A personnel consultant shares advice for resume writing in this short debut book.
The resume—often misunderstood and frequently maligned—is a basic tool for anyone seeking a job which virtually every employer uses to screen applicants. In this book, Janssen demonstrates what makes a resume good or bad, offering the perspectives of the more than 100 human resource professionals he surveyed. The author covers the obvious, offering tips on gathering the appropriate information, types of resumes, format, and content, but readers can easily learn about these elements elsewhere. Of greater interest are the chapters that delve into resume nuances, such as how to use bullet points, “the heart and soul of your resume and your opportunity to brag about yourself and your accomplishments.” Also useful is Janssen’s overview of personal branding, in which he describes how to write a “branding statement” and discusses how one can protect one’s own brand, particularly online: “Employers have reviewed social media accounts of current employees so be mindful of that. Your reputation takes a lifetime to develop and a moment to ruin.” Interestingly, he says that most HR professionals he surveyed didn’t think a cover letter “made a difference in their perception of the candidate.” Still, Janssen endorses its use so that one may list the attributes that one brings to a specific position; he also believes that the resume itself should be tailored to the job for which one is applying. But although such tips are useful, the chapters lack detail and are far too short (with some no more than a page and a half), suggesting that the topic might have been expanded to include other aspects of applying for a job, such as interviewing. The “Exhibits” at the end of the book, however, may be the book’s most useful portion; in them, the author provides five templates for specific cover letters and 10 detailed examples of resumes with different formats and content types.
A guide that doesn’t cover much new ground but nicely lays out the basics of resume writing in simple language with valuable examples.