A Marketer’s View on Resume Writing

I’ve been in marketing for more than 20 years and along the way I’ve both looked for ways to improve my resume and I’ve looked at resumes before I have phone screened individuals. I’m not a professional recruiter (I am Willory’s token “marketing guy”), but I do know what I respond to as a hiring manager. I also know that many recruiters have different advice when it comes to resume writing.

I have heard some people say always put an “Objective” on your resume, others have said never do, and others will tell you to customize it.  As a hiring manager, I actually brought someone in from a resume objective, where she claimed she was an expert in “herding cats.” Clever, it showed me creativity, a willingness to take risks, and a sense of humor – all important to a marketing department. But is that appropriate for the job you are applying for? Probably not.

As a marketing guy and hiring manager, here’s what I do know about resumes:

  1. No one has ever been hired based solely on the strength of a resume – your resume is merely an instrument to get you to the next step…  a phone call, an interview, etc. This is not an auto-biography, it is a resume – provide just enough information to get to that next step.
  2. Resumes do more to screen OUT than IN. Hard to believe as a hiring manager how many sloppy resumes I have received; grammatical errors, misspellings, change in tense, inconsistent formatting, just plain sloppy. When you send your resume, you’re asking to be taken seriously as a candidate,  yet you don’t seem to take yourself or your livelihood seriously. If you care so little about your livelihood, why will you take pride in your work?
  3. A resume is a personal brochure.  Don’t be afraid to stand out. Hiring managers have a stack of 25, 50, 100 resumes.  What about yours will make them stop for that extra second that may mean the difference between an interview and the circular file?  You don’t have to go wild here – my resume simply has “pull quote” recommendations from past managers to enhance the typical (and passé) bulleted list.
  4. Your resume needs to be powerful. Use action verbs to describe your accomplishments. Click here to see a list we’ve compiled.

There is no shortage of advice out there from people who would tell you that their way is “the way” to compose your resume,  many are good, some I disagree wither partially or completely.  My best advice would be to reach out to Willory’s outsanding team of professional recruiters to get their take on your “personal brochure.”



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