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
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 douse 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: