Is Your Resume the Victim of Complacency?

I am currently reading  Collapse of Distinction (which is by the way a great book) by Scott McKain.  McKain discusses how a failure to be distinct not only destroys business but a career.  There are many lessons to be drawn from the book, and I definitely recommend it for entrepreneurs and employees but today I want to discuss one line – “Familiarity breeds complacency.”

As I read that line, I realized how that statement applies to that time tested document we love to hate, the resume.

The resume has been around for so many years that we take it for granted. We incorrectly assume that if it’s neat, and free of typos the job is done. Many have even declared it irrelevant and obsolete.  Love it or hate it, it remains a relevant and necessary tool in your job search.

The example below is one of the better “before” resumes I see each day.  This is one page of a two page resume.


Below is the revised “after” version of the same page.


In evaluating “after” samples, many job seekers look only at the visual layout. While that is a crucial element, the content, order of information, and aligning your presentation to a targeted job are equally important.

Your resume is so much more than a statement of your job history. It is a presentation of your distinction. We see the end result and may fail to grasp the more subtle elements that were used to develop the resume which include:

  • The resume is specifically tailored to an individual and their unique brand
  • It is targeted to a specific job and work culture
  • The document captures both the business value and personality of the job seeker
  • It only contains relevant, high impact information

Your resume functions like a company brochure. It presents high value information and encourages the reader to take action.  If you have been guilty of taking this document for granted, it’s time to take a new look at this tried and true marketing tool.

If you need help with your resume, check out our resume E-book.