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Seattle, WA 98116

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Tandem Powered offers a full suite of Professional Resume Writing, Career Development, and HR / Business Consulting services.


Tandem Powered's blog is dedicated to empowering readers by highlighting best practices in the arena of resume writing, career development, and organizational effectiveness, as well as by providing readers with an insider's view of the corporate hiring process.

The Role Of The Resume

Kent Nolen

A resume alone will not get you a job. A range of factors – such as interviewing skills – enter into the equation. Also, many factors outside of your control are at work. Is there especially heavy competition in your field?  What’s the economy like in your area?

More and more, an outstanding resume is a prerequisite – a non-negotiable factor that renders you “fit” to embark on a job search.  Look at it this way... If you don’t have a top-notch resume, you aren’t even at ground zero in terms of job search preparedness.  It may sound depressing, but it’s true.

People are always expecting to hear me say that a resume is the magic ingredient. There is no magic ingredient. I will say this, though… A great resume + a vast professional network + killer interviewing skills = a pretty formidable equation.

I can't stop thinking about how, recently, I saw a resume on which the writer compared herself to a wine that gets better with age. It's easy to have a laugh over something like that, but there's an unfortunate reality. Her qualifications were stellar and including that declaration was a mistake that could have cost her the job.

Unfortunately, doing something – like comparing yourself to a wine – is oftentimes a deal breaker. Reviewers just can't get past it. Hiring managers will typically say something such as "If she says that on her resume, what might she say to a client..."

I've gotten into these types of things before, as I am regularly asked questions that fall into this realm. Although I've seen some strange things happen, the best advice I can give is to stick to the most accepted conventions when putting your resume together.

Recently, when I was on a panel at a conference, I mentioned that it's best not to deviate from the norm. I was asked "How do I communicate that I'm special – that I bring something different to the table."  The most effective way to do that is via your accomplishments. Showcasing what you've achieved for previous employers – and, therefore, what you'll likely do for the next – is the best strategy.