The Challenge

You have a résumé, but it’s old.

Or you wrote one yourself, but it’s not working. No one is calling. Why not? We’ll talk about that in a minute.

For now, just know that many qualified, competent, and downright awesome people miss out on career opportunities because their résumés don’t nail that all-important first impression.

But here’s the thing: You actually need to nail THREE first impressions.

  1. The applicant tracking system (ATS). Used by 98% of Fortune 500 companies and a growing list of smaller businesses, this software sorts, tracks, and manages the recruitment process. Your résumé needs to comply with the system’s requirements and provide enough of the right information to show up when employers search the database for applicants. Pass this screen and you move on to . . .
  2. The first-level human screener. This could be an administrative assistant or an HR staffer, who may or may not know details about the open position. For these people, your résumé needs to be clearly targeted for a specific role, easy to read, and attractive. Then your résumé is reviewed by . . .
  3. The hiring manager. This is the person you’d interview with and, likely, the person you’d work for. Managers want to see value. They like to see an understanding of the industry and a history of contributions. Make this person’s short list and you get a call for an interview.

So your one résumé needs to meet the expectations of these three different audiences. That’s a lot to ask of one document.

What keeps résumés from moving through the process? Here are some typical issues:

  • Poor formatting for ATS. Some formatting elements (tables, graphics, unusual fonts, etc.) can trip up the ATS, rendering the information partially—or even totally—unreadable.
  • Poor formatting for humans. People don’t like large blocks of text, minimal white space for eyes to rest (and note takers to jot), hard-to-read fonts, etc. If the document takes too much effort to read, readers will just move on to one that doesn’t.
  • Boring content. When one résumé looks and sounds like the one before it . . . and the one before that . . . what’s the point? Generic résumés are easy to toss in the “eh” pile.
  • Lack of accomplishments. Hiring mangers like to see not just what you did, but how well you did it. Without results, your résumé reads like a job description. Again: “eh.”
  • Lack of focus. A varied background with a lot of different skills can be an asset, but don’t make potential employers try to figure out what you want to do next. They won’t do it.
  • Typos. If they’re looking for a reason to whittle down the list of to-be-interviewed candidates, typos are an easy disqualifier.

The Solution

Obviously, you need a résumé that meets the challenges of a modern-day job search.

  • One that plays nicely with those pesky applicant tracking systems.
  • One that tells your unique story concisely and clearly.
  • One that conveys your value so well that employers can’t wait to contact you.

That’s where I come in.

With a background in recruiting and a commitment to best practices in career branding services, I know how to write résumés that get results.

Over the past 15 years I’ve written résumés that lead to interviews (and then job offers!) for hundreds of job seekers. 

Need more information?