Strategies for Job Seekers – Part 4: Resumes – No Laughing Matter

An impressive resume gets your foot in the door for an interview and it can get you introductions to important contacts. When I moved across country my resume helped me build valuable contacts by getting me in the door for 66 informational interviews in a two month period.
I’ve applied for jobs, reviewed resumes, interviewed candidates to fill positions and have helped job seekers craft resumes. With a number of people looking it’s important to make your resume memorable. By “memorable” I don’t mean a laughing matter like some of the humorous, real-life statements listed in Fortune Magazine via
  1. “Finished eighth in my class of ten.”
  2. “Received a plague for Salesperson of the Year.”
  3. “Reason for leaving last job: maturity leave.”
  4. “Failed bar exam with relatively high grades.”
  5. “Am a perfectionist and rarely if if ever forget details.”
  6. “It’s best for employers that I not work with people.”
  7. “I have an excellent track record, although I am not a horse.”
I mean memorable as in: 
  • You match the qualifications. Recruiters are overwhelmed like everyone else in the workplace. They don’t have time to interpret what you’ve written to determine that your skills match what they’re seeking. Make it easy for them. Show how your skills fit the position (and if your skills don’t match, save your valuable time and theirs by finding a position to apply for that does match your skills). 
  • Being clear and succinct. Paragraphs are hard to wade through. Bullet points make it much easier to read and find the high points. A resume should be no more than two pages long.
  • Note not only your job history but show how you obtained a result, took initiative, or solved a problem. For example, instead of “Responsible for computer system development,” a results-oriented statement like “Created and implemented a computer system that increased profits 20 percent” has more impact.
  • Providing an error free, stellar product that is taken seriously. Ask someone to review and proofread your resume to avoid the types of faux pas listed above and to ensure when someone receives your carefully crafted resume it’s no laughing matter.   

Linda Hardenstein, MPA, PCC, helps high-level achievers get unique personal systems and procedures in place to accomplish more with ease. She also provides career coaching that lands clients promotions and careers that resonate with who they are.