BLUF: I tested my resume, constructed after MT resume workbook, and the recruiter was not pleased with certain aspects, should i stick to the MT-resume doctrine in spite of country disparity or should i just follow the recruiters advice?

Background: Recruiters are the gatekeepers to jobs is what Mark usually say in the pod casts. I tried the MT-resume on a local recruiter (Sweden) and the recruiter said that she liked the structure with accomplishments but did not like that i did not have headlines and she felt i should separate some paying work experiences that were not career jobs (board member in my housing area). Also overall the recruiter wanted the resume to be less chalk full of info to make it easier to read.



mattpalmer's picture

I'm not surprised that someone had a different opinion about the formatting of a resume.  I doubt you'd find any two recruiters on earth who would think that a given resume is perfect.  The key question is: does it work?  If your recruiter shops your resume around in their preferred style, will it get you an interview?  If you (or your recruiter) shops your resume around in the MT style, will it get you more (or less) interviews at the places you really want to work at?  The MT guidance is based on the experience of two managers with a lot of time in the field.  I'm sure (or at least I *hope*) your recruiter's guidance is based on the same thing.

Ultimately, the purpose of the resume is to get you an interview.  If dressing your resume up in a pink tutu and hand-delivering it via clown-car gets you the interview, then it was effective to get out the tutu.  What you want to be doing is looking at your recruiter's history of success in placing people in the sort of position you want to be in, and then evaluating her guidance in light of that.  Any other approach is just alchemy.

Mattias's picture

Thank you for the insight.

The main thing the recruiter wanted was headers. The reason MT dont use headers is because of wasted space. I believe im too inexperienced that headers wont make too much of a impact on my resume space economy so i will use it for now but probably remove headers after my next career change.


mjpeterson's picture


With the right structure and formatting headers are a waste of space.  The advantage of a 1 page resume is that all of it is on one page and you don't have to leaf through 5 or 6 pages for the important information.   If you have 5 or 6 pages, then headers might make it easier for the recruiter to find the important information, of course, this is only because the important stuff has been buried beneath the unimportant.  Also, with the MT format, it is difficult to mistake what the different parts are.  The education is clearly education once you read any part of it.  The work expereince is clearly work experience. 

However, as you said you are early in your career, adding headers may not be a problem. 

mpaiero's picture

I recently modified my resume to try and follow the MT guidance, and had a recruiter looking for headers and more differentiation.  I did something minor, sort of like this:


Contact Info
Most Recent Job paragraph...

Next Job paragraph...
Your education history...


Yes, it's an extra line of text for each header, but I don't think it's more wasted lines than the MT suggestion (horizontal line and header vs 2 lines of white space between sections). I liked the modification enough that that's what I stuck with.  Each experience / education paragraph was to the MT guidance.  And if I get to the point where I need an extra line or two for further experience, those headers are gone.

I had lots of colleagues and a few other recruiters suggest / ask for more something longer / less packed / more 'fluffy' (tell me about your goals, personality, etc).  NONE of those people got me interviews.

The people who said "1 page! That's everything?! Wow, it's all here!" have gotten me good interviews, and some strong potential for offers.

If there is a change a recruiter tells you and you think it works, consider it against the SPIRIT of the MT guidance, and like MattPalmer said, if you think the pink tutu will get you the interview, then do it.

spatter1's picture

I've been using the MT resume format and have had excellent results.  Occasionally I will have a recruiter want something different and it is generally a minor change.  In the end the recruiter is a gatekeeper and you will have satisfy them in order to get the interview.  

Mattias's picture

I will probably get rid of headers when i have more quality experience to add to my resume.

mgoblue0970's picture

Your mileage may vary so to speak... I recently had a recruiter go off on me (yes, seriously) regarding my resume format. 

After much discussion, I took the high road and asked the recruiter if he had an example of what he was looking for in mind.  If so, could he forward that example to me. 

He did.  It was his personal resume.

When I looked at his resume it was EIGHT pages.  Full of buzzword bingo and ridiculously tedious detail.

I feel confident in my MT format and I'm really not working with that particular recruiter anymore -- even if he is the gateway to a job.  There's plenty of other people to collaborate with.

spatter1's picture

 Not working with that recruiter sounds like a good choice.

derosier's picture
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 Before converting to that format, I got about a 3% response rate to my resume, now I nearly always make it to a phone screen stage (80% of the time).

I've occasionally had recruiters criticize my MT formatted resume. I politely thank them for their input and ignore the "advice". One went as far as advise me that my resume was too short and that I needed a skills block up-front. Not one of those recruiters have ever managed to get me even to an interview. The ones that recognize the power of my resume seem to get jobs for me.

Ignore it and do the right thing. You'll get results.