Friday, November 7, 2008

Today's Winning Resume

Today, for your app to end up top-of-the heap: 

1. Your need a separate resume for each job, with a customized job objective and summary.

1a. It must tell a story, using paragraphs if necessary, that make clear that you're a better problem solver in your niche than anyone else.

1b. So the employer's resume-selection software picks out your resume, it needs to include all the right keywords. Get them from the job ad you're responding to as well as to other similar ads, which you can usually find on,, or other job site containing ads for your kind of work.

2.  If you can look natural and relaxed on camera, create a video resume, for example, at CareerBuilder, which offers dos and dont's, and it's free. Include the link to it in your text resume.

3. You need a cover letter that powerfully explains why you'd love to work for that employer. 

4. Both resume and cover letter must avoid job-seeker jargon; for example, "self-starter," "team player," "delights in exceeding customer expectations," "uniquely qualified." Those sound like B.S. canned phrases that came from resume software or a resume writer. Also, those terms are distancing; you want to create connection. 


Ray said...

My advice is to hit the job boards hard! (professional networking) (aggregated listings) (matches jobs based on your skills)

Good look to those looking for work!

Marty Nemko said...

Thank you, Ray. I love when others contribute valuable content, and yours is.

Ask the Career Lady said...

As a recruiter as well as a career advisor, I also want to mention to people to stay away from the skills-focused resume or leaving dates off of your work experience.

That is a huge red flag which will make me notice your short job history quicker than if you put the actual dates on there, make you seem somewhat sneaky, and can also be seen as if you think the intended reader is unintelligent. Just my preferences and 2 cents!

Another tip is to update your resume daily or every other day on big job boards like,,, etc. When recruiters search for resumes on the back-end (since most positions aren’t posted), the resumes that are not only keyword rich, but most recently updated, come to the top. This is why you stop receiving calls from recruiters 2 weeks after your post your resume online.

Rita said...

All good advice...also remember to tailor the resume to the job opening. Use the words from the job description.
And if you want to use LinkedIn for job opportunities, you may want to download the free white paper on Optimizing LinkedIn for Job Search:

Darryn Severyn said...

Hi Ray,

Just wanted to also make you aware of our site for anyone who is looking to create a video profile to go along with their resume. Applicants can go to InterActive Applicant ( and sign up for free and then create a My Profile page. Simply upload their resume, use their webcam to answer 3 questions and they get a URL to put in their resume, Facebook account, LinkedIn profile - wherever they want.

Darryn Severyn
CEO/Founder, InterActive Applicant


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