How to write a resume that works

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- When it comes to finding a job, having a good sales brochure is essential.

That is just what your resume should be. But as Debra Mortland-Binion is learning, to do its job, your resume needs to speak volumes in just a few words.

"So you have a lot of good stuff here but it is almost too much," advises Jerry Claudio at Maricopa Workforce Connections. He tells Mortland-Binion that it is sometimes better to say less than more.

"We call it the 10 second scan, because on average when there is a stack of resumes, they only spend about 10 seconds looking at each resume," said Claudio.

At Maricopa Workforce Connections, Claudio is helping her build a resume, correctly.

"It is more of like a highlight of what you succeeded at. Not what you do every day," he points out, adding, showing a particularly good example on her resume, "So for example ensured efficient operation by providing high quality clerical and receptionist duties for a staff of 14 attorneys and five different practice groups so you are quantifying your results."

Job hunters need to show those results quickly, he says, "It is better to use bullet points because paragraphs are too wordy and when you look at them from afar you just see a sea of words."

On the other side of the equation is Josie Martinez, she is Senior Director of Talent Acquisition at Banner Health.

"A recruiter could spend from 30 to 60 seconds reviewing a resume," she tells us. "When you think most organizations receive thousand of resumes daily, so thousands daily, what is the quickest way you can stand out."

She shared a resume that does just that.

"So this is a copy of a quality resume, what I like about this is first and foremost it is clear and easy to read," said Martinez.

Martinez said, "Every word must be of value, so keep in mind a resume is not a place to state narratives. "It is a place to indicate the most important experience at each one of your employers."

Resumes should not include any information that shows a personal bias, such as political affiliations.

Also beware of unusual symbols or backgrounds, cautions Martinez, "If you are using arrows  and symbols when it comes through our applicant tracking system, I may or may not see the arrow or symbol, I might just see a row of symbols or a row of blank lines because it is all electronic."

Remember you may also need to edit your job search, as well says Claudio back at Workforce Connections, "If you are not a good 80 to 90 percent qualified for job, there is no sense in applying for it. You have got to find those jobs you are best qualified for and that is what you go for, you focus on that job."

While Mortland-Binion is currently employed, following these tips, she now has a resume ready for new opportunities that come her way.

"Use your skills and just what I said right there, highlight what you did and how that skill can be transferred to the position which you are applying for," said Mortland-Binion.