The six cardinal rules of resume writing

By Wendy S. Enelow, CareerJournal.com |  Career

  • Directed the planning, staffing, budgeting and operations of a four-site logistics and warehousing operation for this $650 million automotive products distributor. Scope of responsibility was diverse and included all purchasing, vendor management, materials handling, inventory control, distribution planning and field delivery operations. Managed a staff of 55 through six supervisors. Controlled a $6.5 million annual operating budget.

  • Introduced continuous improvement and quality management programs throughout the organization. Results included a 25% increase in daily productivity and 64% increase in customer satisfaction.
  • Spearheaded cost-reduction initiatives that reduced labor costs by 18%, overtime by 34% and material waste by 42%.
  • Renegotiated key vendor contracts for a 28% reduction over previous-year costs.
  • Prospective employers who read this description can sense the scope and results of the manager's experience. Remember, recruiters won't read between the lines for relevant information if you don't spell it out.

    And if positions you held 15, 20 or 30 years ago aren't relevant to your current career path, delete or briefly summarize them at the end. For example, "Previous professional employment includes several increasingly responsible management positions with the ABC Co. and XYZ Corp." Whether you include your dates of employment depends on your circumstances.

    5. Focus

    A resume doesn't work if readers can't quickly grasp who a candidate is and what he or she seeks to do. For instance, it's likely that Mr. Runyan baffled readers with his objective: "Seeking a position where I can contribute to the growth of a corporation."

    "In my recruiting practice, if I receive a resume and can't immediately tell what the person does or what he wants, I'm finished with it," says Peter Newfield, president of Retail Search of America and Career Resumes in Golden Bridge, N.Y. "I just don't have the time."

    Clearly and directly state who you are, with either of these strategies:

    Strategy 1: Write a clear, well-defined objective. For example, you might say something like, "Seeking a challenging management position directing sales and marketing for a high-growth consumer products company."

    Strategy 2: Omit an objective and start with a "summary" or "career profile" instead. Unlike an objective, which states what you want, a summary describes what you know and quickly grabs readers' attention. For example:

      SENIOR SALES & MARKETING EXECUTIVE

    Building Revenues & Market Share Throughout Global Business Markets

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