Generic resumes are often not able to do the job we expect from them. They are too broad in scope and lack the power to grab the attention of someone who has little time to waste in reading all the information crammed into an “experienced” resume.

Managers and personnel assistants are busy. They basically know what they need. We have to determine that need and show them how we fit the bill for them in the most dramatic, concise way possible.

Most resumes are:

  • Good-looking, on nice paper with clear type.
  • Jam-packed with information.
  • Generic (one size fits all).
  • Designed for “To Whom it may concern.”
  • Are not designed to address a specific need or solution for a company or manager.

• Depended upon to get an interview and a job.

They can hinder:

• Open communication about the company and departmental culture.

• Finding out the issues facing the hiring manager.

• Making friends and contacts inside a company.

• Getting the inside track on jobs that don’t hit the streets.

• The hidden job market where 80 percent of the best jobs are landed.

Resumes should be:

• Targeted to a specific company or department manager.

• Submitted only when a specific job is in sight.

• Hand-carried by an insider to the hiring authority.

• Clean and power-packed with evidence of your abilities to solve the problems that are keeping the hiring authority awake at night.

Time and paper space are precious. Use both wisely.

Use the resume to introduce yourself and make them want to know more about you in person. It need not tell all.

The shotgun is designed to shoot a small moving target at short range. It is designed to put many pellets in the air at one time, hoping one will hit the target.

The rifle shoots a larger bullet designed to bring down large game. A miss by an inch could wound and not kill the prey.

Your resume must be a big bullet.

Glenn Wise is owner of Right Hire Solutions, which provides prescreening and outplacement programs. Contact Wise at 336-509-5606 or

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