The Role of a Resume

By: Julie East, Corp. Marketing & Recruiting

Jul 19, 2022

I have asked these questions to job seekers on several occasions: “When do you use a resume? Do you need one to buy a car? How about to open a back account?”  The answer to all is No.  A resume’s ONLY use is when you are looking for employment.  It is the FIRST step in getting the attention of job recruiters, because it is a written summary of your past work experience, skills, certifications and accomplishments. It’s a marketing document that represents you!  It shows a potential employer how they would benefit from having you as a part of their company, and if your resume doesn’t get their attention, you probably won’t get a call for an interview.

With a quick scan of a resume, a good recruiter can tell if the applicant has not only the skills needed for the position, but also can see if they have an attention to detail, analytical skills, and a certain level of articulation. From the overall format and flow, to word choices, to what is included or excluded in the job details, a recruiter can find a great deal of information about who you are and how you might perform in a particular role. It’s how you convey that information to recruiters that is going to set you apart from other applicants.


FORMAT. First things first: It’s not just the content, but the overall look and feel of the resume. It’s important to find a format that not only has the content you want to portray in your resume, but also has an overall look that will force the recruiter to look at your resume first! Need inspiration? Go to Google and do an image search for “title” resume.  The image that jumps out to you will probably jump out to a recruiter, as well.


OBJECTIVENot necessary - omit it! Remember what I said in the beginning, what is a resume for again? In the past, the objective statement was used for linking your resume to a specific job opening through the mail or in person.  Most resumes are now submitted either on-line or by email to specific positions, so this is no longer required. Instead, replace it with a Professional Summary.


PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY.  This should be the first thing the recruiter sees at the top of your resume. It is a brief statement of your overall skills, abilities, and accomplishments. This is where you can really customize the summary to the job you are seeking.

Use this section as a mini-cover letter and hit those highlights. Included specific details that are trackable. Did you increase sales? By how much? Put that in there! Here’s a tip on finding those highlights: Pretend you are going to be FIRED from that job – justify to the manager as to WHY they shouldn’t! You’ll be surprised on what you come up with.


CONTACT INFORMATION.  You’d think this is basic information, but unfortunately, many resumes are discarded because the contact information is not up-to-date.  If you change your number for any reason, be sure to update your resume and resend to the employer. A non-working telephone number and/or email is a guaranteed trip to the trash can.


WORK HISTORY.  Always include the name of the business, your title, city and dates employed. I can’t stress this enough….list the beginning month, year and ending month, year for each job you held.  For seasoned employees, you only need to go back ten years on a resume (unless the job you are applying for is relevant to an older position held).


USE ACTION VERBS.  Remember, your resume is a marketing tool.  Instead of inciting a buyer to a product, you are inciting a recruiter to interview you.  Choose the right words to deliver specific information about your previous positions that led to measurable results.

When thinking about what to list under each of your past work experiences, list any tasks related to the position that gained results or helped gain skills.  Begin each abbreviated phrase with an action verb. End each phrase with a punctuation mark. Describe each task using the STAR technique (Situation, Task, Action, and Result). Demonstrate productivity by including all relevant #, $, %.


SKILL SECTION . List all job-related skills like Microsoft Word, Excel, Typing (60+ wpm), Management, Leadership, Foreign Language spoken, Organizational, Technical Writing, Customer Service, Forklift, Welding, Carpentry, Hand Tools, Front End Loader, etc.

Be specific where possible. Forklift experience? What type? Top load? Production experience? What type of machine did you operate? The more specific you can get, the more information the potential employer has relative to your experience level. 


CERTIFICATIONS.  If you have obtained any certifications during your past or current employment, be sure to list them.  The current job may not need them, but it shows that you are willing to learn something new.  List only if the certifications are current. Be able to produce a copy of the certification upon request.


EDUCATION. If you are a recent graduate and don’t have much work experience yet, put your education at the top. If you do have work experience, list education LAST, in reverse chronological order (last to first).


HONORS/AFFILIATIONS.  List any honors or professional organizations to which you belong. Include the level of responsibility (Committee Member, Chair, Officer), organization name, and dates of involvement. 


REVIEW/SAVE.  Now that you have created the perfect resume, be sure to have several people read it, review it, and critique it. Recruiters are quick to find missing dates, misspelled words, and even bad use of punctuation. It’s a working document, changing from job-to-job and over time, so be sure to save it on a computer hard drive, USB drive and print several hard copies.  


SEND IT OUT.  Start emailing your resume. Attach it to your online profiles. If you don’t get calls from recruiters, go back and review it again. What are you missing? Is it too wordy? Do you need more details?

It is up to you to select the appropriate content that best highlights your skills for the job you hope to acquire, and then effectively communicate your qualifications in a format that is clear and easy to read for those recruiters.


About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today

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