2 Rules, 5 Questions, & 1 Truth For A Better Résumé Experience

We are all about adding value to your search at RGttU so today we are going bonkers on résumé advice and hope that you can pick out many, many things to improve yourself on paper.

Most of the time when résumés come up as part of a job-search discussion all people want to talk about is how to build one and not much else. Last week I received this email (below) that brings up a couple of interesting things to think about.

This morning I was interviewing for another position (I’m looking to move up) and got a bit stumped when the interviewer referenced something in my résumé and I couldn’t remember exactly what I’d meant when I wrote it. 

I’d written a résumé once and just modified it here and there over the years and I wasn’t as familiar with it as I thought.  As of right now I don’t know if I blew the interview but it sure felt awkward and it would have helped if I had actually reviewed my own résumé before sending it in and had been prepared to discuss any of the bullet points it contained.

KNOW YOUR RÉSUMÉ. You can have the best marketing document ever (and I mean EVER!) but it does you no good if you cannot recite it backwards in your sleep. There is nothing more embarrassing than getting asked about your own background and not knowing what you said about it (the emailer above can certainly attest to that).

MAKE SURE IT MAKES SENSE TO EVERYONE ELSE. I know I am reading between the lines (and grasping at straws, going into left field, etc) but maybe (and that is a BIG maybe) the person conducting the interview did not know what the emailer was getting at on his résumé.

Have you had someone who does NOT really know much about what you do read your document to make sure it makes sense to them? In most cases the first stop your résumé will take is going to be with someone who has no idea what the heck it is you really do.

I have always been told that practical advice is best so we wanted to include some so here are five questions you should need to ask about EVERY SINGLE LINE on your résumé.

Is this relevant to what I want to do? If not you might want to consider changing it or taking it off. People want to see things that are relevant to what they are looking for.

Am I maximizing my keywords? Keywords are nearly everything in recruiting today – if you do not have the right ones you will probably not be interviewing anytime soon.

Can five other people do this very easily? If you are not putting things on your résumé that make you stand out from the crowd then you will not.

Is this dating me? Age discrimination exists in the business place today. If you go back to the dawn of time in your résumé (we suggest 10-15 years) you will be less likely to get a call.

Do I enjoy doing this? If you hate doing everything on your résumé don’t be surprised when you get calls about jobs that you would despise doing.

To close things up today I wanted to give you one truth  to ponder on as you work, rework, or re-rework your résumé.

I learned the hard way that this truth is on equal playing field with just about anything else (again ALMOST) that I hold true.


The reason for this is pretty simple – a recruiter gets paid to weed job-seekers out. If you ask a recruiter to review your résumé he will tell you to put everything in there that he can use against you when deciding whether or not to pick up the phone to call you.

A résumés number one job  is to initiate contact and to do that it needs to be a Readers Digest version of your experience (just enough to get them interested but not so much that they have the whole story) which will go against just about any résumé review a recruiter gives you.

Until next time – good hunting and good luck!



2 responses to “2 Rules, 5 Questions, & 1 Truth For A Better Résumé Experience

  1. Charlie Davenport

    “We are all about adding value to your search at RGttU so today…”

    As a reader of this blog, I stumbled upon this in about 15 seconds (the time that it takes to review a resume by we Professional Recruiters”

    You say to MAKE SURE it makes sense to everyone then you use a set of never before in the material referenced intials… THIS IS A LINGO problem and too many people use INDUSTRY SPECIFIC lingo in their resumes… or, maybe LINGO they EXPECT everyone to understand…


    Charlie Davenport

  2. The five items listed are very important…and can help the job seeker to think about what is on their resume. AND – something that I always advise, is to approach the resume as a Marketing Document. The resume will be Marketing the Job Seeker to the Employer. So the resume must market to the needs of the employer. The Job Seeker should not put everything they have ever done on the resume…but should research many job advertisements…to get the industry trends and to learn what is important to the employer. AND – by networking and asking for advice of their networking contacts regarding the needs in the industry or company, they can make sure that the resume will contain the necesary job experience, skills and strengths that are of interest to employers.

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