If you’ve ever taken an English or literature class, you’ve heard this phrase before. So, if it’s important to remember when writing essays, novels, and articles, wouldn’t it be important to remember when writing your recruiting resume? Laura Morsch, author of ''25 Words that Hurt Your Resume,'' thinks so. In fact, she’s compiled a list of examples from resume writing master Scott Bennett, who wrote The Elements of Resume Style, to help you write a recruiting resume with style.
But along with showing versus telling, other tips that Bennett offers include focusing your resume, writing how you speak, and revealing gaps in your work history (if you have them). So, let’s get started.
Writing a Recruiting Resume That Gets Results: Showing versus Telling
If you were someone looking to hire a recruiter, which resume would say, ''I’m competent and qualified for the position''? Bennett shares the following examples:
- ''Excellent written communication skills'' OR ''Wrote jargon-free User Guide for 11,000 users.''
- ''Team player with cross-functional awareness'' OR ''Collaborated with clients, A/R, and Sales to increase speed of receivables and prevent interruption of service to clients.''
- ''Demonstrated success in analyzing client needs'' OR ''Created and implemented comprehensive needs assessment mechanism to help forecast demand for services and staffing.''
Writing a Recruiting Resume That Gets Results: Focusing Your Resume
As Bennett writes in The Elements of Resume Style, ''Sending an…excellent but poorly targeted resume is like sending an expensive box of hand-made chocolates to people with diabetes who cannot eat sweets. Effective targeting increases the response rate.''
So what does this mean? ''Identify and evaluate targets before you send your resume.'' One of the most important things to do is to figure out where you want to work and what you want to do before you send out your resume. Often times, Bennett says, people will mass mail their resume to companies they haven’t researched. This is a mistake.
''Once you have identified organizations where you might want to work, forget about whether they are hiring. Learn more about them, and if you see a potential fit (i.e., if you believe your skills and enthusiasm can add value), then send them a thoughtfully prepared inquiry letter and resume tout de suite.''
Writing a Recruiting Resume That Gets Results: Writing How You Speak
Don’t try to use flowery language when simple language will do. Often times, using these ''fancy'' words hinders what you’re trying to say. One way to keep from using unnecessary language is to ask yourself, ''would I actually say that?'' If the answer is no, then cut it out.
Bennett’s example: ''Write ‘use,’ not ‘utilize.’'' (If you really say ‘utilize,’ cut it out.)
What about ''craft'' versus ''write''; which would you say?
- ''Crafted well-written business letters'' OR ''Wrote detailed business letters''
Writing a Recruiting Resume That Gets Results: Revealing Gaps in Your Work History
Lies, as you know, come back to haunt you. It’s no different on your recruiting resume. While adding false information on your recruiting resume is frowned upon, so is eliminating necessary information — like gaps in your work history. As Bennett says in Elements, ''Real people sometimes have gaps in their work history. Don’t hide them.''
Instead, use them to your advantage. Gaps in employment could, for example, spark the interest of a reader: Why were you out of work? What did you do in between jobs? What did you learn? If your reader is thinking all these things, then be prepared to answer them during an interview.
These are the kinds of things that humanize you — not everyone has a perfect work history. And, according to Bennett, it’s better to reveal that than to hide it.
Final Thoughts on Your Recruiting Resume
Thanks to Scott Bennett, author of The Elements of Resume Style, you’ve discovered how ''showing, not telling''; focusing your resume; writing like you speak; and revealing the necessary information on your recruiting resume can transform your resume into one that will not only land you an interview but your future job as well.