Insight News

Feb 06th

Your resume: An invitation to interview

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jdesmondThink of the last big party you were invited to attend.  The one where someone sent a Save the Date card out in advance, and then followed up with an invitation in an envelope with a stamp on it.  What did that invitation look like? 

Did it provide a detailed agenda of everything that would take place during the party?  Imagine that invitation:  Please join us for a party in honor of Joe’s birthday.  Our party begins at five, but Aunt Betty will be early and many of you will be quite late.  By the time you arrive, the food will be cold and the drinks will be warm and Aunt Betty will have eaten half the cake, which is chocolate, by the way, with yellow frosting and little sprinkles on the top…

Who would finish reading this invitation?  Let alone attend?

Your resume is an invitation, too.  It is an invitation to a hiring manager to get to know you, to learn about your background and to realize you are someone he or she should be talking with. 

What to leave in?  What to leave out?  Just like the party-goers in our story can wait until they arrive to find out what color frosting is on the cake, so your hiring manager can wait until an interview to hear about your career in detail.  Therefore, keep it simple: use your paper real estate wisely. 

An invitation includes date, time, place and the name of the host or hostess.  Write your resume the same way, listing the key information you want someone to know.  Include your name, your contact information, title of the job you want and a short description of each of your last few positions. 

To get someone’s attention, write your job title, the company you worked for, dates, and a short descriptive blurb about the company.  After that, use three bullet points to entice the manager to call you.  Bullet number one: your primary duties on the job.  Number two:  any leadership responsibility you had there.  This could include training new hires, or coordinating the company picnic.  Finally, number three: a measurable success.  Did you win an award or save the company millions of dollars?  This is interesting stuff and it will draw positive attention.

The purpose of a resume is to get an invitation to interview.  Follow these simple steps and you’ll soon be the life of the (work) party. 

Julie Desmond is a recruiter with Specialized Recruiting Group in Minneapolis, MN.  Write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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