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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Chapter 1

Straight Talk About Your Résumé (From a Guy Whose Living Depends on Using Them)

This week I sent 221 résumés of my candidates to different clients

and helped three people find jobs. On average, I receive up to 40

résumés a day from people seeking my help in landing a job. I receive

a lot of résumés, and I send out a lot of résumés.

I am a professional placement and recruitment specialist, and

résumés are the tools I use to help my candidates get interviews. Since

1973, I have reviewed more than 32,000 résumés and have been per-

sonally responsible for placing more than 8,500 individuals in jobs, all

on a one-on-one basis. That means I picked up the phone, called a hir-

ing authority, got them an interview, helped with subsequent interviews,

and negotiated an offer for them—8,500 times.

That’s why I know what types of résumés are the most helpful

for getting interviews that lead to job offers. In fact, my livelihood

depends on that knowledge. The truth is that the vast majority of

authors who write résumé books and articles have never found anyone

a job, nor have they had to justify to prospective employers the

quality of good candidates with poor résumés.

Most of the stuff written about résumés reflects those authors’

opinions of what they imagine works. Instead, I tell you exactly what

does work, based on the opinions of the hiring authorities I speak with

every day. So, in this book, you’re getting proven résumé knowledge

about what works in the real world.

Here is a quick example. Some national “personal marketing”

firms (i.e., professional résumé services) write résumés for fees of

$150 and up. They recommend, and will write, a “functional”

résumé for anyone willing to pay their fee. Unlike the traditional

chronological résumé, a functional résumé lists all the duties and

responsibilities spanning a person’s career. Then, at the bottom of

the résumé, are the names of companies the person has worked for,

along with the corresponding dates. Usually there is little or no

explanation of what each company does. Yet, here are the facts:

Most hiring authorities don’t like or read these types of résumés.

(Résumé types are discussed in Chapter 3, where you’ll also find

the results of a survey involving more than 3,000 hiring authorities,

which backs up this fact. Indeed, you will learn what they do want

to see in a résumé.)

Does this mean that no one using a functional résumé ever gets

an interview? Or ever gets hired? No, of course not. But it does

mean that your chances of getting an interview are better if you don’t

use a functional résumé. And, after all, doesn’t it make sense to stack

the odds in your favor?

The reason hiring managers don’t appreciate functional résumés

is that the experience and accomplishments of the candidate are not

set in the context of particular companies or job functions. That is,

after all, the context in which they are hiring.

A functional résumé crossed my desk a few years ago, in which the

candidate had written: “#1 salesperson in the U.S.” I went ahead and

interviewed the candidate because I recognized the companies he had

worked for, listed at the bottom. But I explained that he needed to write

a chronological résumé connecting his experiences and successes to

each job held. When he did so, it turned out that he had been the “#1

salesperson in the U.S.” 10 years ago! That’s why hiring authorities don’t

like this type of résumé. They hide the details. Unfortunately, this candi-

date had paid $5,000 to a “consulting firm” that had guaranteed the func-

tional résumé it wrote would land him a job. Guaranteed?

The primary reason people spend so much time, money, and

effort in writing a résumé is that this is the one activity within the job

search that they can control. Instead of picking up the phone and calling

a prospective employer to ask for a face-to-face interview—risking

potential rejection—people agonize over their résumés. It’s true that

agonizing over a résumé won’t get you rejected, but spending hours on

your résumé doesn’t automatically mean it will be successful, either.

Here’s the Truth: Nothing you think about your résumé matters

unless it helps you get interviews that result in job offers! So, here’s

what I suggest. If anyone charges you money to write a résumé, tell the

person you will double the asking price after the résumé gets you an

interview, let alone a job. Yes, you read that right. Tell the agency or

individual you will pay contingent upon the résumé’s working for you.

If the agency truly believes the résumés it produces are as effective as

it claims, then it should have no problem taking this deal.

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