A simple, 5-step formula for an effective resume that gets interviews.

The One Resume Writing Method You're Probably Not Using
Photo by Matt Palmer

This is a guest post by Andrew Rondeau.

What is the aim of a resume?

To get an invite for an interview.

That’s it.


So how do you get that invite?

By ensuring that your resume sells you. It should be a sales advert for you and the easiest way to do that is via your skills and your achievements.

Research shows that if you get your resume right, you could actually boost your starting salary by 15%! Isn’t that reason enough to invest some time and get it right?

Avoid being in the majority

I get to see hundreds of resumes every week and the vast majority of them are just a list of educational courses, exam results and jobs. That’s it. No selling of themselves.

If you do not shout about your skills and achievements, how will employees know about them?

Does your resume include any of the following: (check all that apply)

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Here’s a sure-fire way to get your resume right

This is how you write a simple yet effective resume for your next job:

  1. Make a list of courses and jobs you’ve taken or done, including any voluntary work
  2. List the skills that each course and job gave you
  3. Add your achievements using each skill
  4. Include specific facts and figures to make your achievements quantifiable
  5. Then flesh out this information to create your resume

Focus on where you have had success

For example, let’s say you worked in a call centre of some sort. Instead of just writing:

“IT Helpdesk Advisor, February to May 2008”,

Add the skills as well:

“Knowledge of numerous IT packages including…”

“Calm collective approach to customers when dealing with a crisis”

Add the achievements as well:

“Gained teamwork skills as part of the team of five, led the team as stand-in for Team Leader in their absence”

“Increased first-time customer complaint resolution rate”

Adding facts: a unique approach

Use the cover letter to tell the story, the resume to tell the facts.

In my experience, by far the biggest gap in resumes is the inclusion of facts. Individuals just do not include them. An easy way to approach this is to say “So what?” after each statement and see what facts you can add.

Let’s use this achievement statement as an example:

“Increased first-time customer complaint resolution rate”

Ask “So what?”

A better statement would be:

“Increased first-time resolution rate for all customer calls from 65% to 82%”

Let’s ask again – “So what?”

An even better statement would be:

“Increased first-time resolution rate for all customer calls from 65% to 82% saving support team members 1 hour per day”

“So what?”

How does this grab you:

“Increased first-time resolution rate for all customer calls from 65% to 82% saving support team members 1 hour per day and enabling costs to be reduced by $10k per month”

If you were the hiring employer, which version of the above would you rather be reading?

We could wordsmith the last statement to improve it even further but you get my point. As the employer, this statement gives me much more information about the individual.

One point about resume facts that you shouldn’t overlook- ensure that your resume is accurate and not exaggerated. Overselling or lying will only backfire on you in the future.

Keep it simple

So you have the content, now how do you want your resume to look?

Simple and legible is the answer:

  • Use a 12-point Arial font
  • Make it short, no more than 2 pages
  • Check for spelling and grammar mistakes, such as by using Grammarly. A spelling or grammatical error can land your resume at the bottom of the pile or even the bin, and I find it hard to see my own mistakes.
  • I also always get other people to read my resume before I send it out.

It can be even better

Tailor your resume depending upon the role you are applying for.

Your resume should cover the skills and behaviours required in the job description. Link your experience / skills / achievements / facts with the job description and show the employer that you have the skills they are looking for.

For example, if the job description is asking for a dedicated individual who is reliable and could work in a team, make sure your resume covers these points.

A final word

If you are looking for a new job, and you are not too sure what to include in your resume, think about the skills and behaviours you have portrayed in your successes.

Remember- do not just fill up your resume, fill it up with relevant examples that show off your skills, achievements and successes.

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About the Author

Andrew RondeauAndrew Rondeau transformed himself from a $4 an-hour petrol-pump attendant to a highly successful Senior Manager earning $500k every year.

READ NEXT: 9 Tips for a Surprisingly Helpful Hobbies & Interests Resume Section

Subscribe to JobMob via RSS or email and follow me on Twitter for the job search questions you should be asking yourself.

Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 37 Comments

  1. GreatManagement


    Just to let you know (and everyone else), if I were to win this competition, I shall donate the winnings to a breast cancer charity.


  2. Michael Miles

    Great post! Good advice. The idea of a USP (unique selling point) is so important.

  3. Gamy Rachel

    Hey Andrew, you have my vote! Great post!

    My Best
    Gamy Rachel

  4. GreatManagement

    Michael / Gamy / Hellen,

    Thanks for voting for this posting, I really appreciate it.


  5. Hellen Masereka


    you are definitely going to make ,i am glad you have this is a great idea i wish you luck and count on me for a vote.

  6. Collins


    You have my vote. A laudable venture.

  7. GreatManagement

    Collins, Thank you, I appreciate your vote and comments.

    Diann, glad the posting is helping and good luck.


  8. diann

    my resume needs help so I am going to use some of Andrews suggestions

  9. tracy mason

    great post

  10. GreatManagement


    Thanks for commenting.


  11. Keeley

    Great post and great advice that will be remembering and passing on to my friends and family. Well done and thanks.

  12. Zainal Abidin

    Thank you for broader my mind- scope in writing a resume.


  13. Tideus

    Good work, Andrew! I will surely share your great idea to my friends.

  14. Dewi

    Great work.

  15. GreatManagement

    Keeley, Zainal, Tideus and Dewi,

    Thanks for your comments – they make it all worthwhile.


  16. Scot Herrick

    Hiring managers want people who have had accomplishments. With the accomplishments on the resume, not only are you more likely to get the interview, but when in the interview the discussion will most like by about your accomplishments.

    Having the stories about how the accomplishments came about will really differentiate you from other candidates.

    Getting your accomplishments on the resume is the critical first step. Great advice, as always, Andrew!

  17. Mj

    Useful ideas. I worked at recruitment & selection, and definitively I can say that a resume whith the characteristics above-mentioned would stand out.

    You have my vote, Andrew!

  18. GreatManagement

    Scot / Mij,

    Glad you agree and thanks for your support.


  19. Pingback: The Secret “So What?” Method To Resume Writing Success (And raising money for charity) | Strategist.org.uk

  20. Robert Long

    I’d go for a 11pt font as it comes over large enough but neat and tidy. Good piece – good luck with the contest.

  21. greatmanagement


    Thanks for commenting.

    11pt is fine as well! Just 12 is my preference. I wouldn’t throw your resume in the bin just becasue it was 11pt! :))


  22. Mike

    Any angle we can use to gain benefit for charity is admirable, you have my vote.

  23. GreatManagement


    Thanks for taking the time out to visit and comment.


  24. Jacob Share

    Thanks to everyone for commenting and showing their support.

    Scot- you’re right but I would take it further. Hiring managers want people who can help them. Knowing you’ve had success in similar situations will only make you more valuable in their eyes.

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  26. Resumes

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  28. Nigel

    For me check all that apply does not work on the vote. It seems to only allow for one.

    1. Jacob Share

      Thanks for noticing that, Nigel! I updated the poll and you can now submit multiple answers as I had originally intended.

Leave a Reply to Scot Herrick Cancel reply