate once who decided to leave the mortgage industry due to the changing market conditions and wanted to switch to the finance field. At the top he had placed the intent of the resume with the following words:

Seeking an entry-level position in the finance field.

Based on that one statement, what do you think my first impression was on what this individual was worth salary-wise? A much better statement would have been something like this:

Seeking a finance position utilizing my experience in managing client accounts and transactions of over $1.2 million monthly.

Resume Tip #10: Don’t SPAM your Resume – Be Unique

How often do job seekers go on the Internet and scour the web to find positions for which they qualify in varying degrees and then SPAM the same resume to each employer? Are you guilty of this? We all know what SPAM is, and if all you do is send out the same resume and generic cover letter to each employer, the odds are you will not have great success in your search.

I jokingly tell people about the 16 resumes I have on file, one of which is about 12 pages long. Why? My longer resume lists every job I have ever had, describing in detail every skill and qualification. The reason this is critical is so that at any given moment, I can tweak my resume, and change the necessary items based on the first few tips above to send a unique resume to each employer.

(You’ll have to ask me about what is actually contained on those 12 pages).

Resume Tips Conclusion

In conclusion, while these resume tips are great ways to get started, sometimes it still is helpful to speak with someone specifically about ways to improve your resume. I have been helping individuals for many years on how to create better resumes and including resume tips to use more powerful words and descriptions of your duties. I do provide these services and you are welcome to contact me about these resume-writing services. Or you can simply send me a copy of your own resume to get started. For those who live in the area, I can also provide a mock interview to help better your interviewing skills, or if you prefer a phone interview, I can provide this as well. Just send me your resume at

You can also see this article published and featured on Associated Content