Resumes That Work: Three Steps to More Interviews

Jeff Altman
4 min readDec 6, 2023

By Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Everyone involved with helping you get a new job, whether as third-party recruiters or as representatives of a company evaluating you for employment, or as job search coaches are receiving hundreds of emailed resumes a day. Having done professional search work for many years and now coaching people into new roles, I have seen both resumes change and changes with how they are delivered change. The change in delivery means that how you think of your resume being seen needs to change too.

  1. Few people are really looking at resumes in the traditional sense of pieces of paper. They are looking at screenshots of approximately 1/4 -1/3 of a page per shot and attempting to make decisions based upon a few quick Page-Downs (or PgDn on your keyboard). For this reason, you need to think of your resume in a different way than you may have before.
  2. Critically examine your resume each time you scroll down. Where does your eye fall? Does it convey meaningful information about your experience for that particular position?
  3. Generic resumes are less effective than targeted ones. Only use a generic resume if you are sending out a mass email or mass mail. Where you have a job description to work from, revise your resume to include information about your experience relevant to the particular job. Don’t assume that someone will read your resume in detail, think about nuances and call you to inquire whether you have the relevant experience.
  4. Few people have the time to email or call you to determine whether their interpretation of your experience is correct. Make it simple and put it in your resume!
  5. For years, if people were going to attempt to forward a resume to an employer directly, I would encourage them to write a three-paragraph cover letter.
  6. The first paragraph would explain why they were writing (I’m forwarding my resume in response to your ad in . . . for a Java Developer).
  7. The second would include several relevant points about their experience that pertain to the job (I believe my 5 years of experience with Java including 2 years of J2EE experience, coupled with my experience with your industry would allow me to be a productive performer within…

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Jeff Altman

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. Career Coach. Host of No BS Job Search Advice Radio & JobSearchTV.com. Join JobSearch.Community. It will help you