Resume Basics

By: John Holmgren

I’m a professional resume writer. The vast majority of my work is rewriting and upgrading client’s unsatisfactory and ineffective resumes. Let’s go over some resume basics to help you critique and improve your own resume. Various resume issues will be discussed in detail in subsequent posts. You will likely know most of this but may pick up an idea or two.

The importance of your resume is that it, and it alone, creates your first impression with an organization. It is “you” when you are not there. Make it the best possible.

The purpose of your resume is to sell an interview, not the job! If it gets you in-person consideration, it’s done its job. In my years of selling computers, no one ever bought because of the proposal. It merely got my product included on the short list.

You have mere seconds to get the reader’s attention. The information at the top of page 1 of your resume (“Objective” & “Summary”) is what counts. Make your career goal (“Objective”) and the reasons you are qualified (“Summary”) crystal clear and brief.

Resume readers quickly eliminate resumes whose “Objective” doesn’t match their job spec. It’s in your interest to learn as much as possible about the open position.

You improve your interview chances by customizing your resume to emphasize your skills that most closely match the job specification.

Keep your language simple and short; use bullets and telegraphic style; avoid mysterious industry jargon and acronyms.

Sending 50 – 100+ identical resumes to a list of companies is largely a waste of time.

Stay tuned for further discussion. John