Share this article:
Bookmark and Share

Seven Secrets No One Ever Told You About

Getting the Most Out of Your Resume

  1. Clearly define your objective. “We don’t have time to be career counselors,” said Tim Moran, Hallmark’s Director of Human Resources, at a Career Masters Institute conference, “so please, help us out a little. Let us know what you want.” “Candidates have to be focused,” said Laurie Purcell, Executive Recruiter. “The biggest complaint from employers over the years has been ‘We didn’t hire so-and-so because they didn’t know what they wanted.’”

  2. Be specific when recounting your achievements. “Dollarize” them,” says Jeffrey Fox in Don’t Send a Resume. Qualify and quantify them in some manner that demonstrates what you can offer a prospective employer. Use the CAR method to help you recall your achievements: Challenge, Action, and Result. Achievements are the most important part of the resume say recruiters and human resource professionals. “Past performance predicts future productivity,” said Lynn Williams, President, Prestige Placements.

  3. Use action words and statements. “Responsible for”… is out, “Developed; Directed; Achieved; Coordinated, etc.” is in.

  4. When responding to an online ad, e-mail your resume in WORD. PDF and other formats aren’t easily scanned into existing HR and resume-management software. “We want Word,” said an HR Director of a local manufacturer. Moran said, “We can easily zip Word documents to all areas of our company.” Purcell said recruiters want Word as well.

  5. When responding to any ads, either online or in the newspaper, be sure you clearly read the ad and assess your qualifications. Companies don’t have time to meet with unqualified applicants. According to one recruiter, “Companies are cherry picking now. Candidates must be an exact match before a company looks at them.”

  6. If you know someone at a company, give them a call. Networking is the No. 1 method used by candidates to get jobs. According to a recent survey by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5% of people found jobs through advertisements (online and in print) while 48% of employees landed their jobs through referrals (networking).

  7. Think creatively in how you distribute your resume. According to the above survey, 23% of newly hired employees found jobs through alumni (professional associations and/or employers), employment agencies, and temporary placement firms and 24% found jobs through cold calling companies (no job advertised).

- Wendy J. Terwelp, CPBS, CCMC, JCTC, CEIP

© 2003 – 2006 Wendy J. Terwelp Opportunity Knocks™ All Rights Reserved. Local: 262.241.4655 Toll-Free: 800.969.KNOX