Posted on: December 3rd, 2013 by
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Resume From Hell

What do you think of the following resume?

I’m really terrific.  Let me tell you how terrific I am:

  • I graduated from a easy college in the 50th percentile
  • I’ve had 5 different jobs in 5 different companies in the past 10 years
  • I’ve never gotten a promotion but I’m still optimistic
  • Don’t ask me about my results from past jobs
  • Let me list my “must haves”:
    • A 30% increase in compensation, a hiring bonus and annual incentives
    • A manager’s position so I can supervise others
    • Subjective measures to evaluate my results

The resume above is obviously made up, but it’s not far from some resumes I’ve seen.  Check your own resume.  Look at it from the perspective of the hiring manager.  Here are some tips:

  • Be factual, never lie, but shape your content in the most favorable light
  • Use words that are strong, memorable and positions you as accomplished
  • Use action or results oriented words not passive or meek words
  • Use measurable results that can be defended
  • Don’t give the impression you did it all by yourself
  •  Mention a team effort to attain impressive results, plus your individual contribution
  • If your using the social media, don’t be heavy-handed in your self praise
  • Use “we” and “our” mixed in with “I” and “my”
  • Define some leadership qualities and never suggest you’re a loner
  • Tone down the parts of your resume that are weak or that diminish your experiences
  • Emphasis parts of your resume that parallels what the hiring organization is looking for
  • Use the words within the open position to describe your parallel experiences
  • Focus on the two or three key results they are emphasizing
  • Shape your resume around the short and long term results that need to be achieved
  • Demonstrate flexibility and breadth of experiences within the open job
  • Show short term results within a longer term strategy
  • The time to negotiate is after you receive an offer, not before

The objective of a resume is to get an interview.  If your resume is not compelling, your chances are diminished.  If you come across as arrogant or self-serving, your toast!

Send comments, questions or your resume for a free evaluation to:       Contact Bill Kaufmann as a coach.

Take a look at Bill’s e-book:


FREE Resume Evaluation!


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