Summary: After trying the Manager-Tools resume guidelines, my concerns went out the window.

Old Resume: [url][/url]
MT+ Resume: [url][/url]

While updating my resume to include my latest accomplishments, I decided to cut a one-page, Manager-Tools resume. I had to cut out a lot of the old content to add new content and trim it down to a single page. I found that most of what I took out was junk content anyways.

I'm not a manager, but I do a good number of resume reviews and interviews. I get many 6-7 page resumes and have found that, for the most part, if it isn't in the first page, then it just isn't important. Either the resume is all fluff, which makes it worthless, or the work beyond the first page is too far in the past to be relevant.

I feel that without the filler (junk), a reader will give more weight to each of my real accomplishments. So that's good. I'm not concerned with the lost content.

My initial concerns were that 1) The sample MT format was visually too busy and hard to scan, and 2) Me not being a manager, my resume was hard to quickly place without a summary/objective.

I followed most of the MT guidelines, then made minor layout adjustments to line up the positions and company names vertically. I included a summary at the top of the page, and added one bullet for being awarded University Honors (although I was torn on adding/removing that).

The result was better than I thought. I actually prefer my slightly modified MT resume to my older format. It seems to have a stronger impact, tells a better "story". And with some slight mods it's still visually clear and quick to scan.

I have to say that I just don't think I can do without the summary section. I can't think of a better way for the reader to understand my value in 2 seconds.

HMac's picture

Mike -

I've put my own resume through a similar transformation, and I agree with your observations.

To state what might be obvious: as long as you're using the resume to apply for opportunities that require a Seibel consultant, your newer version is great. As your career develops, keep an eye on not becoming "too narrow" with your resume, and missing out on related - but not exact fit - opportunities.


lazerus's picture

The MT style resumé has a couple of issues that I can see. Is it alright if I point them out?

CalKen's picture


Of course, one of the great things about this group is that it is an open forum.

For instance, one issue I have (which I was going to place into another thread but will place here for everyone) is that some interviewers like the conventional "two page" resume. When I go to "job fairs" I keep a copy of both types, the MT and traditional one, and I find that people always take the larger resume from me.

To offset that, I would say that when you have a cover sheet that speaks specifically to the job you are going to (focused) the MT style is the best because the cover sheet speaks to the "fluff" and the MT resume goes directly to accomplishments (how effective you were) but when going to "cold call" job fairs where you are going to a large range of jobs and need wide coverage in your resume perhaps a longer one is necessary (unless you can offer to send one later that is MT-like).

Any opinions (please be gentle... :wink: ).


mlin's picture

Lazerus: Feedback is always welcome. Isn't that part of why we post?

I also agree with CalKen, that the ultimate judge of your resume is the person reading it. But a lot of the time we don't know who that person is, let alone their preferences. And it's often more than one person. It might start with a recruiter who passes it to someone in HR who gives it to the hiring manager who has his team lead perform the interview, etc... Any one of those people can potentially reject you because they "don't like your resume."

Sometimes I consider having different versions of my resume. In the end, we'll probably have to pick the single version that the highest percentage of people we want to work for find the most effective. Notice, I did not say "highest percentage of people in general." If one of your goals is to have a certain kind of boss (and I think it should be), then your resume should be effective for her type.

I just try to do 2 things in my resume: 1) Show my value (via raw content), and 2) Show my value as obviously as possible (via writing, format & editing). You can call those Mike Lin's laws of resume writing :D

CalKen's picture


I do not know if you have heard it, you listen to the most recent resume podcast. In it Mark recommends creating a career "resume" which has all of the achievements that you have done (and this can be much larger than one page). When you are ready to go to an interview, trim down this master file so that it has what is related to the job you are going for.

I find this a great tool for keeping track of your career and qualifications. I have only now started putting this together (from all of the previous resumes over the years that I have archved and trimmed for job postings) and so far I am very excited about it.


HMac's picture

When I listened to the podcast the first time, I was struck - hard - by M/M's message that a resume is to be no longer than 1 page. I've read a lot of posts here, and the "one page rule" is the most frequent topic of comment and concern.

I learned a lot by listening to the podcast a second time; even a third time. When I did, I was able to hear two other equally important bits of advice from M/M:

* Other than idenifying information about you and the data about where/when/title for each job, the only information on your resume should be what you did, and how well you did it

* The purpose of the resume is to get you an interview

On reflection, I think those two bits are HUGE - and if you keep them in mind, you can bring some perspective to the whole "one page or longer?" quandry. Here's what I mean:

Look, if you're really disciplined about eliminating the fluff, the self-agrandizing and the vague - and you've really squeezed the content down to what you did and how well you did it, then it's logical to conclude that there are instances where doing so will take you more than one page. Content is more important than length. Flabby content - of any length - is poor judgment. But so too is eliminating great and relevant content just to meet a rule about how long a resume "should" be.

And the great thing is that M/M give you the way to measure whether your resume is effective: is it getting you interviews? THAT'S the effectiveness measure - and it trumps everything else. It also gives you a way to not get to crazed about your resume, or too attached to it. It's either working, or it's not.

That's the genius in the resume podcast.


lazerus's picture


I ask permission to critique because I know from my own experience that your resume is something you put a lot of work into and often a bit of your soul as well. So, by boldly posting and asking for feedback, I admire your courage. I want to make sure that I'm supporting your effort, and not seen as picking on you, since I'm not really an expert but just a fello MT listener/follower.

Personally, if a recruiter or hiring manager doesn't like my one page resume, I probably don't want to work there. Of course there are exceptions, but I don't want to have to make several versions of this document and then try to guess. One page. If they don't like it, I'm on to the next. If they need more information, call me, we can have an interview! :D

I think the MT one page style strips away subjective wording and will present FACT only. Once I got over the idea that the MT style eliminates the subjective, it was easier.

Your measurable accomplishments will speak for themselves. By saying in bold type at the top of the page that you have a proven track record of big wins, my skepticism flag is immediately raised. However, if I just read through the bullet points about your accomplishments I can see immediately (without being "sold") that you do indeed have a proven track record of big wins. Your accomplishments speak for themselves. The company you want to work for will recognize that without having to be told. Like Hmac says, the purpose of the resume is to get an interview. Your cover letter can introduce concepts about where you want your career to go and why you think you are a good fit for the job.

A few things with this resume don't conform with the MT style, which if you're going to use, use to the letter:

[list]1- No "objective" statement at the top.
2- Each position should have the responsibilities listed below the bold heading, which you have done on the previous positions but not the most recent. "Responsible for" is listed in the bullet points, which is confusing to me.
3- Too many bullets on the most recent position, with sub-bullets inside, again mixing responsibilities with accomplishments, i.e.: "Greatly improved usability, tailoring the Siebel Wireless user interface by creating custom web templates and style sheets (.SWT and .XSL files)." This bullet is not a measurable accomplishment, but a responsibility.
4- Between college and the first job, there is a a two or three year gap. What happened?


Your accomplishments are really impressive! Remove subjective wording, put [b]3 or 4[/b] bullet points for each position that are the most impressive, and you're good.

Hope this helps.

HMac's picture

One more recommendation: get feedback on your resume from real live hiring managers in your field. Ask a couple of questions, ask them to compare the two and to provide reactions.

Using the M-T style "to the letter" isn't your objective: building a resume which gets you the maximum number of interviews in your field is the objective. M/M's insights and recommendations are greatly valuable, but by their very nature, it's general advice which [i]might[/i] need a little bit of tweaking for any one person.

The ultimate judge is the marketplace, not any one of us or even Mark and Mike. So the very best test is to see what the marketplace says: would [i][b]you[/b][/i] be invited to interview for the type of job in the type of company you're looking for based on [i][b]your [/b][/i]resume, and how can you increase your odds...


mlin's picture

Good points from you both. I actually did have a few errors, particularly with the dates. My first job started immediately after graduation.

I do have a one year lapse in employment history when I owned a pizzeria. I tried including that in my previous resume, but noticed that it reduced the number of calls I was receiving drastically.

I also see the Manager Tools guidelines as just that - guidelines. It felt a little uncomfortable to include a summary that stated opinion, but I believe that I backed it up with enough fact in the resume body. I gave it some hard thought and decided that it would probably serve me best to keep the summary to guide the reader's focus.

Thank you all for the feedback.


HMac's picture

Mike - your year owning a pizzeria raises an interesting dilemma: do you risk turning people off because of the nature of the job, or do you risk truning people off because of a gap in your job history? You seem to have a good handle on it - you mention that you've been watching the reaction, in terms of interviews, by having it in or out.

That's a great example of how every individual's resume has to be considered on it's own merits - you take guidance from the best sources (like M-T, and I particularly like their recommendation of John Lucht's book[i] "Rites of Passage"), [/i]and you use their guidance to fit YOU. Good job.

I really struggled with the whole "Objective" thing myself - until I turned it into a summary (and not an objective). That's where Lucht's book helped me a lot: he reasons that you need to help the reader quickly understand who you are and what you're offering, so he can better process all the jobs and accomplishments you list. That's especially true for someone who's been in the workforce for more than 10-12 years, because chances are good that you're morphing a bit as you develop.

Here's my example:
Since earning my Master's Degree, I gave 6 years to public service, 9 years in sales, sales management and sales training, and 12 years in marketing. What I offer today has very little to do with the public service portion of my career, and while I still draw on a lot of skills and experiences from my sales, sales management and sales training years, it's really about the marketing I've been doing for 5-8 of the last 12 years.

I found that when I just hit people with the "pure" M-T approach (reverse chron/describe the function/list the accomplishments/make it all fit on one page), the reader couldn't figure out "what I was" - so by including a summary at the top (only 28 words, Mark!) , it helped the reader understand that I'm offering myself as a marketer, who's produced measurable results in specific marketing functions.

So good for you Mike, for raising the questions, and for putting the thought into making your resume work for you.


jhack's picture

Owning a pizzeria gives you entrepreneurial credibility, budget management experience, customer management, etc.

If you highlight the management success you had there, it should not be a negative on the resume.

Admittedly, I'm biased towards the entrepreneurial...


asteriskrntt1's picture

While we all aspire to create a perfect resume, it seems if one spent a touch more time every day/week/month sending out a thank you card, building a couple of new relationships or working on our people skills, we likely would not need such a "perfect" resume.

Just my 2 cents


terrih's picture

WOW, great point, *. :idea:

HMac's picture

Well said! And it's SO proactive, too :lol: