Piedmont Group
Executive Search Firm

Want to know why resumes fail?

Here are the reasons given in a survey of employers:

  1. No accomplishments (78%)
  2. Negative visual impact (55%)
  3. Poor or no cover letter (40%)
  4. Lack of objective (36%)
  5. Format problems (32%)
  6. Irrelevant data (29%)
  7. Inadequate job description (12%)
  8. Time gaps unexplained (10%)
  9. Resume too long (10%)


Resume Tips...

  • A well written resume is akin to sales literature and should be considered an important job hunting tool. It should highlight your skills and accomplishments, as well as portray to the reader your product and industry knowledge.
  • In today's highly competitive job market, resumes which catch the reader's eye get read. Recognizing this need, many candidates use a gimmick resume. Always remember, what makes a resume stand out is the content, in an easy to read format, not the color of the paper or ink!
  • Typically a hiring authority will initially take 30 seconds or less to scan a resume. The objective is to determine if the candidate is capable of positively impacting the company's bottom line. When reviewing your resume, place yourself in the hiring authority's position. Scan your resume for 30 seconds to determine if you are sending the message you want to get across. Ask yourself, "Does my resume accurately depict who I am, what I know and do, and what I have accomplished?"


You only have one chance to create a favorable impression!

Resume Do's and Don'ts...

Don't use "I" "he" "she" "Mr." "Ms" when referring to yourself in your resume. Instead list your responsibilities and accomplishments in a bullet point format. Note: Managers may not take the time to read a lengthy paragraph.

Don't skip a job (even if it was for a short stint) to make your resume look better. During a comprehensive background check it will undoubtedly show up. When it does, it will likely prompt the hiring authority to question the validity of your entire resume.

Do remember that total honesty is mandatory! Your resume must be clear, concise, and reflect a professional employment history.

Don't use a gimmick resume or colored paper.

Do remember to print your resume on 20 to 24 pound white bond paper. Keep in mind, your original resume becomes the master copy from which multiple copies are made. Colored paper (gray in particular) doesn't reproduce well.

Don't fax your resume directly from your PC without printing it first, thus insuring your resume reproduces and appears as you anticipated.

Do remember to use your spell/grammar check feature and do remember to have someone other than yourself proof read your resume to insure it reads well.

Don't use small type (less than 12 point) in order to get more information on a page. It would be better to edit/cut your copy than reduce the type size. Resumes that are difficult to read get passed over.

DO remember to print your name on the second and all subsequent pages. Note: Most often, a one page resume will be read first.

Don't e-mail your resume to anyone without faxing and/or mailing a hard copy as well. It is a mistake to assume the recipient has the means or desire to download your resume. Resumes sent via e-mail generally don't reproduce well and aren't considered presentation quality.


What Resume Style is Best For You?

The two basic resume styles to choose from are Chronological and Functional:

The reverse chronological resume is the most widely accepted resume style. It lists your work history in descending order from your present position followed by your previous positions.

The functional resume, often referred to as the analytical or skill oriented resume, is valuable for those candidates who desire to work outside their present/previous work environment. It highlights your skills and areas of expertise, ignoring time & place. It is also widely used by those candidates who have a chronological gap or numerous jobs in a short time period. Be aware that some readers of this style may view it as you are hiding something and move on to the next resume.

Cover Letters

Never send a form cover letter... they insult the recipient and show your laziness. To differentiate yourself from your competition (other candidates), always write your cover letter to the individual (or at least the company) to whom you are sending your resume. The more specifically you can show how your skills address their needs, the better. At least show you have made the effort to do more than lick a stamp or dial a fax #.