High impact resume; a How To

  • Reading time:4 mins read

Your resume (not CV please) has only one purpose: To get you an interview… and the job interview: to get you the job. Don’t ever mix up these two.

Having a great resume is the single most important part of your job search! If you can’t get the interview, you will never get the job. It’s so crucial to acknowledge, so I’ll say it again and again:

If you can’t get the interview, you will never get the job!

If you can’t get the interview, you will never get the job!

If you can’t get the interview, you will never get the job!

In other words, if your resume has too many pages, if you have used Excel and not Word, too many typing errors, lists your very first job as the first on the list, if your photo is what only a mother loves, if you have included names of references, mentioned hobbies not relevant for the position. OK, I could go on and on; you get the idea.2021_lightbulb_black

I obviously look at resumes day in and day out. I know what get us excited, whether thumbs up or thumb down. So if you want to get the recruiter so excited that s/he calls you, this is what you need to do:

Page 1:

  • Name and contact details in a header. Have just one telephone number and one email address shown in the header (header and footer). No need to write Telephone before the number or Email before your email. We know what it is. Leaving more white space is inviting and makes reading easier for the eyes.
  • Career Summary and Value Proposition; 4-5 lines highlighting your value. This is the first we read so sell yourself in key words. Write:  “I help companies …”.
  • Work experience starting with your current job. Start with your title or company name and have the from/to in the second line. If you have worked for GE, Unilever, Siam Cement Group, or other global brand names, start with that and follow with your title. By adding the period in a second line, brackets perhaps, you will not draw too much attention to a possible shorter work period.
  • Use a one-liner just below the company name about the industry of your employer. All recruiters and HR like to put you in a “box” where they can find you again. Help them so they don’t confuse security companies with securities.
  • Forget about your responsibilities, use instead 5-10 bullet points what you did with it i.e. accomplishments that includes numbers. If details of your responsibilities will be helpful, then make it in one or max two lines.

Page 2:

  • Continue listing your work experience but with less and less bullet points
  • Any work experience in excess of 15 years, enter that into one or two lines only. That’s a combined 2 lines for the 15 over years.
  • Finish with your post graduate educational background and a few personal details like date of birth, nationality, marital status.

On our web site you will find several short articles with a lot more including how to shoot yourself in the foot. I mean in terms of mistakes you may have made – but shouldn’t. Read them here.67_missing_piece_fuchsia

If you can’t get the interview, you will never get the job!

Tom Sorensen

Tom Sorensen is an executive search veteran with over 25 years of experience recruiting in Asia, Europe, and Africa. He has worked in executive search in Thailand since 2003 and is recognized as one of the country’s top recruiters and most profiled headhunters.