10 Secrets of a Results-Getting Resume

1. Clearly define your career focus. “Candidates have to be focused,” say Executive Recruiters. “The biggest complaint from employers over the years has been ‘We didn’t hire so-and-so because she or he didn’t know what they wanted.’”

2. Be specific when stating your achievements. Qualify, quantify or “dollarize” them to demonstrate that what you offer a prospective employer can easily recoup their investment in your salary. Use the CAR method to help you recall your achievements: Challenge, Action, Result.

3. Use action words and statements. “Responsible for”… is out, “Developed; Directed; Achieved; Coordinated, etc.” is in.

4. For people with 20 or more years of experience: “Do NOT write that into your resume,” said one staffing CEO. “Put a BENEFIT STATEMENT into your resume – something that speaks of how you 1) made the company money, 2) saved the company money or 3) streamlined procedures. Years of experience is immaterial and may indicate that you are just ‘old.’ Companies want to know what kind of a contribution you can make to their success – not how many years you’ve been working.

5. Differentiate yourself. When you review your current resume, can you simply put someone else’s name on it? Or does it clearly differentiate you from your competition and brand you as “the one” for the job?

6. Communicate your value and put key points “above the fold.” One recruiter on LinkedIn told me he reads 200 to 300 resumes a DAY, seven days a week. You have GOT to stand out! Address the unspoken question early on: “Why should I hire you?”

7. When responding to a job posting, be sure you clearly read the ad and assess your qualifications. Companies don’t have time to meet with unqualified applicants. According to one finance recruiter, “Candidates must be an exact match before a company looks at them.”

8. Create a Twitter-worthy value statement about yourself. That’s in 140 – 280 characters or less. This can become your brand statement used on social networking sites, when networking, and during interviews. Here’s mine: “I work with rock stars at work who want to win gigs, promotions, and salary bumps.” This gets people to say, “Tell me more!” That’s your goal.

9. If you know someone at a company, give them a call. Networking is the No. 1 method used by candidates to get jobs. In SilkRoad’s 2017 Source of Hire Study, employee referrals were the No. 1 source for external hires at companies.

10. Think creatively in how you distribute your resume. In a 2016 survey by Lou Adler, CEO of Performance-Based Hiring, 85% of job seekers land jobs through networking. Want more networking tips? Get “Rock Your Network® for Job Seekers.”

© 2003 – 2018 • Wendy J. Terwelp • Opportunity Knocks™ • All Rights Reserved.

Wendy Terwelp works with high potentials through the c-suite. Her clients regularly win promotions, salary bumps, and gigs that are a right fit for their brands and goals. Schedule your strategy call today and learn how Wendy can help YOU be a rock star at work!

Recruiter Secrets to What Employers Want

George_Blomgren_med - picGuest Expert, George Blomgren,
MRA, The Management Association

What are employers looking for in candidates these days? That depends a lot on the company and the jobs for which they are hiring. Here are two common trends:

The first won’t come as a surprise. Companies are hiring because they are swamped. They are so desperately in need of additional staff they have  limited resources to train new staff. With this in mind, employers look for candidates who can hit the ground running — or as close to that as possible. This means they aren’t willing to deviate much from the requirements defined in the job description or posting. It also means they are looking for evidence that candidates can adapt to change and to new challenges. (Today 20 years in the same job at the same employer is no longer viewed as a good thing!)

The second trend may come as a surprise. Employers aren’t looking to hire superstars – that is, candidates who distinguished themselves as star performers in previous positions. They assume those candidates have peaked and now it’s all downhill. Rather, they are looking to hire candidates who have yet to peak. The candidate who is really ready to take that next step in their career and take things to the next level. For candidates with diverse backgrounds, who may have felt defensive explaining how their background fits together, this can be especially beneficial. If you can create a compelling case to an employer on why your diverse work experience makes you uniquely qualified for the position, you may get the job!

As a recruiter, I look for evidence of these things in your resume and your cover letter, and of course during interviews. But first and foremost, I look for it on your LinkedIn profile.

George Blomgren is the  Director of Recruiting Solutions for MRA – The Management Association. George has 20+ years of talent acquisition (aka recruiting),  and operations experience. Prior to joining MRA, George ran the advertising and marketing department for a fast-growing network of local employment websites.

Ticked off? Step away from the keyboard!


Taylor Grey Meyer was ticked. So ticked after sending the San Diego Padres 30 resumes and getting rejected, she wrote a counter offer – via email. The email went viral.

Check out Taylor’s letter here. The letter’s a must-read prior to reading the rest of this post. Warning, strong language.

From the story, “Just looking at the forwards on the chain that eventually made it to us, Meyer’s letter has been seen by, in order: the Cavaliers, the Lake Erie Monsters, the Diamondbacks, the Yankees, the Astros, the Bobcats, the Heat, the Houston Dynamo, the Marlins, the Dolphins, the Red Sox, the Cubs, the Mets, FC Dallas, the Nationals, the Orioles, the Falcons, the Vikings, the Bengals, the Cleveland Gladiators, the Dayton Dragons, and the Chiefs.”

I’m guessing this is not the first impression she wanted to make. And it could be a career-ender.

Some ideas Taylor could have tried: Instead of sending resumes to the job board for multiple positions where she was overqualified, she could have tapped her network to see who she knows who knows someone in the Padres organization. She could have checked her LinkedIn network to see who may have a Padres connection. Revamped her resume and cover letter to better fit the career goal. Or stopped by in person, as she already relocated to the area.

So many ways Taylor could have approached her search that would have netted better results. Instead, she wrote a ticked off email that went viral and may end her career in sports all together… and after the graduate coursework too.

What are some other ways Taylor could have connected with the Padres?

Have you ever sent an email, wrote a blog post, or tweeted something you’ve regretted? What was the result? Were you able to save the situation?

Share your stories and ideas. I look forward to hearing what you’ve got to say.

© 2012 Wendy Terwelp | Opportunity Knocks™ | All rights reserved. | http://knocks.com

Resume Tip: Accomplishments Rule

What are employers and recruiters looking for on resumes? Accomplishments. Accomplishments grab an employer’s attention. Recruiters say, “past performance equals future productivity.” Accomplishments also demonstrate that you’ll make a quick recoup of the investment in your annual salary when the company hires you.

Do not fill your resume with fluff such as weak summary paragraphs (“20 years’ experience”), unsubstantiated adjectives (“significantly increased”), or clichés (“dynamic, results-getting professional”). Instead, use specifics. Employers want to see numbers, specifically numbers that demonstrate cost savings, revenue increases, productivity improvements, etc. Numbers that contribute to the company’s bottom line in some manner.

One staffing firm CEO said, “Put a BENEFIT STATEMENT into your resume – something that speaks of how you 1) made the company money, 2) saved the company money or 3) streamlined procedures. Years of experience is immaterial and may indicate that you are just “old.” Companies want to know what kind of contribution you can make to their success – not how many years you’ve been working.”

Here are some questions to ask yourself about each of your jobs, special projects, and other activity beyond the job description:

1. How much additional revenue was generated?
2. By what percentage did productivity improve?
3. By what percentage were workplace incidences or injuries decreased?
4. How much money was saved? (Describe the project and the savings.)
5. By what percentage was turnaround improved?
6. How many labor hours were saved?
7. _________________ went from ___________ to _______________ after employees completed ____________________ program.

The ability to provide “before and after” results is a strong way to demonstrate and communicate your value.

Challenge: Review your current resume. Have you provided specific information about your results? If not, get the numbers and add them into your document. Track the responses to your new, accomplishment-driven resume.

Need more help with your resume? Check out “Resumes that Rock.”

Artwork created by SnapHappy Creative LLC.

Personal Branding: Myth, Madness, What?

Recently, a member of one of my LinkedIn groups asked, “I hear the term branding a lot, but rarely if ever see examples of it! Is it merely a catch phrase, or it is a real, effective strategy?”

Let’s bottom line it, shall we?

I was a recruiter prior to becoming a career coach. And I have a solid network of recruiters and employers across the country. Here’s the common thread, candidates who fit the culture of the company stick. Those who don’t, don’t. Recruiters to this day still tell me if a candiate doesn’t make the cut, 90% of the time, it’s because they were not a “right fit.”

Here are some real examples of personal branding from a few of my clients:

1. One of my clients, a sales representative, was known as “The Cold Call King.” He provided me with documentation of the same. We used it in his cover letter AND provided backup in terms of results (i.e. why he was deemed “The Cold Call King” by his company president).

2. Another client, a PR pro, was dubbed a “PR Martyr” by her coworkers. Yes, we used it, and again provided the backup.

3. And an industrial engineer client of mine shared his philosophy of design with me, which we used on his resume and his cover letter. Plus, I used a logo he designed on these docs as well – proof of performance. He also had a website, online ID, etc.

All three communicated their brands while networking, on the interview, and throughout their job search campaigns.

Bottom line is this – each of these clients was hired faster; each held positions long term; each got paid more than was expected.

Does personal branding work? The answer is a hearty YES!

When does it become a catch-phrase? When it’s merely talked about and NOT implemented.

When applied, can’t deny, it works.

Want to know where your brand stands? Take the quiz:


 Note: Artwork provided by SnapHappy Creative LLC

© 2011 | Wendy Terwelp | All rights reserved.