Monday, July 15, 2013

5 Things That Will (Finally) Get Your Resume Read

by Kirk Baumann

During my 10 years in the career world, I’ve seen a lot of résumés. And I’ve heard many complaints and critiques about resumes from recruiters, hiring managers and career services.

However, I’ll never rip apart someone’s résumé, offering my two cents as an industry professional.  Why? That person probably worked hard to create or update their résumé. Fact is, most of those resumes are good.

In today’s market, however, “good” isn’t good enough anymore. We must take your résumé from good to great.

Here are five things that will (finally) get your résumé read by a recruiter or hiring manager:


There are thousands of free templates out there. Research sample résumés for the industry you’re interested in (there are major differences) and tweak your format as needed. My boss said something to me recently that resonated well. She said, “Don’t put yourself into a box if you don’t have to.”

Feel free to edit sections and headers to fit your purpose. If you don’t have “work experience” think about other types of experience, such as leadership experience, volunteer experience, etc. Of course, keep your résumé in a format consistent with your industry’s norms.

In a world where everyone has to be different, you might be thinking this is bad advice. Trust me, it isn’t. If your résumé is easy to follow and has the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators,) it can take you a long way.

Fun fact: A simple Google search for “great résumés” returns over 590 million results!


One issue that is consistently lacking on most résumés is… quantification.

I don’t want to see your job description, duties, or applied skills. I want to see accomplishments, leadership, and results. All too often, candidates focus on their current job duties versus what they’re actually doing (or did) in that position.

An example: “Responsible for supervising shift employees.”

As a reader, I don’t get much information from that statement. Rather than the generic line from the job description, focus on facts like HOW MANY people you supervised/trained. HOW did your work affect the bottom line? HOW did the company benefit from your teams accomplishments?


Your results can’t speak for themselves if you don’t give them a voice. You can’t expect the reader (aka recruiter) to know what you’ve accomplished if all you provide is one of those generic statements.

Focus on the WHAT.

What was the IMPACT? Did you increase sales or participation? If so, by how much? WHAT was the OUTCOME of your customer service? WHAT problems did you solve? Numbers and percentages speak volumes here. Don’t be afraid to toot your horn a little!

Things 4,5, and the complete original article

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