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Recruiter at Job Fair Criticizes Her Resume


This posting is a guest entry from the Career Doctor, Randall S. Hansen, PhD: Maria writes: I had been job-hunting without much success when a recruiter at a job fair told me he thought my resume was really bad. I was shocked! I thought I had a pretty darn good resume. What do I need to write and improve my resume?
The Career Doctor responds: You didn’t attach your resume, so I don’t know for sure what the specific problem is with your resume, but I have seen enough bad resumes to know some of the most common problems. And for a recruiter to tell you that your resume was bad means that it must be really bad. I’m not trying to be overly harsh, but to add a dose of realism because I find job-seekers often ask for advice on improving their resume when they secretly love it and plan no changes. So… here are my all-purposes fixes for resumes. First, your resume has to have a focus. Every job-seeker needs to be a specialist, a specialist that fits the needs of the prospective employer perfectly. Sometimes a job objective or summary of qualifications can give you the edge you are seeking. Second, your resume must showcase your accomplishments. Employers like specifics. They don’t want to know you saved your former employer money; they want to know exactly how much money you saved. They want to know the exact size of the staff you managed, the amount you increased revenues, the level of customer satisfaction you delivered. Third, there is no such thing as one resume. Gone is a one-size-fits-all resume. Every resume you send out should be different from all the others. You need to use specific keywords and phrases that fit each employer. Fourth, your resume has to look appealing, welcoming. Yes, it’s superficial, but a plain resume (or worse, from a template) screams plain job-seeker. Take the initiative to design your own resume style… or hire a professional resume-writer who can do it for you. For more information, check out these articles on Quintessential Careers: Many more articles, resources, and tools can be found in the Resume Resources section of Quintessential Careers and in the Resume and Cover Letters Tips Blog of Quintessential Resumes & Cover Letters.