Category Archives: Resumes

Resume: Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS)

By: John Holmgren

Everybody knows the acronym KISS.  So, why do so few follow it?

I have said previously in this blog a few things that are critical to resume success:

Information on your resume “above the fold” on page 1 is critical

The reader of your resume:

* will spend only 30 seconds to 2 minutes in evaluation

* wants to eliminate resumes, not include (work load)

* will not be, in all probability, the hiring manager

* may not understand you, if you have a specialized field

* will most likely, for any good position, have many resumes to review

Your FIRST task is to not get eliminated!

How not to get eliminated is a big topic.  Let’s address just one item: KISS

Here’s the parallel:  you are speeding on an interstate and see a billboard

That’s how much time you have to capture the reader’s attention!

[this thought is from Steve Krug’s book, “Don’t Make Me Think”, which I recommend]

Immediately let the reader know the job you want and your qualifications

For everybody, especially technical people, eliminate all jargon and acronyms

This may sound stupid, but if there is too much ink on the resume, it won’t get read!

The purpose of the resume is to get you an interview, not a job.

Save the detail for the interview, and don’t get bogged down in it then.

The reaction to your resume should be:

“We’ve got to see this person”!

Please go to to get a detailed overview of my resume service.

You will find my information in the “Writers” category.

It will show my qualifications to write your resume.

Please email, call or fax with any questions or comments.  Also, include any suggestions to improve the web site.

Call 843 442-9348, or call toll free / fax 888 321-7944.  Look forward to helping.

Cheers, and good luck!

How to Write a Resume for a Federal Job

By:  Barbara Safani

Published by:  AOL Jobs

For those of  you interested in employment with the federal government, don’t miss this insightful article by Ms. Safani with many tips on writing an acceptable resume for this huge sector.

Click on the link below.|htmlws-sb-w|dl4|sec3_lnk1|195250


Resume: customize for a specific job – here’s how

By:  John Holmgren

I discussed resume customizing in a blog of December 27, 2010:

“Resume: customize to emphasize your appropriate job skills”.

It’s on this web site on the blog page.  Click “Resumes” in Categories.  Scroll down.

It says to customize the resume for specific job requirements.  Why?  Because you’ll be eliminated if you mail the same version to a list of potential employers.  It will stand out in exactly the wrong way.

An example is a person, like most, with multiple skills, qualified for (a) outside sales, (b) inside sales, (c) customer service or (d) sales administrator.

Obviously, the same resume cannot be submitted.  However, a different version isn’t needed.  Emphasize different experience in the “Objective” and “Summary” like these examples for (a), (b), (c) and (d) above.

(a) A Position as an Outside Sales Representative


  • Demonstrated ability to identify and close new and profitable accounts
  • Consistent history of retaining and growing the customer base
  • Recognized by customers as a product application consultant
  • Multiple award winning and top ranked sales representative
  • Ability to convey complex concepts clearly and quickly

(b) A Position as an Inside Sales Representative


  • Record of fulfilling customer requirements through fast response
  • Ability to multitask needs and demands of a large customer base
  • Excellent product knowledge with detailed understanding of applications
  • Outstanding customer service resulting in high account retention
  • Work equally effectively alone or in a team environment

(c) A Position as a Customer Service Representative


  • Experienced and qualified to manage needs of a large customer base
  • Ability to learn customer buying patterns and anticipate requirements
  • History of developing close customer relationships reducing turnover
  • Record of creating customized customer services that generate loyalty
  • Acknowledged by customers as provider of excellent and consistent service

(d) A Position as a Sales Administrator


  • Detailed knowledge of customer activity and reporting requirements
  • Outstanding ability to build close customer relations to easily resolve issues
  • Provide effective and timely liaison between customer and company
  • Work efficiently with sales, billing and logistics to assure customer satisfaction
  • Excellent communication ability with customers, staff and management

Resume Organization

By:  John Holmgren

Below is the organization method I use to write resumes.  They vary a bit, but not very much.  This layout is time tested.  I know it is effective.  Keep everything as simple and easy to read as possible.  However, keep in mind that the words you use are critical.

Header information: standard name, address, phone, email data.

Objective: your career goal as it relates to this specific job. No more that eight words.

Summary: five or six bullets that emphasize your skills relevant to this job.

Work Experience: list organizations from most recent to oldest

name of company / organization, location, dates employed

description of company purpose, size, area covered, number of employees

your title: if several positions, list dates in job in chronological order

bullet entries of your accomplishments, promotions, awards

Education: highest college degree first then subsequent education; don’t list GPA

unless exceptional; include awards, dean’s list, scholarships

Include vocational schooling; include any certifications; include special skills like

foreign language fluency, industry specific software, pilot’s license

Professional / Trade Affiliations: include any organization of whom you are a member

whose focus is relevant to your job search; include officer positions and awards

Do not include references on your resume.  It will only irritate your references.  You will

know when the time is right to offer them.

Include keywords for both human and computer scanning.  For keyword ideas, first

use words from the organization’s job description.  Then go to their web site for more

words they use.  For online assistance, go to:

Unless you are an academic where advanced degrees are crucial or you have just

graduated, put your educational history at the end of the resume.

Cheers, John

Don’t Exaggerate or Lie About Your Employment History

By:  John Holmgen   

Be honest and forthright in your resume and job application information.

We all have our human flaws and we all need to feel important.

Why would we not make our jobs more significant they really were?

That means exaggerating your job and what you accomplished.

Do not get into flights of fancy about your experience.  Potential employers hire you for what your accomplishments can do for them.

In the real job market, however, potential employers check references.

Anything other than the unvarnished truth will bite you.

If your employment history is a straight line record of accomplishment, great!  Lucky, or talented, you.

However, that’s not typical of most people.  Most change jobs for perceived alternative opportunities.  Sometime, too frequently.

Face up to your real, objective employment record.  It’s probably not as pretty as you’d like.  But get it out on the table and emphasize the skills you can bring to the organization. It is absolutely the best thing you can do.

I’ve written elsewhere about not being excessively modest, either.  Just stick to the truth and underline your accomplishments.

If you, as most have, a blemish in your background history, it is WAY better that you make that known than to have it discovered later in a background check.

Note: Keep this in mind.  When I was hiring people, I felt that if the candidate had 75 – 80% of the skills necessary for success and a stable employment record, there would be a job offer.

Cheers, John