Job Search and Placement Assistance
Want to see how not to write your resume? Try these Sample Resumes


I've been recruiting quite a few years, and I see a LOT of resumes. If you want to know what I look for in a resume, read on!


I scan resumes quickly, since time is money, and I can see 200 or  more in a day. If I see anything that is confusing, misleading, or incomplete, the resume gets canned. Have someone else read your resume and see how quickly they can sum up the information. Here are the most common resume killers:

  • Degree: If you have a completed 4 year degree, don't hide it. Put it at the top of your resume, and include your graduation date, your gpa (if it's 3.0 or above), and your major. I absolutely HATE it when folks list a school, a date, and a course of study, but don't indicate whether they actually finished their degree! Be sure you list Bachelor's, Associate or Master's degree in black and white on the resume.
  • Work record: List your dates of employment. If you don't, it looks like you are hiding something, and I don't have time for that. There is no way to judge your work history - for all I know, each job could have been held for 6 weeks!
  • Job titles: List your job titles, please! Don't make me guess, because I probably won't bother. Don't try and guess what an employer wants to see. Just list your job title.
  • Job descriptions: Please list your responsibilities and accomplishments for each job. Tell what you do, how many you manage, what your budget responsibilities were, etc. If you don't put it on paper, it never happened.
  • Company descriptions: Include a brief description of what each employer on your resume does. Yes, I could Google them all, but I don't have time for that. Something short, like "A $60 million producer of food ingredients", or "Tier 1 provider of metal stampings" will do the trick. Is the company privately owned, or a subsidiary of a larger corporation? That is helpful as well. Client companies are often looking for specific industry experience, and if I can't see it from your resume quickly, you may get passed over.
  • ALL CAPS: Everybody hates reading a resume in all caps. Everything looks the same, and it is very hard to figure out what is what. Will I bother to retype it so it looks presentable? No.
  • Layout: If your resume is overcrowded, confusing, or poorly laid out, it will probably not catch my attention. Organize your resume so that it is easy to read and understand. If you have been with a company for some time, list the company along with the dates you have been there. Then break that down by listing each position held, the dates for each position, and the job description for each.


That's about it! You have a minute or less to impress me or catch my attention. That 3 page cover letter you send? I probably won't read it, at least, not until later. However, if you have a good resume that is laid out properly with good information, that will definitely get my attention. It's like being a model going to a club dressed in ratty, ill-fitting clothes with bad hair - you won't get in the door. Dress an average-looking person in designer fashion, and in you go! Dressing for success starts with your resume. Pull it out and take a hard look at it - would you hire someone who sent a resume that looks like yours? If not, fix it! Just be sure that EVERYTHING on your resume is factual.

2009, All Rights Reserved. is a production of Donnelson and Bond Recruiting LLC, Council Bluffs, Iowa.