Writing a Resume to Land a Job

If you don’t want to land a job, write a resume that’s difficult to read.

According to Susan Geary, that’s the number one mistake job hunters make.

“You have 15 seconds to grab the person’s attention,” she told me during the Virginia Press Women conference April 23. I had sought her out so I could write about resume writing for my blog, but by the time we finished talking, I was ready to rewrite my resume, which I’m going to do as soon as I finish this blog.

Susan, a member of the Professional Association of Resume Writers, is one of about 6,000 certified resume writers worldwide.

She also recommends including a testimonial about your work. “That way you aren’t bragging, someone else is doing it for you,” she said.

Most resumes are now printed front and back.

Ironically, Susan said she is good at getting jobs, but she never stayed in them long. A former news journalist, she decided to do what she was good at – resume writing. She didn’t know anything about running a business and quickly learned. Most of her business comes from speaking engagements, her website and referrals. Ninety-nine percent of her work comes from outside Virginia.

The trend in resumes is social networking profiles, such as LinkedIn. Surprisingly this doesn’t hurt, but rather, helps her business.  “You’d be surprised how many people don’t know how to write a LinkedIn profile,” she said.

When it comes to finding a resume writer, she notes that the resume writer will have a credible website with a photo and address. The person will be certified and/or part of a national resume organization.

She warns people to be careful of people claiming to be resume writers who don’t have the necessary credentials. “They say they are going to help you, but they are stealing your information.

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