Oct 26, 2017

10 Top Resume Experts Share Best Practices – Part 2

Here, at Career Resource Institute, we strive to give our readers the best information that will help you build the career that you deserve. Your professional choices, the way that you react and adjust to changes are the things that make you a strong person that can fulfill your dreams. The fact that you are reading our blog means that you want to be informed and prepared.

Self-confidence and the will to succeed are key elements for middle managers that want to advance professionally. Sometimes, that implies thinking outside the box, seizing new opportunities that come your way and reaching out to them. Like getting out from your comfort zone and find another job where you have more opportunities and benefits. Yes, along with the extra benefits you will face new challenges but that’s why we are here to help you.

The first step in getting the job that you want is to make a professional resume that will highlight your skills and achievements. To help you in this regard, we reached out to five resume experts and asked them:

What piece of resume advice would give a middle manager applying for a new job?

You can read their answers in the post below. This is the second part of our expert roundup series regarding resume best practices. You can read the first part here.

Jana Tulloch – Tulloch Consulting

Jana Tulloch

Jana is an independent Human Resources consultant who provides outsourced HR guidance and services to business owners. She is a Certified Human Resource Professional (CHRP) and a member of the BC Human Resources Management Association (BCHRMA) with over 14 years in a variety of leadership and operational management roles.

If you’re a middle manager looking to apply for a new position, clearly show in your resume what value you would bring to the organization and the role itself.

The top of your resume should be a short descriptive summary of you and your experience, such as “Strategic and customer-focused merchandising manager with 5+ years of experience in the retail sector. Exceptional knowledge of X, Y, and Z, and a proven ability to increase revenues through A and B”. Refrain from listing repetitive information that is already noted somewhere else in your resume, but rather focus on summarizing your resume in a few succinct lines.

Include a bulleted list (in columns, not one, big long list) of your key skills.Click To Tweet

If you are a whiz at legislative or regulatory requirements in your field, put it on there. If you’re an Agile practitioner, note it. Experienced in supervising staff or cross-functional teams? Excellent! These are a necessary component in not only catching the eye of a recruiter but also in catching the eye of applicant tracking systems that look for keywords related to the position itself. Try to match as many from the posting with ones that you possess.

When it comes to your experience, be sure to elaborate on any achievements you made in any of your roles, particularly if they helped save the company money, increased efficiencies, or positively impacted customer relations or their brand. Use quantifiable data whenever possible.

Avoid resumes longer than two pages whenever possible, and eliminate non-relevant items such as references and hobbies. When a company is in a position to offer you the role, they will ask for references then; and hobbies simply don’t belong on a resume.

Elizabeth Minei – EMinei Consulting

Elizabeth Minei

Elizabeth is the CEO and founder of EMinei Consulting, LLC, specializing in consulting on personal branding including resume and cover letter help, interviewing coaching, and strategies for navigating the job market. She has over 14 years of experience since she started as a junior adviser in a career center.

1). As a resume writer, the number one piece of advice that I emphasize is that the resume should reflect what YOU’VE contributed to the job rather than the job description. Too many novice resume writers copy and paste the description of the job they are currently working—which is a HUGE mistake since they miss the opportunity to customize their resume in terms of showcasing their skills.

2). Novice resume writer misstep in failing to quantify/qualify their skills—in other words, a descriptor that misses the mark is: “Project management lead, delegate tasks to a team on high-end accounts.” Whereas a better more quantified descriptor would read: “Lead 18 member team; liaison for clients with accounts over $45m in sales.”—Now the recruiter knows that this person can handle a large team AND a large grossing account.

3). Objectives are dated and the take up precious real estate on a resume. I advise clients to instead use that space throughout the resume to highlight more contributions to their positions. Objective statements are generic and don’t give the recruiter strong enough specifics. Plus aesthetically they are not eye-catching.

4). Do not include items like: “Proficient in Microsoft word, Excel, and Powerpoint.” Do include specialized certifications, awards, or lesser-known and more industry-specific computer programs or applications.

5). Be wary about resume generating software or companies.

The strongest resume is the one that is totally tailored to you, not one that combines vaguely worded skill sets.Click To Tweet

These resumes phrases are common and generic compilations that are used on all the people who hire resumes with the quick turnarounds. I recommend working with a specialist that will conduct a narrative interview—one that focuses solely on your contributions and mines your skills. A new client of mine once brought me her resume that she had paid $250.00 for from an online company. They sent her some generic bullet points. We ran them through plagiarism software, JUST to see how often they appeared. Over 70% of her final resume from them was found to be used in other people’s resume—People pay money to get these because they are misguided. Don’t pay for a resume from a place that isn’t going to showcase YOU!

6) The industry isn’t everything—a great resume writer doesn’t need to have worked in your industry but they do need to know how and what to ask you to harness YOUR specific credentials to position your candidacy in the best light. I have worked with people in industries varying from jewelers, to inventory specialists, to former professional baseball players. These industries, contextually, might be different but if you as a resume writer can focus on the skills of each, you can help position people strategically and give them a better foundation for talking points in an interview.

Andrea Gerson – Resume Scripter

Andrea Gerson

Andrea Gerson is a top-ranked resume writer with nearly 10 years of experience helping professionals find clarity, confidence, and a renewed sense of energy around their work.

Make sure that your resume highlights the highest level and relevant aspects of your experience – given the role that you’re applying to.Click To Tweet

The best way to do this is to include a Career Summary or Professional Profile section at the top of the resume, as this is the area that reader will initially read.

Robyn Coburn – WorkInProduction.com

Robyn Coburn

Robyn’s mission is to run businesses that help others succeed. Currently, she helps people create their best possible resume and cover letter, to take the first steps towards their dream career. She specializes in the entertainment industry (film, TV and theater).

No 1:

Customize your resume for every job application, after analyzing the job listing thoroughly, and researching the company.Click To Tweet

Look for repeated verbs and descriptors, and the most repeated task areas. Know what specific problems this employer wants you to solve, and what specific skills are most important to them, rather than what you think you want to show about yourself. Those might be the same things, which means that you are an excellent fit for the job.

No 2: Target your job search to jobs that best fit three crucial criteria, rather than blanketing the market. I have a Venn Diagram on my site that I use to illustrate this.
Appropriate for your skills and experience
Sufficient remuneration and benefits
Appealing and fulfilling work

No 3: Network, network, network. You are ahead of the game if you go into an application process with a personal referral from someone already at the company or known to them.

Dawn D. Boyer – D. Boyer Consulting

Dawn D. Boyer

Dr. Boyer has 24+ years of senior management experience in human resources, of which 12 years is in government contracting. As an author, she has written 131+ books in Career Search Skills, Business Development, and on other topics.

It is important to obtain a trustworthy and well-disciplined resume rewriter or service who has hundreds if not thousands of resume rewrites under their belts.

It is also important to seriously look at their own skills and experience and ‘constantly’ and ‘consistently’ look for new training and certification to add to their own skill sets – regardless of industry and/or field of work.

Resumes can be over one page in this digital age, and most recruiters are OK with 2-3 pages (sometimes 4) in a resume that is packed with good juicy information.

Don’t think a totally functional resume with just skills and experience (no context) listed on the front page will do the trickClick To Tweet

Most recruiters prefer a backward chronological order of job descriptions with the context of the achievements and accomplishments with relative and relevant dates for those general milestones.

Thank you so much to the experts that contributed to this post! We appreciate your contributions.

If you have any questions or need our help crafting your resume, let us know in the comments below.

Minuca Elena


Minuca is a freelance writer specialized in creating expert roundup blog posts. Her posts provide quality content, bring huge traffic and get backlinks. She also helps bloggers connect with influencers. You can contact her at her blog, MinucaElena.com

1 Comment

Thanks for including me in this illustrious group.

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