Many resume-writing guides encourage the writer to treat his/her resume like an advertisement in order to win an interview. They warn that your “resume will be quickly scanned, rather than read, and ten to twenty seconds is all the time you have to persuade a prospective employer to read further.” We would agree with the principles of these statements; however, would warn that no matter what creative “advertising” you put in your resume, it should be clear, concise, explicit, and truthful.

Since Mycoff, Fry & Prouse is a retained executive search firm, we are hired by our clients to locate highly qualified candidates who fit specific and predetermined criteria. If, in our quick read of a resume, we do not identify specific experiences that pertain to the established criteria for a search, we are less likely to contact you for that particular search.

As recruiters, we review resumes hourly. We are looking for precise qualifications, previous experiences, easy to follow career progressions, a track record of apparent successes, a show of confidence from the individual’s employer(s) through reassignment to new and advancing responsibilities, etc. The best “advertising” is a resume that covers all of these topics (when applicable) and any others that help illustrate an individual’s proven abilities and applicability to the opportunity.

We often see too much focus on “buzz” or “power” words and cryptic bullets, and not enough on substantive examples, figures, responsibilities, and quantifiable proof of claims. Our preference is a chronological resume that includes education, dates, specific titles, responsibilities under these titles, accomplishments in each position, a short synopsis of the employer, and other relevant facts. We are less worried about the length of the resume as the quality of the content. Consider the opportunity for which you are applying and include relevant facts and experiences in alignment with the position’s requirements.

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