Writing Resumes for Recruiters

Company recruiters need to quickly answer two questions: Is this person qualified? Should I forward this to the hiring manager? Your job is to write your resume so they answer "Yes!" to both questions.

Six rules will get you started:

1. Use accomplishment verbs. The resume is the worst place to use weak verbs or sleep-inducing passive voice.

weak verb and passive voice:

Training seminars were put together for clear writing.

accomplishment verb and active voice:

I organized seminars to train people to write clearly.

2. Use incomplete sentences. The subject, I (that is, you), is always implied.


I organized seminars to train people to write clearly.

incomplete but preferred:

Organized seminars to train people to write clearly.

3. Use the good stuff. Include only entries that highlight a capability or an accomplishment.

bland stuff:

The company offered my negotiations seminar to new managers.

good stuff:

Developed a negotiations seminar for new managers.

4. Avoid spelling errors. One error justifies deleting your resume. It's that simple.

5. Avoid pompous fluff. Consider the following text:

Self-motivated, hands-on team player with a proven track record in adding value.

Now answer the question: Would you keep reading this?

6. Avoid irrelevant data. Personal data (gender, age, race, health, marital status) present legal problems for employers. Don't include it. Also omit salary information as well as associations not directly relevant to the job.

Apply these six rules to this resume:

Name . Address . Email . Phone


Training Coordinator, St. Mary's College, San Antonio, Texas 2017 - 2021

  • Enrolled employees in training classes and prepared facilities for presentations.

  • A new class in conflict resolution was set up for department administrators.

  • Employee participation in training classes varied with staff size.

Assistant Manager, Barnes & Noble Bookstore, San Antonio, Texas 2014 - 2017

  • I managed inventory for books, music CDs, calendars, and magazines.

  • Lead book discussion groups and arranged author events.

  • Results driven people person promoted twice.


Associate of Arts, St. Philips College, San Antonio, Texas 2013

Diploma, San Houston High School, San Antonio, Texas 2009


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Religious Advisor, Hash House Harriers of San Antonio