The Recipe of Success Print E-mail

I love to cook. I find cooking to be a creative outlet that allows me to prepare food for the enjoyment of my dinner guests. What I am always aiming to do is please my guests and whip up a dish that they enjoy. Some people like things spicy hot, some like things more sweet. Knowing my guests’ preferences helps me to tweak the ingredients to ensure a happy (and well fed) group. When I am hosting a dinner party or an event, or just making a simple dinner for friends or family, I want to ensure that I am making things that they want to eat, not just want I like to eat.

Please the Reader for More Interviews

The same can be true when writing a resume. What we find too many times with self-written resumes, is that job seekers will jot down their education, experience and highlights, review it, perhaps tweak some of the words, read it top to bottom, smile, and then sit back and say, “Yes, that’s me on paper, that’s all very factual.” Then it is sent out to positions for which the person is well qualified, only to hear the deafening silence that comes when no one contacts you about a job.

So what is the problem? Why isn’t someone contacting this talented and experienced job seeker about a possible job opportunity? The resume states all the information correctly, contains some buzz words, and even has some highlights. WHAT’S WRONG? It can be as simply as this: The cook has made a dish to her/his liking, but not to the tastes of the dinner guests. The cook has made a sweet dish, and everyone attending dislikes a sweet main course and was expecting something spicy hot.

You Don't Need to Impress Yourself, Just the Reader!

It is the same with our job seeker. He/she created a resume which pleases him/her, and contains the information and data that the job seeker likes most. FIVE bullets about a project that took 8 months to complete and required lots of blood, sweat and tears to get completed. This was the job seeker’s ‘baby’ and just like a proud parent, the job seeker wants to tell everyone about the little darling who says and does the cutest things. But for most people, hearing every detail about that child’s development is a bit tedious. Sure, some points are cute and peak our interest, but not everything. That’s why those FIVE bullet points about the project should be cut down to just one or two. Remember: write for the READER, not for yourself.

We are very mindful of this here at While of course we want our clients to be happy with their new resume written by us, ultimately, we are really trying to impress the READER: the hiring manager, the recruiter, the decision maker. We poll more than 1,000 recruiters and HR personnel twice a year to get their feedback as to what their likes and dislikes are concerning resumes. And our staff then crafts documents that reflect that consensus.

If you are writing your own resume, remember to keep your audience in mind, and that writing for the reader (not you) is what brings results. You may need to tweak your resume with that in mind so you end up with the perfect recipe for success!