Poor quality resumes, even some from the better known outplacement consultants, continue to plague the search process and frustrate recruiters and clients.
In reviewing resumes from our last several engagements, the vast majority had several major failings: pertinent information not included, the resume did not address the requisite experience and skills, formatting was inconsistent, and a few had grammar or spelling issues.
As the job market has become more competitive and complex and given the expansion of resume scanning technology commonly known as Automatic Tracking Systems (ATS), the quality of resumes is not keeping pace. Executives and managers are being eliminated based on the quality of their resumes and apparently they do not have a clue given the fact they keep sending out the same one for each job they pursue.
Everyone has an opinion about what a good resume should look like. This example is based on conversations I have had with talent acquisition managers and executive recruiters who work on C-suite assignments.
Your Name, FACHE or other Professional credential
(Only use degrees that are “terminal” in the field, MD, DO, Dr.PH, PhD, etc.)
City, state and zip code
Preferred telephone number. Designate whether it is home, office or cell (h, o, c)
Your email (make it an active link)
Your LinkedIn URL (make it an active link)
This is where you should customize your summary to address the issues identified in the job posting, or from the recruiter. The more you understand what they are looking for the better off you will be. An amazing number of candidates do not think to ask and that places them at a disadvantage. At a minimum I would include the number of years experience and use phrases (where appropriate) of consistent, successful, met or exceeded budget, etc. If they are looking for an executive who is an experienced change agent and you have been successful, then say it. Whenever possible use the same phrases that the client or recruiter used in the position summary. If you initially submitted your generic resume because you did not have any insight into what the prospective employer was looking for, immediately resubmit an “updated resume” once you have that information. You want to use metrics whenever possible to emphasize your success and highlight those that align with the needs of the employer.
(Start with your most recent employment.)
XYZ Medical Center
Here is where you describe the organization. If they are Magnet, Top 100, Four or five star designee, market leader, etc. – anything that will reinforce that you are a top executive and this employer was a top organization. The impression you want to leave is this: They are a good organization and they hired me! Limit this description to three or four sentences, max. Be clear but use your business prose.
In three or four sentences describe your scope of responsibility. This is important, so if you are not perfectly satisfied then rewrite it until you feel it is perfect. Cover your major responsibilities but do not get too detailed with the exception of specifically addressing issues that the prospective employer is seeking.
Replicate this format for each of your previous employers. It is important to be consistent in your formatting.
Academic & Professional Credentials
Honors & Community Activities
If you have questions about your resume, you can email me at AsktheRecruiter@JohnGSelf.Com.
If you are facing a lay off or possible termination for other reasons, learn more about the firm’s Career Transition practice.
© 2021 John Gregory Self