Hess Associates

How to Create a Million Dollar Resume (Part I)


We have been in the executive recruitment business for over 30 years and have seen a plethora of resume.
Before going into detail about creating a million dollar resume, let’s review
5 of the biggest mistakes we see in many resumes.

1) Unreadable: The number one problem with most resumes is that they are difficult to read. Long and intimidating paragraphs with few breaks and with very little white space force the reader to skip over the difficult areas or pass and move on to the next applicant’s resume. Too much information is as detrimental as too little information.

2) Objective: Many years ago every resume had an objective. This has completely disappeared because companies are less interested in what they can do for you than what you can do for them. Jack Kennedy in his inaugural address challenged Americans when he said “Ask not what your country can do for you- ask what you can do for your country.” So it is with resumes. It’s not about what the company can do for you.

3) Metrics: Absence of metrics is another issue with many resumes. Lack of numbers such as percentages, dollar amounts, and size of staff leave the reader with a concern over believability, Metrics give credibility and a resume without them indicates a potential lack of accomplishments. There are some roles in non-profit, academia, or entertainment sectors where revenue increases, efficiency percentages, or specific cost savings and other numbers aren’t applicable. But in general, metrics matter in most industries.

4) Achievement Deficiency: Another issue with many resumes is a focus on responsibilities. An emphasis on responsibilities rather than accomplishments eliminates the link that a hiring manager has for judging the transferability of your accomplishments to their environment.

5) Disjointed: Two column resumes are difficult to read and unnatural to follow even though they can be visually appealing. Because of the limited space there is less room for achievements and the graphics are very distracting. HR use of Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) can lead to parsing errors, confused inputs and resume rejection.

There are other mistakes we have observed but these 5 are the most glaring.

Our next article will go into detail about creating your million dollar resume.

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