One of my favorite things about my job as a Human Resources Executive Recruiter is reviewing the resumes of candidates I screen, prior to providing advice on how to enhance their overall presentation. My insight is generally well-received and appreciated by those I assist, which inspired my newfound passion of providing daily ‘Resume Advice.’
The thought of working on a resume gives employees great apprehension. Many passive and active candidates alike, have no clue where to start or how to craft the ideal CV. Ironically, many of the hiring managers who critique others for their open requisitions, too, have poor resumes.
Thus, my latest inspiration came last week on the way to work upon coming across the image of a burger….
Resume Advice: Did you know there is an actual science and art to fast food marketing? When shooting a burger advertisement, the bun, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese, meat and condiments must be layered precisely in order for the presentation to appear perfect. It is done so well that when looking at a photo or image on television, your mouth has no choice but to salivate. Now compare that image to what you actually get. The burger often looks nothing like the picture. Well, the latter is how most resumes appear. Everyone knows there’s a proper format, but few actually take the time to make it a work of art.
So how do you develop this work of art? Easy – build your resume in the same fashion of the ideal bacon cheeseburger. Consider these six steps when formatting or reformatting your resume and the phone may start ringing off the hook!
1. TOP BUN
The top bun is in essence the most critical piece of information listed on the resume – your contact information. These five critical data points must be presented at the top center of the C/V:
Name, Primary phone number, Email,Location and LinkedIn URL.
Name: List your “government” name, which is also known as the name your mother and father called you at birth. Avoid nicknames and be sure the name on the CV matches that of your LinkedIn profile.
Primary Phone Number & Email: Both the phone number and email address should be what you use regularly. Ideally, the phone number would be your private cell, while the email address should be your email@example.com. Stay away from silly and unprofessional email addresses. Instead of ‘firstname.lastname@example.org,’ ‘email@example.com’ will do just fine. If you were fortunate enough to get hired, you probably would not want your colleagues calling you ‘Hotcakes’ so keep it professional.
Location: From a location standpoint, I advise candidates to list their town/city of residence. Contrary to what one may believe, there is such a thing as geographic discrimination and providing specific information could immediately eliminate you. In cities like Atlanta, where traffic is a challenge, employers are extraordinarily cognizant of distance and how the repetition of a long commute over time eventually forces its employees to look for jobs closer to home. (Now, flexible scheduling and the ability to work remotely once or twice a week, may easily diffuse this concern, but that’s a topic for another discussion.) Therefore, if you live in South Atlanta, but the job is in North Atlanta, just put Atlanta, GA as your location. Technically, you’re not being dishonest, rather smartly protecting yourself against unfair scrutiny of a hiring manager who does not know your circumstances. For instance, the reviewer of your application may not realize you’re on a month-to-month lease agreement and could move with ease; or, maybe you’re planning to relocate to the north side of town for personal reasons, like getting married. A south side address would instantly get your CV dismissed before any of this information could be relayed. So consider yourself forewarned!
Relocation Factor: If you’re looking to relocate to a new city, a candidate should note it. Now, one must realize, in order to gain something, you may have to give something up. When my wife and I decided that Atlanta was where we wanted to be, she then resided in Western Pennsylvania and I, in New York City. We both had impressive backgrounds, but for the life of us couldn’t identify why the phone wasn’t ringing. After several months of frustration, we realized, its because of the ‘relocation factor.’ No employer wanted to pay for our relocation. Here’s where you must think outside of the box and showcase to the employer that you’re willing to assume all the risk. Thus, if you live in New York City, but for whatever reason, need to get to Atlanta, add WILLING TO SELF-RELOCATE underneath the town/city you reside. Doing so may diffuse the hiring manager’s quick dismissal of your application if you’re a worthy contender for the job. To add to the irony of it all, if you’re indeed selected for the position, 75% of the time the employer will offer some relocation assistance anyway, in the form of a sign on bonus.
LinkedIn URL: Everyone on this professional social networking platform has a URL associated with their profile. Here are instructions how to customize it -‘ How to customize your LinkedIn Profile.’ My customized URL is https://www.linkedin.com/in/tyronebroxton. This should be listed somewhere on your CV. If not listed with the Top Bun’s information, you could also provide it in the footer section of the page(s).
Condiments can make or break a sandwich. Think about it: Would the Big Mac taste the same without its patented special sauce? Nope! The condiment of your CV is the Executive Summary. This introduction of your professional outlook should be brief, concise and mouth watering. DO NOT use first person tense in this opening statement.
Here’s an example of one of my recent placement’s opening statement…
Highly energetic and dedicated Senior Human Resources professional with exceptional interpersonal and organizational skills that has helped shape high-performing cultures at Fortune 200 & 500 companies. Implement human capital practices that attract and retain high potential talent. Develop current strategies that motivate team members to exceed company goals through economic cycles consistently and on time. Special expertise in building and leading top-performing teams, turning around weak organizations and establishing HR departments from startup. Provide expert advice and counsel to all levels of management on organizational design, compensation and any HR related issues.
One of my favorite things about the burger joint, Five Guys, is that I can add as many toppings as desired, at no additional cost. A critical component that many candidates overlook on their CV are these toppings, which too, can make or break the presentation of your sandwich. It’s here, where you compliment the Condiments (Executive Summary) with onions, tomatoes, pickles, jalapeños and lettuce – better known as, your Functional Core Competencies. These essential skills are critical to your functional knowledge, which hiring managers refer to as “Key Words.” They should be listed as bullets or something similar to the example below in 2-3 columns:
Employment Law | Performance & Talent Management| Succession Planning |Talent Acquisition | Employee & Labor Relations | Change Management | Compensation & Benefits
Unless you’re lactose intolerant, rarely does anyone consume a hamburger without cheese. So what is the cheese on a resume and where does it go? Well, the cheese consists of the Company Name, a Brief Synopsis of the Business, Job Title, Job Location, and Time of Employment (include month and year).
Consider the example below:
HR Consultant, Feb. 2015 – Jan. 2017
MarketSource, Inc., Alpharetta, GA.
Operating company of Allegis Group, the world’s largest privately owned talent acquisition firm generating $10.8B annually. Representative clients include Google, IBM, HP, Avaya and Ford.
5A. MEAT PATTY
The meat of the burger is the protein source which sustains the majority of the sandwich’s nourishment and calories. In the case of a resume, the patty is the most content rich section of the document. Underneath the cheese, it’s essential for candidates to provide clear insight via a prose synopsis of their primary job responsibilities: The number of employees supported and persons managed, titles of stakeholders with whom they partner, whereabouts of or numbers of domestic and international locations supported and title of the person they report to.
Responsible for scheduling production in excess of 53MM cases/year and managing inventory levels for finished goods in the largest supply network. Orchestrate daily product deployments to supply network for 76 warehouses spanning over 17 states and 3,000 employees. Manage sourcing network and provide optimization recommendations. Coordinate launches of limited time offer (LTO) SKUs. Collaborate with warehouse managers to understand supply gaps, thus ensuring sustained superior customer service. Minimize operating costs, inventory investments, and out of stocks (OOS). Work cross-functionally with transport, quality, warehouse, and production teams to drive efficiencies, product supply, and customer service. Report to Vice President of Supply Chain. Manage a team of two direct reports.
Now that the patty has been placed, there is no need to discuss your day-to-day responsibilities any further. The focus must now shift to the sizzling strips of bacon. Here is where you speak to the value add proposition provided to your employer with the listing of quantifiable accomplishments. These should be notated as sentence fragments in a bulleted format. DO NOT use first person tense in the ‘meat patty’ or ‘bacon’ section.
- Improved Employee Insight scores by 18%
- Smithtown location recognized for consecutive quarters in 2011 as Warehouse of the Year
- Achieved savings +$102M/annually through overtime reduction and changes to start-times
- Exceeded 525 consecutive days for no Lost Time Incident (LTI)
- Reduced turn-time from 54 minutes PY to 38.5 minutes (>28%)
6. BOTTOM BUN
Now its time to put the finishing touches on this document with the placement of the bottom bun. This is the least complex portion of the process, yet one not to be taken for granted. Failure to include pertinent details may lead to questions, so handle with care. Included on the bottom bun or at the rear of the resume simply is Education, Certifications, Military Experience (if applicable), Technical Skills, and Volunteerism. Each section should include a bold header followed by the information in plain text.
M.S. – Administration/Organizational Leadership, Michigan State
B.S. – Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Tech
- Certified Benefits Employees Professional
- Senior Professional in Human Resources
- Certified Compensation Professional
ADP | SAP | Kronos | JDA| Peopsoft | Ceridian | Ultipro| iCISMS| Salesforce | Microsoft Suite| Excel – Pivot Tables, VLOOKUPS
Major – United States Army Reserves – May 2000-Present
- Mentor, Boys and Girls Club
- Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity & Meals on Wheels
If you want a Bacon Cheeseburger Resume, check out the Facebook page @mycupoftearesumes for more details!