Resume Suggestions
Resumes - Your Marketing Challenge

What is the purpose of a resume?  Is it to get a job or offer?  No.  The purpose of a resume is to represent your talents well enough to attract a manager's attention to set up an interview. As a Professional Speaker, Award Winning Author , and expert Contract Recruiter Consultant we wrote "RecruiterGuy's Guide to Finding a Job" to help you through each step of finding a job. Included are sample resumes and some RecruiterGuy stories with candidate faux pas. Additionally the Appendix has a list of sample action verbs that you may utilize to more accurately reflect your experience. You may purchase "RecruiterGuy's Guide To Finding A Job" on Amazon (where it currently has 9 five star reviews - and is now available on Kindle!) or for $13.95.

Since beginning in 1981, we have easily read over 400,000 resumes.  Our contract recruiter consultant business is to recruit the top candidates for our clients.  We also understand that every college and university has a suggested resume writing format.  Additionally, it seems for every foot between New York and San Diego there has been a book written on resume writing.  Therefore, this is RecruiterGuy's prejudice on the correct format. There is no "right way.”

The first rule is to tell the truth on your resume.  For instance, never say that you have a degree if you do not have a degree - even if you are only one PE credit away.  It is the easiest information on your resume to check.  Once your veracity is challenged, you will not be pursued.

So you sweat all day writing the "perfect" resume.  How much time will a contract recruiter consultant spend on it?  When I was on our contract recruitment consulting assignment with MCI, a Jr. Recruiter timed me as I went through a stack of about 100 resumes.  When I was done, Andrea informed me that I had spent as little as 2 seconds on a resume and as much as 12 seconds on a resume.  She said that I averaged 6 seconds on a resume. They went into three piles: interest, no interest, will take another look.

You have 6 seconds to attract the attention of a recruiter.  What are we looking for?


Always put your contact information at the top of the resume.  Don't force the contract recruiter consultant to look for it.  It's nice to use bold here.

What's next?  Many people suggest that you put an "Objective".  RecruiterGuy has read so many "Objectives" that they all end up saying, "I want a good job in a good company."  In other words, it might not be a good use of your 6 seconds.  

We suggest that below your contact information you put "Summary" in bold type.  In your summary, list some of your accomplishments, particularly where your contribution had a direct effect on the corporate bottom line.  For instance a successful sales person could write, "Consistently sold at 120% quota for four years".

Below "Summary" list your "Education" (if you have at least a college degree) in bold.  Try to keep each degree on one or two lines.

Next comes "Professional Experience" in bold.  The convention in resume writing is to list your most recent experience first and work backward.  Another convention is to write your resume in the third person (as if someone else was writing about you) and drop the pronouns.  You may want to put the name of your employer, dates of employment, and title in bold.

You want to include your accomplishments from your summary in the appropriate areas of your experience.

Do not begin a sentence with words like "have" ("Have led a team...). Begin them with action verbs (Led team tasked to...)

At the bottom of the resume, you may list community organizations where you have leadership responsibilities.

Try to limit your resume to one or two pages.

Never, Never, Never (When?) Never put personal information (marital status, children, health, ethnic information, hobbies, religious affiliation, etc.) on your resume.  Hiring managers are not allowed to ask those questions unless you bring them up. Remember, the recruiting process is a discrimination process. Hopefully contract recruiters and hiring managers are only discriminating candidate experience and skills, not illegally. The goal is to find the candidate who is the best qualified and the best fit.

Always print your resume on paper that copies well, if you are either dropping it off or mailing it.  

Always bring extra copies of your resume (unfolded) to interviews.

Always use "spell check" and have a disinterested party read your resume.  "Form" and "From" will make it through "spell check".  Recently many resumes on managers have had "manager" and "manger" confused. Unless you want to manage while suffed with straw, it's better to be a manager! Only one spelling will convey your meaning correctly.

When you write a resume for the Internet job boards (, Dice, Yahoo!, etc.), at the bottom of your resume write "Keywords" and then list all appropriate keywords as they apply either to your experience or search - And the job description. Search engines count how many times a word in your resume comes up in a key word search. The more times that word is seen, the higher confidence the search engine has that your resume is the right one. A contract recruiter consultant uses a keyword search daily in their hunt for candidates.

Quick Resume Checklist

    • Is your name and contact information on your resume?
    • Did you drop your pronouns?
    • Did you have a disinterested third party read it for grammar and spelling errors?
    • Did you remove all "personal" information?
    • On resumes to be posted to Internet job boards, did you include "keywords"?
    • Did you tell the truth?

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