How To Write A Resume That Doesn’t Suck


Do you click on online ads a lot? Me neither. But the ones that have gotten my attention were definitely something else. I suspect that you have the same experience. Effective ads jump at you and demand attention.

You then find your interests explored by each word of the ad and you feel a connection between your personal needs and the solutions the ad offers. In a split second, you see the call to action and you click. All this happens in a few milliseconds. That’s how powerful effective online ads are.

The truth is, this is the same process that is in play when somebody is reading your resume. You have to walk them quickly from interest to action. Any delay means comparisons, bureaucratic foot dragging, and lost attention. Any delay increases the chances of your resume being put on a pile of paper and eventually getting buried with other applicants’ resumes. Don’t let this happen to you.

Use the powerful tips below to produce resumes that don’t suck.

Slap your reader’s eyeballs to attention

Personnel office staff are a desensitized lot. They’ve seen tons of resumes, so they are just looking for trigger words. If they don’t see these words, they toss the resume. Nice and simple, right? Don’t let them toss your resume by slapping your reader’s eyeballs with the right job and performance descriptions. Use the most attention-arresting job titles that is  within the bounds of accuracy. This is no time to be shy. Instead of assistant, use the equally accurate title of operations assistant (check with your previous job’s HR department to ensure the titles are accurate). Regardless, pick the most arresting titles.

Awaken the desire in the reader by showing what you did

Let your job experience description come to life. Awake the desire in the HR staffer to put you in the open job slot based on the lively and arresting descriptions of your job experiences. Don’t use passive verbs. Use powerful and forceful verbs that put your importance to the organization front and center. You have to really massage the description so that the reader can walk away with the impression that you do your job with a sense of urgency and that you are a team player that moves the company forward towards its goals.

In other words, you have to make it clear that you are an asset. The hard truth is that the Pareto 80-20 rule applies to all companies. 20 percent of the employees account for 80 percent of the value produced. Make it clear that you are in that 20 percent and that the company you are applying to will lose out if they don’t hire you. Again, don’t say it-show it.