Resume Writing Tips

I am constantly asked to review provide insight or feedback regarding resumes.  The way I see it is that resumes are working documents, and should ideally be specifically detailed, and in line with a position you are pursuing.  I personally believe that every person should have several resumes, which can be tailored or modified to fit a given title, or role you might be pursuing for your next career move.

Please understand that when recruiters or hiring officials review resumes they are ideally looking for specific experiences, or responsibilities that they need for an open position.  HR representatives spend quite a bit of time screening out resumes, based on the alignment to the position description. If someone sends a resume to a hiring official, recruiter or screener, without considering the needs or position description, than it is unlikely they will have interest in pursuing a conversation, or meeting with that candidate.

Here are some general guidelines and some links to other resources regarding resume writing.  There are firms that specialize in writing resumes, when using these, I recommend you pick a person or firm who has writing resumes for others in your field and/or industry of specialization. Screen/Interview them before you commit to paying a fee.  Sometimes search/placement firms will help draft or edit a resume, but more often than not, you are typically the one who pulls this information together and drafts the resume.

General Guidelines:

A typical resume of an executive should be one to two pages at the most.

My preference is to see chronological versus functional resumes, so I can quickly align the responsibilities to a given role, I prefer not to see a summary, other than the specific position you are pursuing when sending that resume out.

You can have a one page version with brief information in a header that includes contact information, then a chronological listing that includes Date/Company/Title for every role you have held. Then finish off by noting degrees, business related memberships, industry association and or board participation, and finally something regarding references will be provided upon request.

For the 2 or more page detailed version, the primary focus of the resume is to provide contact information, specific company information, dates and title held with a quick and succinct overview of the scope of responsibility of the position held.  This should typically be several sentences with specifics regarding who you report(ed) to, who reported to you and the scope of responsibility held.  This should be consistent with every position held.

Next you should include Education, Industry or Functional Board participation, or association memberships to provide broader insight to the breadth and depth of experience beyond traditional corporate duties.  Key words should also be used for resumes posted on job sites, or on Social Media sites, so that hiring sources or recruiters will identify your resume through searches.

here are some additional sources which you may find helpful….


Please keep in mind that if you ask 30 people to provide you with insight or feedback regarding your resume, you may get 30 different perspectives.  The information provided above should get you started in the right direction. 

Best success

Chuck Morris, CEO