RESUMES 101 – Marketing Yourself in the Job Search
04 Dec 2014

RESUMES 101 – Marketing Yourself in the Job Search

Think of your resume as a marketing tool.  It should highlight what you’ll bring to a new company, by way of knowledge, skills, and abilities.  Don’t over complicate or over simplify it, and you CAN use more than one page!

Choose an easy to read layout.  MS Office online offers several different templates that you can modify.  Remember, this isn’t the time to go nuts with the fonts or colors.  Your goal is to clearly communicate why a hiring manager or recruiter should give you a call.  You’re not trying to tell them everything about you in one document, you’re trying to entice them to start a conversation with you.  Proper utilization of bold and italic fonts are encouraged.

The objective section.  In my opinion, you should consider removing this section altogether as I feel it just takes up space.  Most recruiters look right past this section.  Yes, we know you are looking for a job.  Yes, we know you would like a job with growth, and one that allows you to utilize your knowledge, skills, and abilities – instead let’s get to what those KSA’s are.  My biggest issue with this section is some people go further and list the exact position they’re looking for.  What does this accomplish?  I assume you’re interested in the role for which you applied, no need to list the job title.  Also, what if you forget to edit this title for the next job?  I see this all the time, “I am looking for a Medical Device Sales Position.”  Well, you just applied for an inside sales role with an IT company?  No attention to detail – Red Flag!  Instead of an objectives section, consider a career highlights section.  Don’t go overboard, just a clear section of bullet points will get the job done.

Organization of your work history – reverse chronological order.  Please don’t get fancy and organize your resume by relevant experience or leave gaps when your work at the time was unrelated to the position for which you are now applying.  Simply list each position, most recent first, clearly showing the dates of employment.  List the name of the company and your job title.  I appreciate it if a candidate also adds a short sentence about what the company does.  This saves the recruiter time when he/she is first scanning the resume, giving him/her an idea of specific industry experience.  For each position, list 3-5 bullet points highlighting what you did in each role. Think – to the point, keywords.  What is it that the job post was asking for?  Make sure your resume utilizes the same keywords when relevant.


  1. If you completed college – In this section you will simply list the college or university you attended, the date you graduated, and the degree you earned.  (Same for advanced degrees – reverse chronological order please.)
  2. If you have completed some college – List the dates of your education and the coursework you completed.  Specifically, if you took a marketing course for example and you are applying for a sales position.  This would be relevant.  (List high school – no dates please)
  3. If you are still in school – List some of your relevant coursework and your anticipated graduation date.  If you’re completing your coursework online or at night you may want to mention this, as it would not directly interfere with your work schedule.  (List high school – no dates please)
  4. If you did not further your education after high school, list the school you graduated from but not the date you graduated.  You may also want to list any on the job training you received, ie. Workshops, training courses, etc.

A few more points…

  1. Did you apply for a position outside of your area?  People apply to positions out of their area for all sorts of reasons, many that don’t include the willingness to relocate.  So, if you are willing to relocate – just say it.
  2. Consider adding a cover letter.  This may be a requirement, so double check the job posting.  Even if it’s optional, it can be an additional tool for marketing yourself in the job search.
  3. Should you have more than one version of your resume?  Yes, this can be a good idea.  If you are applying to different types of positions, you’ll want to use different bullet points under some of your work experience.  For example, if you’ve done technical work in the past but are considering technical sales positions in addition to roles similar to your current role.  (Just don’t forget which resume you sent to each position.)

For more resume tips, reach out to us at

Betts Search Group, LLC

About the Author