Using before and after examples of real résumés, expert Kevin Donlin explains how to correct common résumé writing mistakes. Click on the yellow highlighted areas for his comments. Additional commentary is at the bottom of each résumé.
Résumé types: College Executive Technical
Recent College Grad Résumé - BEFORE
No Suite 3333 • New York, NY 10039
Comments: Mary's original résumé was a perfect storm in terms of mistakes - no job objective, no flow, and almost no results, all crammed into one page in miniscule 9-point fonts.
Recent College Grad Résumé - AFTER
No Suite 3333 • New York, NY 10039
Seeking marketing position where five years of consumer marketing experience will add value. Developed successful marketing campaigns for employers in entrepreneurial and established team environments.
•Strong marketing background includes strategic planning, promotional campaign development, market research, market analysis, product and market development and marketing communications.
•Excellent analytical skills. Able to design successful marketing campaigns by using demographic and psychographic information to understand consumer behavior in target markets.
•Increased market more than 60% by developing product awareness campaign in current marketing position for American Cancer Society (2002-present).
•Director said: "Mary has very strong marketing skills and analytical ability. She did an excellent job of on-site selling and brand awareness promotion. She is truly a team player and a positive influence."
Marketing Coordinator, ABC, New York, NY (2002-present).
•Organize group programs at local hospitals, cancer care centers and other appropriate venues.
•Increased volunteer participation 82% by developing and distributing promotional materials at cosmetology trade shows, salons and American Cancer Society-sponsored events.
•Grew number of participating health care providers 60% by developing and executing promotional plan to raise awareness of program at NYC area hospitals and cancer care centers.
•Received Certificates of Recognition for dedication and efforts in growing program (2003 and 2004).
Assistant Consumer Marketing Manager, 123 Publications, New York, NY (2000-2001).
•Raised renewal subscription rate to 75% for Self magazine by launching integrated marketing campaign.
•Spearheaded gift renewal and Christmas gift subscription campaigns for Home & Garden and GQ.
•Rapidly reduced quarterly analysis time 90% by designing spreadsheet system to continuously track campaign results, stock inventory and invoices.
•Played key role in conversion to new fulfillment company and served as fulfillment liaison.
Circulation Marketing Coordinator, XYZ Media, New York, NY (1998-2000).
•Exceeded revenue goals by 25% in first year by organizing and implementing direct mail campaigns. Coordinated distribution channels, including direct mail, newsstands and airports.
•Presented publication and promoted brand awareness to groups of up to 70 venture capitalists and financial executives, primary target audience, at weekly breakfast workshop programs.
•Developed in-house fulfillment system to support subscriber database. Developed and wrote copy for space advertisements and promotional materials.
•As Promotions Coordinator for three publications, designed and wrote copy for inserts, sales pitch letters, house advertisements, e-mail campaigns and other promotional materials.
EXPERIENCE - CONTINUED
Marketing Intern, XYZ Magazines, New York, NY (1997).
•Developed value-added programs supporting advertising efforts in target markets for Victoria magazine.
•Wrote copy for promotional materials and performed competitive analyses.
Consumer Marketing Intern, 123 Publications, New York, NY (1995 and 1996).
•Prepared subscriber list analysis spreadsheets, proofread promotional materials and catalogued direct mail campaign viewbooks (1996).
•As Promotions Intern for Bride World's magazine, trafficked advertisements and gathered research for merchandising presentations (1995).
•Columbia University: Business Careers Initiative Certificate (pre-MBA program), New York, NY (2002). Courses included marketing, economics, accounting, finance and statistics.
•Dartmouth College: Bachelor of Arts, History, Hanover, NH (1998). Twice awarded for outstanding scholastic achievement (1997-1998). Studied in Blois, France and St. Augustine, Trinidad (1996 and 1997). Lead Actor and Director in multiple stage productions (1994-1998).
•Harvard Business School: Summer Venture in Management Program, Boston, MA (1997). Sponsored by Hearst Magazines.
•Aveda Institute: Cosmetology Program, New York, NY (2003-2004). Completed course work for license to practice cosmetology for American Cancer Society. Internship at Edris Salon, New York, NY.
•Appointed as Advertising Sales Co-Chair (2004-present) and Advertising Sales Manager (2003-2004), New York Junior League. Increased ad revenues 47% by reorganizing sales team.
•Member, National Association for Female Executives (2002-present).
•Member, Cosmetic Executive Women (2002-present).
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Comments: It may surprise you to learn that Mary was searching for a marketing position with her original résumé. That objective is made clear from the start of this version.
By going on to a second page, we were able to tell her full story and include enough specific results to make the phone ring with job offers.
Notice that her Education section comes near the end of this version, while it had been first section in her original. By putting the more valuable, more relevant information first -- in this case, her experience -- we helped Mary put her best foot forward.