ece that makes them look like desperate job hunters. The objective of your resume is to land an interview, and the interview will land you the job (hopefully!).
2. Back up your qualities and strengths
Instead of creating a long (and boring) list with all your qualities (e.g., disciplined, creative, problem solver) try to connect them with real life and work experiences. In other words, you need to back these qualities and strengths up, else it will appear that you are just trying to inflate things.
3. Make sure to use the right keywords
Most companies (even smaller ones) are already using digital databases to search for candidates. This means that the HR department will run search queries based on specific keywords. Guess what, if your resume doesn’t have the keywords related to the job you are applying for, you will be out even before the game starts.
These keywords will usually be nouns. Check the job description and related job ads for a clue on what the employer might be looking for. You can read more about resume keywords on the article Tapping the Power of Keywords to Enhance Your Resume’s Effectiveness.
4. Use effective titles
Like it or not, employers will usually make a judgment about your resume in 5 seconds. Under this time frame the most important aspect will be the titles that you listed on the resume, so make sure they grab the attention. Try to be as descriptive as possible, giving the employer a good idea about the nature of your past work experiences. For example:
Bad title: Accounting
Good title: Management of A/R and A/P and Recordkeeping
5. Proofread it twice
It would be difficult to emphasize the importance of proofreading your resume. One small typo and your chances of getting hired could slip. Proofreading it once is not enough, so do it twice, three times or as many as necessary. If you don’t know how to proofread effectively, here are 8 tips that you can use.
6. Use bullet points
No employer will have the time (or patience) to read long paragraphs of text. Make sure, therefore, to use bullet points and short sentences to describe your experiences, educational background and professional objectives.
7. Where are you going?
Including professional goals can help you by giving employers an idea of where you are going, and how you want to arrive there. You don’t need to have a special section devoted to your professional objectives, but overall the resume must communicate it. The question of whether or not to highlight your career objectives on the resume is a polemic one among HR managers, so go with your feeling. If you decide to list them, make sure they are not generic.
8. Put the most important information first
This point is valid both to the overall order of your resume, as well as to the individual sections. Most of the times your previous work experience will be the most important part of the resume, so put it at the top. When describing your experiences or skills, list the most important ones first.
9. Attention to the typography
First of all make sure that your fonts are big enough. The smaller you should go is 11 points, but 12 is probably safer. Do not use capital letters all over the place, remember that your goal is to communicate a message as fast and as clearly as possible. Arial and Times are good choices.
10. Do not include “no kidding” information
There are many people that like to include statements like “Available for interview” or “References available upon request.” If you are sending a resume to a company, it should be a given that you are available for an interview and that you will provide references if requested. Just avoid items that will make the employer think “no kidding!”
11. Explain the benefits of your skills
Merely stating that you can do something will not catch the attention of the employer. If you manage to explain how it will benefit his company, and to connect it to tangible results, then you will greatly improve your chances.
12. Avoid negativity
Do not include information that might sound negative in the eyes of the employer. This is valid both to your resume and to interviews. You don’t need to include, for instance, things that you hated about your last company.
13. Achievements instead of responsibilities
Resumes that include a long list of “responsibilities included…” are plain boring, and not efficient in selling yourself. Instead of listing responsibilities, therefore, describe your professional achievements.
14. No pictures
Sure, we know that you are good looking, but unless you are applying for a job where the physical traits are very important (e.g., modeling, acting and so on), and unless the employer specifically requested it, you should avoid attaching your picture to the resume.
15. Use numbers
This tip is a complement to the 13th one. If you are going to describe your past professional achievements, it would be a good idea to make them as solid as possible. Numbers are your friends here. Don’t merely mention that you increased the annual revenues of your division, say that you increased them by $100,000, by 78%, and so on.
16. One resume for each employer
One of the most common mistakes that people make is to create a standard resume and send it to all the job openings that they can find. Sure it will save you time, but it will also greatly decrease the chances of landing an interview (so in reality it could even represent a waste of time). Tailor your resume for each employer. The same point applies to your cover letters.
17. Identify the problems of the employer
A good starting point to tailor your resume for a specific employer is to identify what possible problems he might have at hand. Try to understand the market of the company you are applying for a job, and identify what kind of difficulties they might be going through. After that illustrate on your resume how you and your skills would help to solve those problems.
18. Avoid age discrimination
It is illegal to discriminate people because of their age, but some employers do these considerations nonetheless. Why risk the trouble? Unless specifically requested, do not include your age on your resume.
19. You don’t need to list all your work experiences
If you have job experiences that you are not proud of, or that are not relevant to the current opportunity, you should just omit them. Mentioning that you used to sell hamburgers when you were 17 is probably not going to help you land that executive position.
20. Go with what you got
If you never had any real working experience, just include your summer jobs or volunteer work. If you don’t have a degree yet, mention the title and the estimated date for completion. As long as those points are relevant to the job in question, it does not matter if they are official or not.
21. Sell your fish
Remember that you are trying to sell yourself. As long as you don’t go over the edge, all the marketing efforts that you can put in your resume (in its content, design, delivery method and so on) will give you an advantage over the other candidates.
22. Don’t include irrelevant information
Irrelevant information such as political affiliation, religion and sexual preference will not help you. In fact it might even hurt your chances of landing an interview. Just skip it.
23. Use Mr. and Ms. if appropriate
If you have a gender neutral name like Alex or Ryan make sure to include the Mr. or Ms. prefix, so that employers will not get confused about your gender.
24. No lies, please
Seems like a no brainer, but you would be amused to discover the amount of people that lie in their resumes. Even small lies should be avoided. Apart from being wrong, most HR departments do background checks these days, and if you are buster it might ruin your credibility for good.
25. Keep the salary in mind
The image you will create with your resume must match the salary and responsibility level that you are aiming for.
26. Analyze job ads
You will find plenty of useful information on job ads. Analyze no only the ad that you will be applying for, but also those from companies on the same segment or offering related positions. You should be able to identify what profile they are looking for and how the information should be presented.
27. Get someone else to review your resume
Even if you think you resume is looking kinky, it would be a good idea to get a second and third opinion about it. We usually become blind to our own mistakes or way of reasoning, so another people will be in a good position to evaluate the overall quality of your resume and make appropriate suggestions.
28. One or two pages
The ideal length for a resume is a polemic subject. Most employers and recruiting specialists, however, say that it should contain one or two pages at maximum. Just keep in mind that, provided all the necessary information is there, the shorter your resume, the better.
29. Use action verbs
A very common advice to job seekers is to use action verbs. But what are they? Action verbs are basically verbs that will get noticed more easily, and that will clearly communicate what your experience or achievement were. Examples include managed, coached, enforced and planned. Here you can find a complete list of action verbs divided by skill category.
30. Use a good printer
If you are going to use a paper version of your resume, make sure to use a decent printer. Laser printers usually get the job done. Plain white paper is the preferred one as well.
31. No hobbies
Unless you are 100% sure that some of your hobbies will support you candidacy, avoid mentioning them. I know you are proud of your swimming team, but share it with your friends and not with potential employers.
32. Update your resume regularly
It is a good idea to update your resume on a regular basis. Add all the new information that you think is relevant, as well as courses, training programs and other academic qualifications that you might receive along the way. This is the best way to keep track of everything and to make sure that you will not end up sending an obsolete document to the employer.
33. Mention who you worked with
If you have reported or worked with someone that is well known in your industry, it could be a good idea to mention it on the resume. The same thing applies to presidents and CEOs. If you reported to or worked directly with highly ranked executives, add it to the resume.
34. No scattered information
Your resume must have a clear focus. If would cause a negative impression if you mentioned that one year you were studying drama, and the next you were working as an accountant. Make sure that all the information you will include will work towards a unified image. Employers like decided people.
35. Make the design flow with white space
Do not jam your resume with text. Sure we said that you should make your resume as short and concise as possible, but that refers to the overall amount of information and not to how much text you can pack in a single sheet of paper. White space between the words, lines and paragraphs can improve the legibility of your resume.
36. Lists all your positions
If you have worked a long time for the same company (over 10 years) it could be a good idea to list all the different positions and roles that you had during this time separately. You probably had different responsibilities and developed different skills on each role, so the employer will like to know it.
37. No jargon or slang
It should be common sense, but believe me, it is not. Slang should never be present in a resume. As for technical jargon, do not assume that the employer will know what you are talking about. Even if you are sending your resume to a company in the same segment, the person who will read it for the first time might not have any technical expertise.
38. Careful with sample resume templates
There are many websites that offer free resume templates. While they can help you to get an idea of what you are looking for, do not just copy and paste one of the most used ones. You certainly don’t want to look just like any other candidate, do you?
39. Create an email proof formatting
It is very likely that you will end up sending your resume via email to most companies. Apart from having a Word document ready to go as an attachment, you should also have a text version of your resume that does not look disfigured in the body of the email or in online forms. Attachments might get blocked by spam filters, and many people just prefer having the resume on the body of the email itself.
40. Remove your older work experiences
If you have been working for 20 years or more, there is no need to have 2 pages of your resume listing all your work experiences, starting with the job at the local coffee shop at the age of 17! Most experts agree that the last 15 years of your career are enough.
41. No fancy design details
Do not use a colored background, fancy fonts or images on your resume. Sure, you might think that the little flowers will cheer up the document, but other people might just throw it away at the sight.
42. No pronouns
You resume should not contain the pronouns “I” or “me.” That is how we normally structure sentences, but since your resume is a document about your person, using these pronouns is actually redundant.
43. Don’t forget the basics
The first thing on your resume should be your name. It should be bold and with a larger font than the rest of the text. Make sure that your contact details are clearly listed. Secondly, both the name and contact details should be included on all the pages of the resume (if you have more than one).
44. Consider getting professional help
If you are having a hard time to create your resume, or if you are receiving no response whatsoever from companies, you could consider hiring a professional resume writing service. There are both local and online options are available, and usually the investment will be worth the money.…
y Shally Steckerl at an ERE Conference. Since that time we have had a running quasi-joke (you are not off the hook my friend!) about how Miguel owes me empenadas. You see few in the world who understand empenadas would argue my contention that Argentina has the best of these pastries among latin countries. That said, he promised to have them shipped to me. I saw Miguel at the Recruiting Roadshow and he informed me that a world famous Argentine chef had just opened a restaurant in Silicon Valley and that I was invited to delight myself with a taste I missed as a lad. Of course, it happened to be the day I flew back to Denver. (Note fist in air ..."This will not be the last my friend Miguel! Grrr!)
All quasi jokes aside, we can agree I made clear either that I have an unnatural hunger for a pastry or that Miguel has an excellent sense of humor and I feel comfortable making a few jabs at a CEO I have grown to respect. The answer is equally in the affirmative.
Miguel has run a global RPO for several years now. He has been keen to appreciating the significance of sourcing as a value added solution for his customers, before it was popular - and he has therefore been always attentive the latest in JobMachine techniques and innovations. In a nutshell, Miguel 'gets it' - so much so he was featured in Fortune Magazine recently.
Few recognize an opportunity in a storm like he does and, that said, those that do, win. Today, meet my Argentine friend, a regular exhibitor at every conference ... Miguel Terrizzano
Q & A with Miguel Terrizzano
Miguel : I met my wife – Alyssa Thatch – in 2001 when I was working at Cisco Systems supporting WW Sales. She was a recruiter supporting Corporate Finance. Once the tech bubble burst Alyssa was one of the first casualties of the downsizing of our 800 strong global recruitment team. I got to know Alyssa more as I helped her with her new job search. We were married in September 2002, and recently had our first beautiful baby Emma on the 14th of July which of course if one of the happiest moments of my life. In addition to being a loving wife Its great to have a person with knowledge of our industry who I can trust to provide advice on my business. I have one lovable and hard working border collie named Tango who joins me for my daily jog in my San Jose, California neighborhood. Alyssa and I usually go out for dinner when she gets home from work and we love trying all varieties of food from Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, American, Malaysian and Mexican etc.
My hobbies are the four Fs: in no particular order that translates into food, family, friends, and that all encompassing word…F U N. As far as community support goes I currently provide employment for hundreds of people in several countries and generally err on the generous side. I love the fact that my family and I spend 65% of our time in the states and the remaining 35% abroad. I really like to run in the early mornings.
Six Degrees: How many years as a recruiter?
Six Degrees: How did you get started as a recruiter?
Miguel : I was selling and installing cellular phones at a time when they were not a commodity but rather a luxury item which only the “privileged” few could afford. As such, the bulk of phones I installed usually ended up on the dash of upscale cars. Now being the curious person that a recruiter needs to be, I would usually ask the owner what they did for a living. I was surprised to hear that a fair number were recruiters. Now I thought to myself that the Army must be desperate for new recruits given the tremendous salaries they are paying recruitment sergeants who are now driving luxury cars with installed cell phones. Anyway, I told my branch manager that I wanted to be the one selecting the new sales people and installers since I knew the business, was college degreed and a “people person”. The bosses agreed and I was on my way to becoming a full fledged recruiter.
I began my recruiting career with GTE mobile division in 1992, then joined an east coast professional services organization in a professional services sales capacity, followed by corporate recruitment for PeopleSoft in 1996, before moving on to Siebel Systems, and Cisco from 1999 through 2003. I established my own company Pierpoint in 2004 and have been doing so ever since. By January of 07 I had opened my 4th delivery center and hired my 227th Pierpoint sourcer.
Six Degrees: What single event had the most impact on your sourcing/recruiting career?
Miguel : The systematic expulsion of an 800 strong staffing team while I was at Cisco Systems in favor of an RPO implementation. I was one of 30 that survived the 2 year onslaught. I learned quite a bit in those 2 years as we implemented the new RPO. I learned what worked from what did not work.
Do you have a mentor to whom you attribute your overall outlook on recruitment, capabilities, and/or model your career after?
Miguel : Erlina Rusty formerly with Peoplesoft, now with Intuit. At my first job interview with her she quickly came to the conclusion that I would be most effective servicing the SVP of sales and provided great support throughout my three year tenure there. I have kept up with Erlina over the years remain very strong friends.
Six Degrees: Yell us about your position as CEO and more about your staffing organization:
Miguel : I am the CEO of Pierpoint, a global sourcing and candidate pre-screening company, and take a strong leadership role in our global sales and marketing efforts, in addition to overseeing our ongoing operational delivery centers of excellence for our global clientele. We traditionally have upwards of 100 in house employees and another 50-100 contractors who source, telephone screen and profile candidates, then tee them up to internal recruiters so they don’t have to spend valuable time doing it themselves. As CEO my job is to set overall direction, delegate to those that know more than I, over communicate with existing clients and always look for areas of improvement.
Six Degrees: What recent general news story or industry trend do you feel will have an impact on your work in the future? Why?
Miguel : The trend is for companies to do away with any task or function that is not core to the business and to reduce fixed costs wherever possible. This is where the Hybrid RPI (recruitment process integration) is going to thrive. Companies will not want to go full RPO because they know they will lose control, hard to implement and implies getting rid of your best in-house recruiters. I say keep the very best recruiters in house but outsource the time consuming and repetitive portions such as background checks, sourcing for resumes, telephone pre-screening, offer letter writing, rejection notices etc. Once candidates are narrowed down from say a 100 raw stack to a manageable 10 who are interested in the position, compensation and travel compatible, technically sound and culturally fit then those few 10 are handled by the internal recruiter. An internal recruiter should not spend the greatest part of her day on repetitive and monotonous work. We recruiters need to be focused on what is truly important to our internal clients and that is not to spend all day reading resumes, making countless phone calls and sending rejection notices.
Six Degrees: Tell us about speaking events, awards, publications, where you have you represented your company:
Miguel : IQPC conference in Arizona where I co-presented with my client, the Aimco corporation, recipient of countless awards at the 2007 ERE. I usually attend the ERE shows with a booth and have sometimes thrown a party but have not done much in the way of marketing or mindshare. The bulk of my business has come from my rolodex and referrals.
Six Degrees: What is your next career goal? What do you need to do to get there?
Miguel : I would like to grow Pierpoint even larger by being able to offer our sourcing and pre-screening services to every corporate recruiter who does not have the bandwidth or desire to engage in candidate identification and telephone pre-screening. As a former corporate recruiter I relished those wonderful times where the corporation(s) had a sourcing partner that could go through stacks of resumes and make the initial contact for me. It allowed me to have more meaningful dialogue with my internal clients as well as being able to concentrate on closing the right candidates and not spend my life finding resumes, then sorting through stacks to only then have to put out 50 calls to get 5 people on the line.
Six Degrees: Tell us about Your Company
Miguel : Pierpoint International specializes in candidate sourcing and telephone prescreening with a delivery emphasis on the Americas and Europe. We have several delivery centers with a fluently multilingual workforce.
Six Degrees: How was Your Company Founded?
Miguel : After going through two very large but unsuccessful RPO implementations on the client side I always wished there would have been a solution available like Pierpoint, so, when I was let go during on ongoing HR downsizing at Cisco I realized now was the right time for me to create and “build a better mousetrap”. When I was a corporate recruiter my peers and I were often working on 25 or more requisitions simultaneously with only 50 hours in the average recruiter’s workweek. Once the meetings, reports, and other tasks for the week were subtracted there was not a lot of effective sourcing and screening we could do in the hour or so had left for each requisition. So the first item we focused on when partnering with our clients was to help them manage the critical but time consuming tasks of sourcing and prescreening candidates. When we tame the wide end of the recruiting funnel by furnishing them with candidates we ensure that effective and thorough screening and sourcing is actually being carried out allowing the client’s recruitment team more time for higher value activities with their internal clientele. If you don’t get the sourcing and screening bit right you inevitably end up hiring more of the wrong candidates and increase your 30, 60, and 90 day turnover raising havoc in your business. We only focus on the time consuming but critical services which should be outsourced and which do not require lengthy implementations, overly complex contracts, and over priced add ons.
Six Degrees: Where did you go and find investors?
My own personal savings since what the investor community wanted at that time was to take control for peanuts.
Six Degrees: Your Company’s Value Proposition
Miguel : Pierpoint helps internal recruiters source, telephone and pre-screen candidates so they don’t have to. Our on demand model is easy to implement and is scalable up or down with the flick of a switch. So we boost your recruitment horsepower and effectiveness while saving you money. Recruiters are bogged down with too many reqs and too many reports and meetings. They are in constant reactionary mode. Pierpoint helps them be more strategic.
Six Degrees: What is the pricing structure for your services/products?
Miguel : We charge an average of 30$ USD per sourcing and pre-screening hour for the United States, 25 Euros for Europe regardless of region, $30 Canadian and $25 USD for Latin America. The prices include the costs of all boards and sourcing tools, including our own proprietary search tool Candidate Hunter. The price also includes day to day management and reports.
Six Degrees: What is the future for Your Company?
Miguel : We will keep growing organically, hopefully opening our 4th sourcing center in 09, and letting companies know that there is an alternative to full RPO where they can simultaneously lower their costs and retain a core internal staff. It’s a very similar model to a company’s legal department where in house counsel is both a vendor manager to the external law firms while at the same time a trusted business partner to their internal clients. When a case comes forward requiring outside expertise then the internal counsel will “outsource” that particular expertise to their external law firm. I envision being able to open many more centers with trained sourcers that are up to date on the latest sourcing methodologies, tools and technology, and recruitment best practices.
Six Degrees: Do you blog?
Miguel : Unfortunately I do not currently blog. I know I should, just like I know I should probably exercise more.
Six Degrees: Tell me something others may not know about you.
Miguel : My iPod has AC/DC, Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, some American Idol moments, and even some Madonna/Dido/KidRock thrown into the mix. I run ever morning religiously regardless of location, weather or time.…