In a very competitive job market, you need your resume to land on the top of the pile. So what do you need to do to get it there?

Resume writing has progressed from the days of opening with an objective statement (focused on what you are seeking) and employment history (focused on job duties and tasked performed) to a summary (giving the employer an overview of your skills and abilities) and accomplishments (quantifying the difference you have made).

To help prevent your resume from landing in the trash, look at the following to see if your information needs to be updated or modernized:Steps to Help Save Your Resume from the Trash.

Contact Information – Look at your email address. If it isn’t professional – partygirl@myemail or hikingdude@myemail – change it. A wise choice is to use version of your name – firstlast@myemail or firstinitiallast@myemail. Are you on LinkedIn? If you are, include your LinkedIn URL.  If your not using LinkedIn, you should be. Read more here:

Focus on One Target Position —  Your document needs to clearly communicate your career goal and relay your qualifications. Rather than stating, “Seeking challenging position as HVAC Technician with an established company offering an opportunity for future growth” use  a summary that sells your skills. An example would be: Career reflects more than 15 years’ experience installing HVAC systems for residential and commercial projects.”

Use Relevant Experience – Leave off information that isn’t related or is meaningless to an employer. If you aren’t seeking another position as carpet cleaner, leave off those early career days when you worked for a carpet cleaning business. You are fully versed in MS Office 97 but how many companies still use this version? Focus on information relevant to the position you are seeking.

Achievements – It’s great that you ran that 5K in 12 minutes or that you took first place at the local pie eating contest, but this type of information shouldn’t be used on your resume. Focus on the employer’s needs and your skills relevant to those needs. Look for areas where you made an impact. Where you saved the company money or increased quality, productivity, or profits. Those are the achievements employers are interested in seeing.

Leave Off Personal Attributes and Interests – Your picture, birth date, marital status, religious affiliation, and/or hobbies are not included on a professional resume. Yes, there are exceptions to the rule (depending on the career field) but, for the vast majority, it is wise to leave this type of information off of your resume.

Sparkle – You want to stand out from amongst other job candidates but let your content and format do the talking. Leave the fancy fonts, formats and brightly colored paper for someone else. They may get noticed but as the talk of the office and not as a viable candidate to interview. Those fancy fonts and formats do not upload well to job boards or company career sites anyway.

If you need help developing or polishing your resume, Breakthrough Resume Writing Service is a virtual (online) business that offers assistance to people from around the globe. From the privacy of your own home and on your timetable, you can contact Tammy at

About the Author:

Tammy Shoup, Executive Resume Writer and Career Strategist, is among a small number of professional résumé writers in the U.S. who has earned the title of  Certified Professional Résumé Writer from the Professional Association of Résumé Writers / Career Coaches.

Shoup is also a member of the National Résumé Writers’ Association and Career Directors International. Her activity in both organizations ensures that her knowledge of industry and employment trends remains current. It also indicates her dedication to continuing education in her industry. Her work is published in both JIST and Barron’s career books.
Please review Shoup’s information at www.breakthroughrésumé or or inquire directly to Tammy Shoup at

Wishing you the best in your job search campaign! †