Q: What are the three most common mistakes applicants make in their resumes?

A: Most people are too focused on:

…1) listing responsibilities instead of achievements,

…2) spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, and

…3) either listing too much information (your part time job when you were 16 probably isn’t relevant) or omitting information that could be used to sell yourself.


Q: How much time do you spend on one resume at first glance?

A: Typically, about 10 seconds unless I see something that intrigues me then I’ll spend more time to determine if you may be a fit for the position.


Q: What are the first things you look for in a resume?

A: Layout and presentation; a sloppy resume where I have to hunt to find pertinent information is going to be discarded immediately every time.


Q:  What demographic/contact information is preferred in today’s market?

A: 1) Full name with credentials;

….2) Full Address isn’t necessary for the Resume, but at least note the City/State where you reside—not every job is remote, and we need to know if you’re close to the location of the position;

….3) Current Contact Information such as E-Mail Address and Cell Phone Number.


Q: What are the three main attributes in a resume of a candidate that will be called for an interview?

A: 1) Does your experience and education meet the needs of the position,

….2) Making sure an applicant falls in that sweet spot (a 25- year veteran of the industry when I’m looking to fill an entry level position isn’t getting called — and vice versa), and

….3) Prior accomplishments.


Q: Can you share up to five quick tips for applicants in order to pass ATS screening?

A: 1) Stick to traditional style resumes with traditional section headers,

….2) omit fancy formatting,

….3) use language (keywords) from the job description,

….4) spell out skills and certifications (The ATS may not catch your abbreviations),

….5) stick to .doc or .pdf formats only.


Q: What is your position on photos on resumes?

A: Unless your appearance is a qualification for the position (modeling, actor, etc.) you are best served to leave it off.


Q: Do you think that professional resume writing service is worth the Cost?

A: Without a doubt it is one of the best investments you can make.  To spend $30,000+ on school and not be willing to spend $75 on a resume is very shortsighted.  Next to your degree, your resume is the most important career document you have.  If your professionally written resume gets you a job even a week sooner then you have profited from it.

Q: What is your opinion regarding resume length?

A: I’m not a huge stickler on resume length, 1 or 2 pages for most people is sufficient unless you are in an executive position.  Don’t leave off good information for space sake. However, I’m not a fan of half pages (1 or 2 pages but not 1 ½).

Q: What are the three main points, undergraduates or new  graduates, need to present in their resume?

A: 1) Some industry experience (If your major is Health Information Management yet you’ve never worked nor interned in any type of health care or HIM facility in any capacity that can be a problem),

….2) community service — Extracurricular, and Volunteer Experience is important (I want to see you are a well-rounded individual) and

….3) if your exceptional, your GPA.

Q: Do you check references? What is your experience?

A: References are a thorn in my side.  Sad to say but often references don’t bother returning phone calls and often it slows down the hiring process.  Let your references know that they may be called and ask them to return calls in a timely fashion.

Q: Do you read cover letters?

A: The only time I read them is if I am looking for additional information…if someone out of state applies for a position…Are you moving to the area? When?  Why?   

Q: What is your advice on making employment gaps less prominent on a resume?

A: While I prefer to see someone list dates as month/year, change your dates to show the year only.

Q: What would you like to see in resumes more often?

A:  Accomplishments!!  I don’t want to know what you’ve done; I want to know how well you’ve done it.  What makes you different over the other hundred applicants I received?

Q: What are the most ‘irrelevant’ parts of a resume for you?

A: Personal information, hobbies, interests…if it doesn’t pertain to the job, you are better off to use valuable real estate on your resume to highlight your qualifications.

Q: Do you check online presence of a candidate exclusively through links provided on a resume or you dig deeper?

A: Every single time!  Your online persona makes a difference.  Tighten up your privacy settings and delete potentially offensive comments.   Those pictures from your cousins wedding can hurt you.

Q: In the end, please add a couple of sentences about resumes for our readers.

A: Most job seekers think that if they follow an online resume template, list their experiences and send off their resume, they will be immediately called for an interview.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Invest in a professionally written resume and/or career coach.  It makes a HUGE difference.



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