Career Success Advice on Resumes

I received an email from the people at the other day with a subject line that read “What an A+ Resume Looks Like.”  You can see that A+ resume and the reasons it got such a high rating at

I agree with the folks.  This is a great resume.  But I have some common sense career success advice to add.

Don’t spend your time creating a “perfect” resume.  Spend your time creating a perfect resume for every job for which you apply.  Back in 1972 when I graduated from college, I wrote a resume, edited it, had a lot of people critique it and edited it some more.  I took it to a print shop and had 500 copies printed on high quality paper.

That was then.  This is now.  Today, you need to customize your resume to every job for which you apply.  This means you need to research the company and the position in which you’re interested.  With word processing technology this is very easy to do.

If you haven’t clicked on the link above, do so now.  The evaluation of the A+ resume makes a great point about the header of this resume….

Cindy is off to a great start. She’s included a link to her LinkedIn profile right at the top, she’s using a nicely balanced two-color format with borders to focus the eye, and she makes effective use of white space. Most importantly, Cindy has a Professional Headline and sub-headline in big, bold font that instantly tells the reader what her job title is, and what she’s good at.

I agree with these points.  However, the sub head should be focused on the exact job for which Cindy is applying.  If Cindy is applying for a job in which she will be Launching & Monetizing Newspapers & Magazines, this is a perfect subhead.  If she is applying for any other kind of media sales job, it’s terrible.

See what I mean?  Cindy needs to tailor her sub head – and all subsequent information in her resume to the job for which she is applying.

And, a quick note from an old guy – while my designer tells me that an ampersand (&) looks cool, I think it comes across as lazy.  Take this for what it’s worth, but I suggest writing out the word “and” instead of using an ampersand.  Why take a chance?

Having said all this, I urge you to read the comments on the A+ resume and take them to heart.  They are great career advice.  Use them as you go about creating unique resumes for every job for which you apply.

The career success coach point here is simple common sense.  In today’s highly competitive job market you need to develop an individual resume for every job for which you apply.  Research the company and the job.  Look for key words that are likely to catch the resume reviewer’s eye.  Use them in your copy.  I suggest you develop a master resume, listing your accomplishments, skills and experiences.  Then cut paste and edit it to create a resume that is uniquely tailored to the job for which you are applying.  Your resume will stand out if you do this.  You’ll generate more interviews.  Your resume will get you in the door.  You still have to close the deal in the interview.

That’s my career advice on resumes, prompted by the email.  What do you think?  Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment.  As always, thanks for reading my daily thoughts on life and career success.  I value you and I appreciate you.


PS: If you haven’t already done so, I suggest that you check out my career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained.  The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less.  The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail.  Go to to claim your free copy.  You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.

PPS: Have you seen my membership site, My Corporate Climb?  It’s devoted to helping people just like you create career success inside large corporations.  You can find out about it by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.

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