Monday, October 1, 2012

Advanced Resume Writing Strategies from Career Directors International

Twelve years ago Career Directors International (CDI) launched Update Your Resume Month. While there are always great resume writing tips to be had, sometimes the master techniques that are employed by the most elite of resume writers tend to get missed.

Why? Not because they are trade secrets but because they require flexing a lot of creative, technical, and strategic muscle.

Here are some advanced strategies to make the resume jump from the stack:

1. Quote Your Last Boss. A resume is all about saying why an individual is the perfect one for the job. However, it is easy for employers to be jaded about what they read due to the amount of puffery that jobseekers sometimes employ.

Take a look at letters of recommendation, accolades, awards, and letters of thanks from employers and clients to find a quote that represents the value offered for the target job(s).

Consider the difference between a jobseeker writing in the resume:

“Recognized for consistently driving triple digit revenue growth in new territories for five consecutive years.”

or quoting his recommendation letter:

“Tom is a simply amazing sales manager; under his leadership we’ve seen his division’s sales demonstrate triple digit growth for each year he has been in charge. No matter what failing division we give him, he makes it one of the top three nationwide.” – Steve Mills, XYZ Company
The quote lends credibility and can be verified, which makes an employer more trust its validity.

To make a quote stand out, try centering, bolding, and italicizing it near the top of the resume; or perhaps use a text box or other lightly shaded background.

2. Chart the Way to Success. Charts are a lot like the use of color in the resume – don’t add it in unless it makes sense. Using a chart or graph on a resume in relation to a particular job makes sense if the job seeker can show progress in fiscal responsibility, beating colleagues in goals, meeting/exceeding quotas, or simply showing the amount of sales achieved each year.

Why use a chart? Because many people are visual and begin to go cross-eyed after reading line after line of text, no matter how good a job the writer did in making it bite-sized and easy-to-read. A chart will draw the reviewer’s eye and provide a quick summary of top accomplishments.

To create a chart in MS Word, just consult the help menu for ‘insert chart’ or ‘insert graph.’

3. Link to Your Profile or Webpage. It is quite common for employers and recruiters to look for information on job seekers beyond the supplied resume. Make it easy for them by including a link to a LinkedIn Profile or other major web page, such as a web resume or page.

Take steps to ensure such online content is robust and complete. Include information such as further project details, in-depth skills lists, and letters of recommendation or testimonials (with approval from the author).

As always, no matter how visual a resume, there is no excuse for slacking on grammar, punctuation, and content. Every resume should work to present the job seeker’s individual unique selling propositions or brand, key areas of expertise, and the challenges faced, actions taken, and results attained in employment positions.

For more tips, CDI’s Job Seeker Center also provides a variety of free resources along with search tips, more resources from Update Your Resume Month, and information for locating and selecting a professional.

CDI also encourages resume writers and career professionals to spread the word about Update Your Resume Month. This event offers a crucial reminder to job seekers about the value of keeping their resumes up-to-date or simply taking advantage of recording their new experiences as they happen in order to prepare for their next professional update.

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About Career Directors International –
CDI is a global professional association committed to ensuring that career and resume professionals can grow and thrive in a rich, vibrant, exciting, and nurturing environment. CDI is focused on championing the industry’s cause for credibility and visibility; fostering exceptional success in every generation of career and resume professionals; and cultivating the career superhero that exists within each one of us.


  1. Wow Thanks for sharing great resume writing master techniques. In this article you have shared nice information about update resume month. Its also useful for me because after one month my studies are going to complete and I must be write my own resume.

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