Resume Secrets for Job Seekers 

by Mike Barefoot

Senior Account Executive at Red Zone Resources Staffing & Recruitment


People ask regularly why they should keep their resume up to date.  Given the economy, you can never be too prepared for an unforeseen change in employment.  With announcements, such as Yahoo’s recent layoff of 2,000 workers, it is best to always have a resume that is ready to go.  We let candidates know that competition is greater for employment than it has been in the last half century.  A candidate taking the time to include a significant project or skill on their resume could be the tipping point on whether that person gets a job.  

Winning Tips

Some characteristics to having a great resume seem pretty straight forward.  For instance, a chronological resume beats a highlights based one every time.  If a resume is highlights based, employers can’t tell when you used a particular skill or technology.  Chronologically, managers can gauge when and how a candidate utilized certain technologies that are relevant for consideration.  

Another tip is to customize your resume so that it's centric to the position you're applying for.  Managers generally only spend 15 seconds reviewing a resume so a candidate's resume has to be attention grabbing and relevant to the open position.

Use metrics on your resume to highlight achievements, outline financial responsibilities or put a number on the amount of people or resources you managed.  It is always a plus to see a resume that clearly illustrates quantifiable results and success.

Mistakes to Avoid

One common mistake we see candidates make with their resumes is having a resume that's too generic.  Specifically outline your roles and responsibilities. Another frequent mistake is resumes that have typos.  Before submitting your resume, take time to proofread it, spell check and have someone else critique it as well.  

Standing Out

Our firm regularly reviews 15-20 resumes for every candidate we call.  To further reinforce the point, for every 7-10 candidates we call, we might find one that we deem worthy of being submitted for a position.  If you know the competition is fierce, how can you make your resume stand out?  Since you only have 15 seconds to grab a manager's attention, take the time to bold the relevant skills that an executive would view as important for you to delineate yourself from others being considered for the role applied for.  

Take a few days every six months and make sure your resume is updated.  Winning in this job market is as much about being prepared for the game as it is having the skills to play.

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