Getting to the Point Gets the Job | Ladders

Getting to the Point Gets the Job

The resume of a Ph.D. nutritionist was so lean, mean and focused, the recruiter gobbled her up.

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She got right to the point, and it got her the job.

“Seeking to add value to health and wellness field — highly connected and motivated leader,” her resume title read.

That’s the kind of directness Wayne Weiner was looking for. Weiner, a recruiter and owner of Bella Business Solutions, in Washington, D.C., picked the resume out of a pile of some 500 others, cherrypicking the woman it described as one of three top picks for a position as PhD nutritionist at a teaching hospital in Boston.

Wouldn’t it be nice to understand the hiring manager’s brain? What lights up their synapses when they look at a resume? Weiner was kind enough to give us his take on this document. Read on for an inside look at one example of what catches recruiters’ attention.

Don’t waste space blabbing about career goals

Weiner loved that the nutritionist didn’t waste time describing her career goals. “You kind of get lost in the shuffle when you do that,” he said, referring to when people describe at length what they want instead of what a potential employer needs and how their skills align with those needs.

“She got right to the point,” Weiner said. “I was looking for specific, distinct markers in the resume that tells me a.) she knows what she’s talking about and b.) [that her] language is crisp… I could tell, ‛Ah ha! … I want to spend time on her resume.'”

Key terms

Weiner was searching for the key term “Health Advisor,” and that’s what he found.

His client, the teaching hospital, had also charged him with finding candidates who could create a department that hadn’t previously existed. The hospital needed a health advisor who could gauge the hospital’s exercise facilities and other infrastructure, knowledgeably interact with the staff, and even assess how people might get the exercise they need using the institution’s facilities.

The successful candidate communicated how she would fit the bill, and she did it succinctly, right at the top of the resume, in a section directly under her title. Here’s how that section reads:

Highlights of Qualifications: Versatile and High-Energy Public and Community Health Advisor, Corporate Wellness Leader, Health Communications Specialist, and Health Behavior Theorist with directorial and research experience with public and private employers. Proven ability to plan, implement, and evaluate innovative employee and community health programs that target diverse populations. Nine-plus years in Federal Government Sector. Conducts community outreach and health education with diverse populations. Expertise in strategic planning, alliance building, and integration of programs. Interfaces with media and is known in her circles for success in Public Relations results and Information Dissemination.

Another key term in the qualifications summary was “Federal Government Sector.” It spoke to a background that could help her work not only with the local community, Weiner said, but in seeking out federal grants for the teaching hospital.

The candidate also backed up this crucial bit of her background in a separate section below, titled “Technical Skills/Proficiencies/Published Articles + Interviews,” where she listed it as a bulleted item:

  • Advisor to Federal Government (OPM/NIH/CDC) on worksite health policy and worksite health programs

She then fleshed out the government background in the “Experience” section, in her listing as Founder and Director of a Center for Employee Wellness and Health Promotion:

  • Serves as NIH or NHLBI representative on High-Profile Advisory groups on worksite health promotion, including the NIH Working Group for Work/Life, manifested in report to First Lady Obama with our best practices — NHLBI was the only Institute at NIH (among 27) to be included in this report.

Quantifiables

Note that the candidate drilled down from the very high level – the keyword (“Federal Government Sector”), which quickly grabbed Weiner’s attention – into a bullet item that fleshed out the proficiency, and finally into a granular description that includes quantifiable measurements of what she accomplished (the report to First Lady Obama).

Most candidates need more quantifiables like that. This candidate, however, needed fewer, Weiner said. In fact, candidates with such a depth of experience need to avoid deluging resume readers with a flood of information. After all, Weiner said, most will only spend less than a minute on a resume.

In determining what to cut from the resume before presenting it to his client, Weiner focused on weeding out “anything redundant with experience she stated before.”