Unbeatable Resumes

America's Top Recruiter Reveals What REALLY Gets You Hired

 Unbeatable Resumes

Author: Tony Beshara
Pub Date: June 2011
Print Edition: $16.95
Print ISBN: 9780814417621
Page Count: 336
Format: Paper or Softback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814417638

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7 Tips for Better Resumes


From America’s Top Recruiter, Tony Beshara

Searching for a magic formula for the perfect résumé? You’ll get over a million results from Google, which roughly equal the value of a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. “There is no magic to résumé writing,” says Tony Beshara, veteran recruiter and job search consultant on the Dr. Phil Show. “Writing an effective résumé is simple—as long as you have an effective résumé strategy.” In his new book UNBEATABLE RÉSUMÉS (AMACOM 2011), Beshara shows that the most effective résumés feature content and a format that increase a job seeker’s probability of getting an interview. Beshara offers seven tips for writing résumés that really work, without magic:

1. Stick with a reverse chronological order format. That is, list your current or your most recent job first, and then work backwards. Don’t let any “expert” sell you on a functional résumé, which spotlights your accomplishments without relating them to particular jobs. “Using a func¬tional format immediately communicates that you are trying to cover up something—too many jobs, gaps in your work history,” Beshara notes, based on experience of what hiring authorities are looking for in a résumé—and why they quickly weed some out.

2. Stories sell and numbers tell. Statements like “150 % of sales quota” and “Increased profit by 28%” get a résumé reader’s attention, especially if you put them in bold type, and clearly com-municate performance. Yet, as Beshara cautions: Use truthful statistics and don’t go overboard. Stories humanize the numbers. To tell a story in your résumé, consider making brief statements that could prompt questions in the interview. Spending your childhood working on a family farm, for instance, might inspire interest in your ability to be a hard worker.

3. Target your résumés. Having different résumés for different situations and different employ-ment opportunities tends to pay off. Simply put, a targeted résumé is customized to stress the re-levancy of its content to the specific job you are applying for. “If you find a particularly narrow job posting that your experience fits very well, add to your résumé the terminology used in the posting,” Beshara suggests.

4. Get the particulars. Before forwarding your résumé, try to get information about the job you’re interested in beyond what’s written in the generic ad posted on the Internet. To gain deeper in-sights, try investigating the opportunity with people inside the organization—especially subordi-nates of the position in question. Mine your network for people who work at the company, used to work at the company, or know someone who currently works there. “The more specifics you get, the better targeted your résumé will be,” Beshara assures.

5. Dumb down to compete smart. There just aren’t enough high-level jobs available for all the avail¬able high-level jobless people. Unfortunately, candidates who “oversell” themselves in their résumé risk coming across as overqualified for a good, solid job. “Sometimes you need to adjust your résumé so that you can reasonably apply for opportunities that require less responsibility or experience than you have,” Beshara acknowledges. For smart job seekers, he recommends hav¬ing a “dumbed-down” résumé, as well one that’s “all-world,” which reflects the full scope of a job seeker’s work history, including career highlights, areas of responsibility, and every formal and informal leadership role.

6. Simple format, clean white pages. To increase its likelihood of getting read, a résumé must be easy to read, especially online. Stick to the traditional Times New Roman font, 9 to 12 point size, and black type against a white background, with a reasonable amount of white space on each page. Keep graphics to a minimum. “Avoid the fancy-schmancy layout, font, and other special effects,” Beshara strongly advises. “Unless you are in an artistic field, an unusual presentation will amuse the recipient but eliminate your résumé automatically.”

7. Tell the truth. Think that you wouldn’t embellish—or even lie—on your résumé? A large num-ber of studies show that people do, at least once every time they rewrite their résumés. It can be tempting to expand on your successes. Or to extend dates of employment to cover up a job that, for whatever reason, you’d rather forget. Resist the temptation to misrepresent yourself or the facts. “If you lie on your résumé and it is discovered beforehand, it is unlikely that you will be hired,” Beshara warns. “If you lie and it is discovered after you are hired, you will likely be fired.”

Adapted from UNBEATABLE RÉSUMÉS: America’s Top Recruiter Reveals What REALLY Gets You Hired by Tony Beshara (AMACOM 2011).

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