I am worried that my resume will get overlooked because I followed the MT way(the better way) than if I produced a typical resume through Word or Publisher's wizard.

I love the MT format and theory behind their resume recommendation. But what lurks in the back of my mind is that this "style" doesn't have the typical elements of a common resume. Of course I am trying to standout with my actions and results, but I am afraid someone will be so taken back by the fact that I don't have the "typical" resume elements.

So, do I take the risk of being passed over because my resume doesn't fit into the standard?

Thanks for the advice.

simonspeichert's picture

I'm 25 with only one professional job, and I'm currently job searching. Transitioning my resume to the MT format was something I did with a little trepidation - only one job in an MT format looks pretty sparse. But then I listened to the cast on "Writing an Accomplishment Bullet". It made me realize that things I hadn't considered accomplishments can really help me flesh out the resume. Traditional resume formats do that with things that a good recruiter really doesn't care about. What they want to know is what you did, and how well you did it.

ashdenver's picture

I suppose I'm not well versed in what the "typical" resume elements look like, offer or provide. I don't think I've ever used a wizard to create a resume.

Right now, I would think that an MT formatted resume (single page) would rise to the top of the pile simply because I'm betting that recruiters are just flooded with resumes, most of which have gobs of white space and run two pages (or more!)

bug_girl's picture

Speaking as someone who hires regularly (or did until 2009), A Word template resume is the kiss of death. It tells me someone didn't know how to start, and just filled in the blanks.

Of course, some of this is partly that so many of the people who use the templates aren't aware enough of their strengths to know what to put in the blanks.

Sometimes, they fill in the template blanks with things they shouldn't--one student listed "Collecting Hello Kitty items and listening to Mariah Carey" in the 'Interests" section. *shudder*

Sorry, a personal peeve. I also see a lot of student resumes, which can be very painful. I once got a 3 page resume from a Freshman (!) written in paragraph form. Don't do that :D

route514's picture

I know that a "good" manager, one who knows what they are doing, probably even following the MT way, will see the strengths in the MT format. What if a "bad" manager gets a hold of my resume, at a company I really want to work for? They are looking for white space, or for an objective...

I guess I'm worried about being overlooked by a bad manager, which isn't such a bad thing after all. I would rather work for a good manager.

asteriskrntt1's picture


You cannot control this. What if a bad manager or recruiter gets 600 resumes and sees neither version? Make a commitment to the MT version. Recruiters love it. If the recruiter passes you over because of the MT format, I doubt they were going to be impressed by your traditional resume.

I mean seriously, ask yourself these questions:

1) Is your white space more impressive than anyone else's white space? (picture a recruiter sitting there gawking over your white space "Man, this Nate guy is alllllll over this white space, where has he been hiding? We really need someone who has a grip on white space." or...

2) Are you going to write such an amazing career objective that it will cause a recruiter to say "OHMYGAWD - WHAT AN OBJECTIVE, I MUST GET NATE IN HERE ASAP"


HMac's picture

...As usual, Asterisk nails it (I'm still laughing...).

Look - focus on what you CAN control, and let go of what you CAN'T control.

You CAN control your resume - that it's a succinct, accomplishment-oriented, accurate reflection of YOU. That's it's in a format that's generally accepted and appropriate for the industry you're approaching, and for the level job to which you're applying (if you're TOO different, you're gonna make the reviewer work too hard, and he/she will probably just move on to the next resume in the pile...).

The M-T advice about a resume is great. Don't forget that M/M stress that their guidelines are subject to what makes the most sense for you, for your industry, and for your role. To paraphrase them: "Do what's most EFFECTIVE."


route514's picture

*RNTT = too funny!! Behind all humor there is some truth, I am definitely focusing on things I can't control. Thanks for pointing that out and reminding me about it. And reminding me to ask myself tough questions.

Hugh, you hit it on the head. "Do what is most EFFECTIVE" that is the underlying principle to the MT way. Their resume format is a practical application of what Effective looks like.

The hardest part for me in putting my resume together, is that my work history has no direct correlation with where I want to go. Some years in construction and a new degree in Business don't scream Business Analyst. So it took some effort digging out "what I did and the results I got" examples that are relative to what I want to do. Now with some gentle guidance from those more experienced than I, I'll rework it to be most EFFECTIVE.

Thanks for all you help. I'm sure I'll be back later with more questions.

HMac's picture


You wrote:
"The hardest part for me in putting my resume together, is that my work history has no direct correlation with where I want to go."

It's cold shower time.

If you can't correlate where you've been with where you're trying to go, the hiring manager sure isn't going to do it for you (M/M: "Hope is not a strategy.").

Maybe you need to take a hard look at where you're trying to go, and ask if there are some intermediate steps along the way. Maybe you qualify for the first couple of steps.

Look, sorry if this is blunt, but hiring managers aren't so much interested in what you CAN DO in as much as they're interested in what you HAVE DONE. You cannot expect them to "connect the dots." Think of the choice that a hiring manager faces with two hypothetical candidates:

-Candidate #1 approaches the specifics of the job opportunity by essentially saying: "What I've done in the past correlates with what you want to get done. My experience has prepared me to take on this challenge."

-Candidate #2 approaches the specifics of the job opportunity by essentially saying: "Been there. Done that. Been successful."

The hiring manager will choose candidate #2 every time.


route514's picture

I get what you're saying Hugh. I don't expect to qualify for anything greater than the first couple of steps. I just worry too much that my lack of experience will prevent me from getting into the "first step" jobs. But, I have spent the weekend talking with some friends who gently reminded me what you stated so clearly.

It's not what you could do but what you have done.

I have done enough to qualify for the first steps so I just need to relax, and focus on what I can control.

It's still interesting, everywhere I go and ask advice about my resume, I get negative feedback about not having some of the components of a resume that M/M encourage us to leave out. It could be my content, sure. But  I am sure that if I handed them the example resume that M/M put out, they would still say the same thing.

Seeing as how I am going for those entry level jobs, should I back off the detail of the MT resume, and include a summary, etc.?  For more advanced jobs I could see how the straight forward approach to what you have done and the results you got, would work best. Just a thought for discussion .

I am committed to the MT way in doing this. We'll see how it works out.

bug_girl's picture

Ultimately, *every single person* will tell you something different about how you should format your resume.

That's often more about taste an personal preference than anything else.

Stick with what you think is right, in the absence of major criticism.

bflynn's picture

Lesson learned - focus on your content.  I have had multiple recruiters say they like the format, but similar to the objective, they're not going to say "Wow, look at this great tight format, I have to get Brian in TODAY!"  

The content is the most important thing.  The format is negotiable, that's why there are so many formats.  The MT way works, so I use it.

HMac's picture

When M/M titled their original resume cast "Your Resume STINKS", I don't think their foremost concern was format.

It 's all about content.

Resumes stink because they're full of stuff other than What You Did and How Well You Did It.

I've listened to that cast mulitple times.  The more I listen, appearance issues (how long, how much white space, font size) drop away and become less important, and the more I realize that the heart of the cast is about stating clear, fact-based accomplishments.


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

Use our format.  Seriously.  I don't know what you're suggesting is in a typical resume's format that isn't in ours, but whatever it is, it's not typical.  Or, if it's typical, let's agree on separating what works from what is common.  When it comes to specialized behaviors, volume is not a discriminator.

You cannot address every possible level of managerial knowledge with one format.  And all bad managers are bad in different ways.  Effective managers are the same in one way: they like our format, because it's how executives do them.

We DO believe in format - because form follows funtion.  Our spare style is designed to have that form highlight what is important, as Hugh inferred: content.

Don't do it our way because it's ours.  Do it because it works.

Be effective, not the same as everyone else.

And good luck!


terrih's picture

Multi-page resumes are annoying when going through them according to MT recommendations.

Last time I had an open req, I remember highlighting bits and then trying to do a compare/contrast and having to flip pages... arrgh! And this was for an individual contributor position.

My observation: white space can be an attempt to disguise the fact that there's very little content. It doesn't work.

Just my 2 cents.

rwwh's picture
Licensee BadgeTraining Badge

@terrih: after hearing the cast on choosing between two suitable candidates, you will never compare resumes with each other this way again.

terrih's picture

It's been over a year since I hired anyone. I think back then, all there was to go by was the quick & dirty interviewing cast.

I've heard the 2 suitable candidates 'cast but will probably have to re-listen whenever I get to hire again. Thanks though.