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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Why a boring resume yields best results

A boring resume? These are tough times and job seekers need to stand out in the crowd within this competitive marketplace. Yes, but they must also get through the crowd with a well written resume. The following emphasizes how a boring yet content rich resume will yield best results leading to more interviews and offers.
  • Your resume must be easy to read and will be judged by a combination of humans and Applicant Tracking Systems.
  • Your resume content is most important and must be displayed in the correct places.
  • It is easy for a resume screener to hit the delete button based upon distractions and nuances.
  • A well written resume gives the impression you are a top candidate, knowledgeable, and easy to work with
How will I stand out from the crowd with a boring resume? Companies, search firms, and HR departments use Applicant Tracking Systems as part of the resume screening process. ATS's use boolean search strings and keyword matching technologies to score how well your resume matches specific search criteria set for a position. So your resume is screened by a combination of computer and human judgment. A human recruiter will quickly scan your resume in 5-10 seconds to find out the following info:
  • Career history containing your last 2-3 jobs, dates of employment, job titles, and responsibilities
  • Your education background including your degrees and schools attended
  • A quick snapshot of your skills, experiences, certifications, and awards
Your resume content is the meat which drives the decision determining if your resume fits the criteria of a job listing. Your career history must contain accurate and easy to read descriptions of your positions integrating as many relevant keywords within the context of well written sentences.

How can I build a boring/content rich resume?
  1. MS Word doc only! MS Word doc files are the standard and easiest for Applicant Tracking Systems to upload and parse.
  2. List your resume reverse chronologically - Most recent positions on top
  3. One font throughout your resume - Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia, and Garamond are best
  4. Black font color only
  5. 10pt, 11pt, or 12pt font size only. Stick with one font size throughout your entire resume.
  6. Let your resume flow to 2-3 pages if you have the experience (usually 10+ years or more)
  7. List all start and end dates for your positions in the Month, Year format (ex. January, 2006 to June, 2009)
  8. Optimize your resume content by including as many keywords relating to your skills, experiences, technologies, or activities you have worked with.
  9. Proofread. Every text editor, MS Word, and Google Docs all have built in Spell Checkers. There are no excuses for typos!
  10. Links to your professional blog or Twitter page to promote your personal brand. Only if you are 100% sure the content is professional.
  11. Optimize your resume (coming soon) with ResuWe at
Job seekers today need an edge to grab the attention of hiring managers, recruiters, and HR professionals. Adding extraneous info, flashy borders, tables, or photos is not the best way to gain positive attention. Hiring managers, recruiters, and HR professionals are challenged with the task of weeding through hundreds of resumes per multiple jobs a day. They look at any distracting elements with scrutiny and interpret any nuances as a reason you are detracting from the content of your resume. A resume screener is looking for any reason to reject your candidacy and a video, text box, or blue font is an easy reason to hit the reject button.

What will get my resume deleted?
  1. Multiple fonts and font colors
  2. Headers and footers - This messes with HTML which Word resumes are often converted to within an ATS
  3. Tables, text boxes, and divider bars
  4. Multiple columns
  5. Page borders
  6. Backgrounds
  7. Photos, videos, or images - Many companies have policies not to accept resume photos for EEOC compliance reasons.
  8. Hobbies, interests, or activities
  9. Page breaks mentioning "continued" or "resume continued next page".
  10. Providing just a web-link instead of a Word document. Most Applicant Tracking Systems require resumes be uploaded from a Word doc.
A well written resume gives the impression you are a top candidate, knowledgeable, and easy to work with. Your content should drive excitement from an employer and turn your resume submission into an interview. Good luck!


  1. Breathtakingly delightful utilization of words.


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