Résumés that Work


Whenever you have a major project to undertake, the best approach is to break it down into small steps. Then you do the small steps in a logical order. When all the steps are complete, the task is complete.

The same applies to resumes. As you can see, the sample resumes below are written so that the reader can understand by reading one line at a time. There is no need to read a 10-line paragraph searching for the buzzword you seek, and once you find it having to use a hi-liter so you can find it again. All the reader needs to do is put a small check to the left of the hyphenated line.

Think of a matrix in the reader’s head. As they read each hyphenated item, they fill in another matrix slot. This way the reader can easily remember what you have written and find the information in your resume.

Regarding employment dates, always indicate the year and the month that you joined and/or left each employer. Not including the month makes it seem like you have something to hide. You may have been unemployed for two months in 2001, but not including the month, means someone might read that as being let go or quitting in January, and not finding work until December, a much worse situation than the truth. Someone may have been let go only one time, but switching to a year only format makes it look like they may have gotten cut from every job they have had.

Regarding a “PERSONAL” section in your resume, be aware that larger companies don’t want to know your age, marital status, height and weight and similar information, since they have to prove they did not use the information in a discriminatory way. Smaller companies may not be as concerned. In general, include information that is genuinely related to you employability such as the fact that you rent, and are very relocatable, or are a sailing enthusiast and need to be near the water, or need to be near your aging parents.

Have we ever been complimented on our rather simplified format? No. That is good. We want the person’s background to be complimented, not our resume writing skill.

Read these Sample Resumes that correspond to specific applicants.

RESUME #1: A Composites Manufacturing R&D Engineer Who Had Significant Experience Prior to His BS Degree

RESUME #2: A Composite Engineer with Excellent Knowledge of Multi-Axis Filament Winding, Compression Molding and Pultrusion

RESUME #3: The President of a Composites Company Who Seeks Greater Responsibility

RESUME #4: A Process Engineer Who Went Into Sales and Is Open to an Even Better Opportunity

RESUME #5: A Technical Sales Rep Who Wants to Sell a Different Type Product

RESUME #6: A Sales Rep Who Moved Up Rapidly

RESUME #7: A US Citizen with Foreign Sounding Name Who Was Born in The USA and Speaks English as His Native Language

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