Terrific Resume Tips from Experts


A roundup article of resume tips from experts includes these great suggestions: Begin with the “Criteria for Hire” in mind. Study each job posting carefully and identify the 6 to 8 ‘key’ qualifications necessary to land the job. Then ask yourself, “If I were hired for this position today, what RESULTS will I produce in the next year that will provide tangible evidence that I was, indeed, the best candidate for the job?” You are hired to produce RESULTS. Unfortunately, most job candidates only think ‘skills’ and ‘keywords’ when writing a résumé; rather than bottom line / organizational RESULTS they can contribute better than other qualified candidates. Once identified, create a high‐impact résumé that, in 15 seconds or less, communicates that you have the 6‐8 ‘key’ qualifications to produce the RESULTS that are expected for the position you are pursuing. Today, as always, RESULTS are the name of the game.
— Jay Block, innovative and respected career coach, author, and keynote speaker


Sell your success. Resume writing is all about sales, marketing and merchandising. You’re the product and the resume is the sales piece that you’ll use to merchandise your achievements … things that you have done to help increase revenues, reduce costs, improve profitability, develop new products, open new markets, capture new accounts, improve quality, increase productivity … the list goes on and on. Remember, past behavior is indicative of future performance, so be certain to showcase your achievements and communicate your success!
— Wendy Enelow, author of more than 50 resume-writing books and leader in the industry


Be competitive with more research for keywords. Think about your competition. What will it take to beat your competition? Don’t think just about your resume. In order to improve your competition, do more research to match your resume toward your target positions. What are the keywords for your target job and industry? Find them and make a list. Add to your federal or private-industry resume.
— Kathryn Troutman, pioneering designer of the federal resume and author of nine books on federal-resume writing


Keep it real! Particularly in this tight economy and job market, don’t expect to be considered for positions for which you are not completely qualified. In addition to being brutally honest with yourself, you can be sure you are responding to the right positions by doing an exercise we in the careers industry call “job deconstruction”. Find job descriptions of positions that interest you; use a yellow highlighter to show the core requirements of the position; then go to your resume and find/highlight matching experience.
— Joanne Kowlowitz, “The Executives’ Job Search Strategist,” with 20 years of executive resume-writing experience


Be a specialist; not a generalist. Although you might think a more generalized resume would attract lots of different types of opportunities, the exact opposite is true. Companies, government agencies and others want to hire individuals with a specific area of expertise. If the job posting is for a Traffic Planning Analyst and you have that experience, then write a resume that positions you as someone with a wealth of experience in traffic planning and related functions. Don’t make a prospective employer have to “dig down” into your resume to find that information. They won’t!
— Wendy Enelow