Turning Good CONTENT Into A GREAT RESUME

Your Career CompassThe average time human eyes scan your resume is around 20 seconds before the  ‘YES-No-maybe judgment’ is rendered.  And in the digital world of recruitment, Automated Tracking Systems (ATS) are even more ruthless in their time management.  Therefore, you should get rid of as much excess material as you can in a resume and only keep the stuff that employers want to see.  THE Careerpilot will always encourage you to ‘write for the reader,’ giving them what they need to read to make the most positive recruitment decision about you.


Thursday, November 10th… Developing in sync Personal Marketing Collateral Materials


Pilot OnboardLess is more in this case, because every bit of relevant information supports your personal brand and the ‘story’ you have to relate regarding your candidacy. You need to strike the right balance between just enough data to pique someone’s interest and leaving the hiring manager(s) wanting to hear more of your story in an interview. Take your current draft resume first to good CONTENT, then on to becoming a GREAT RESUME.

Power up your resume draft by acting on your awareness of the following issues:

  1. CONTACT INFORMATION

Search engines have a blind eye toward header and footer data within a document, so make sure your contact information is the first readable data in your resume draft… after all, the best ‘unique identifier’ of YOU in any database is your name and contact info!  Simplify your contact information as much as possible.

  • City, State and zip code is all the address you need.
  • You only need to provide one phone number, and it’s the one that you access most regularly. You want to be available during career transition.
  • Create a branded email address for your career strategies.
  1. Objective Section

The ‘traditional’ objective section of a resume does not say anything about your story.  “Seeking a challenging and responsible role within a growth motivated and customer centric organization… one in which my personal growth can be in sync with Corporate objectives.”

Gag me with a spoon!

 Rather, consider drafting an ‘executive summary’ of your value which contains the following elements of ‘your story:’

  • A clear positioning statement, with defining keywords, to clarify your value proposition relative to an organization’s needs. Avoid generic positioning when going after a specific opportunity!
  • A Qualification Summary covering the depth and breadth of your experience, skills, and knowledge… your uniqueness that differentiates you from ‘one of those…’ and a brief statement regarding your personality and work habits.
  1. Unrelated Experiences

Include only relevant information regarding your previous work experience. If you worked as a car salesman for six months and the attractive opportunity is for an entry-level IT position, you can exclude any use of vertical space for positions that have nothing to do with IT work… That said, cover all chronological gaps.

  1. Fluff Words

Fluff words are descriptive, qualitative or partial terms that recruiters do not want to see.  Remove the fluff, and other ‘corporate-ese,’ to leave only concrete examples and relevant information about how your work experience prepared you for this given opportunity.

  1. Discriminating Information

Like it or not, companies may favor one type of worker over another, even though blatant discrimination is illegal. Remove any mention of your age, sex, religion, marital status and ethnicity. Do not include a photo unless it’s part of an industry requirement, such as in modeling or acting.

Your networking approach should get interested parties to request your resume. Let your resume lead interested parties to your LinkedIn Profile.

  1. Graduation Year

The fact that you have a degree from an accredited university is good enough. Leave out your high school, college graduation year and GPA, unless you are a recent, or mid-career graduate.

  1. Typos and Grammatical Mistakes

This should be common sense, as even one misspelled word shows you lack an attention to detail. Have a grammar-gifted friend or colleague, one who is aware of your industry, or functional-specific language,  look over the document to catch any typos or grammar mistakes.

On a related note, be aware of ATS protocols regarding common cosmetic treatments within your resume draft.

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