Matthew Warzel was featured in his undergraduate school’s alumni newsletter. He attended John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, and is a BSBA (Marketing) graduate from the class of 2003.

Please check out this fantastic article written by our president, Matt Warzel, as a contributor – 10 Resume Tips from Matthew Warzel ?03, CPRW and President, MJW Careers, LLC:

Looking for a job is an unpredictable process. It may last for a couple of days or years, it may go smooth or instead feel like a roller coaster. Everything depends on your professional skills, job market dynamics, and? pure luck! That old adage, who you know, still exists. And since you?re unable to change the rising unemployment rate and influence your luck, you have to learn how to sell your professional talents. Especially during these troubling times. What shall you start with? With an excellent resume, and it?s the right time to get to know some tips for making a fantastic first impression on your potential employer!

1. Follow the suitable format

Even though creativity is in fashion now, it may not always reach your initial goals. You have probably seen some of the striking resumes that were made with no template. However, what?s the chance of it capturing one?s attention? in a good way? For instance, do you imply the strategic use of fonts? Does the section in italics differ from the one written in bold? At some point, you may think that you don?t want to put a great deal of effort into creating a one-page document, however, you?ll realize its value as soon as you are hired. Just like a business card, it may either contribute to your success or failure. So you don?t actually need to take it as a burden but rather an opportunity to get hired by the company you?ve never dreamed of. Two pages are fine too if you?re mid-level, but leave anything beyond two pages for the academia CVs or federal resumes.

Your format should be as follows, and in order:

A. Contact information

B. Summary

C. Core competencies or skills

D. Key contributions, accomplishments or transferable aptitude

E. Experience

F. Previous work history list (for jobs beyond 10 years)

G. Education

H. Certification

I. Affiliation or volunteerism

J. Technical list

As far as the aesthetic visual appeal, I think the format?s unique to each candidate’s background, but I do see a majority of career changers utilizing a combinational resume over the other two types. This is because it allows for the writer to position your skills, qualifications, credentials and PAR (problem-action-result) impact statements for the experience section a lot more competitively than a traditional resume format. It draws eyeballs to the important transferable items first. I stick to the traditional format when the client has a solid work history. A shaky work history usually means a functional resume format to help offset some of the red flags. Remember though, infographic resumes with too many borders, pictures, graphs, etc can bog down the applicant tracking system (ATS), which is the software recruiters use to store your resume for later retrieval (via keyword searches) by all stakeholders (more on ATS later).

2. Don?t lie

There are various tools to make your resume look stunning. And lying is not nearly one of them. Since the recruiter will hold an interview based on the information they got from your resume, you may be asked some questions that are not relevant to your hands-on experience. Since you don?t want to be caught lying, it?s better to avoid fake info on your resume. Undeniably, you may not get any type of legal punishment for your non-professional behavior, but just imagine how your reputation will suffer!

3. Be smart

It’s amazing to me, but my first answer when someone asks about writing their own resume and how to do it, I always say pragmatism. If you don?t crinkle the forehead of the reader, you?ve won half the battle, now they just want to make sure you match the open requisition. Sometimes people can get a little too creative and this can annoy a hiring manager who doesn?t like to be outsmarted before they even met you. A hiring manager needs to trust that his or her new employee will be able to handle the daily workload without too much turmoil or neediness. Obviously some training needs to be done, but the hiring manager is hoping to trust that the new hire will pick up on things and start making an impact rather quickly, i.e. be flexible and adaptive.

4. Be relevant

Stick to the last 10 years of employment. Period. No one cares about your awesome work with IBM in the 90?s. If you?ve got some neat stuff that translates well towards this new role, and it?s from tenure beyond 10 years, than sprinkle it into the core competency, summary or accomplishments sections.

These days, all companies are (or already have) converting into software to manage processes. You need to keep up with the evolving technology from a fundamental standpoint. I think written communications has evolved a lot further with our daily texting and emailing as the forefront of communications these days. Having said that, candidates need to be able to write professional as well without using acronyms, emojis, etc. If you have the ability to communicate insights in an articulate manner, hiring managers may broaden your scope, increase your pay or even promote you into higher-level succession. Perception is reality and if you can execute logically, carry yourself professionally and maintain technical prowess in your day-to-day work, you’ll be just fine in your career.

5. Comply with ATS protocol

My one piece of advice, and I could offer many if needed, is to make sure your resume has optimized keywords. If you need to, use transferable skills! What are transferable skills and how important are they when writing a career change resume? Think of these skills in terms of what you are currently doing at your job that can relate to what you would be doing in the new role. Key proficiencies that can help the hiring manager see your ability to slide into the role with minimal training. It’s important to have these skills displayed on your resume to demonstrate your fit into the new role, showcase your keywords so you are being discovered by the hiring team in their respective applicant tracking systems, and help win over the readers to receive that interview request you’re hoping for initially.

6. Quantify your content

This is the meat and potatoes of your resume. The content. Even if there are no metrics (but metrics are preferred), and a format/layout that is adheres to applicant tracking system mandates, you need to wow the manager by thinking in terms of bottom-line impact. No metrics, sales figures or KPIs? Use a business quantifier instead. Those are little lead-ins relating to impact. Cost savings, revenue gains, productivity, etc). Rather, ?Managed team members and operations, and improvements,? you can write, ?Managed 10 team members and streamlined operational efficiency by implementing continuous process improvements.?

Think quantifiable content and write it pragmatically. Make sure that the experience section demonstrates your value in terms of bottom-line. Show the hiring manager you care about their company’s money, and making it, not wasting it. Also, stick to brevity while making those bottom-line accomplishments shine. Again, I cannot preach it enough, as long as you aren’t crinkling the readers’ foreheads when they’re reviewing your resume, you’ve done your job…now if you match the qualifications, it’s interview time!

7. Wow the reader right away

The key to stand out among the competition is to ensure you set the tone in the first top half of the resume with what you want and what you offer, any key buzzwords that speak to your abilities to transition into those new roles seamlessly, and any transferable skills and accomplishments that directly relate to this new role. You can also utilize the summary section to lay in some soft skills, such as, ?Results-focused, award-winning Sales Professional with 10+ years of experience building relationships, cultivating partnerships, retaining top accounts and growing profit channels by establishing trust with decision-makers. Persuasive, self-motivated customer advocate adept at expanding network connections, persuasively introducing products, educating clients, implementing pricing strategies, developing territory and revealing customer needs to deliver solutions.? Having a solid summary up front and by mentioning your ability to transfer seamlessly into the new role based off your previous experience and education will keep their interest to read further. If you touch up on being able to relieve a paint point they might have, now we?re talking next level thinking.

8. Show value, not just skills

My best advice for professionals dealing with career shifts is to identify their relevance in terms of value to a prospective employer, internalize on what their passions are, identify some transferable skills and accomplishments to relay to hiring managers, build a solid resume and some email communication templates (or cover letter), and sustain patience and willpower. You have to start thinking in terms of value, not just your abilities. There?s a vast difference between what you think you can or even know what you can do, and what value you can offer the potential employer.

9. Research job descriptions, targeted companies and the industry

You need to do your research. You need to get a feel for the way the industry and respective companies function in the world, the services they provide to others, and the types of jobs out there in that industry that could pose as a potential new career. I love using Google News, Google alerts,, Glassdoor, Indeed and LinkedIn to uncover industry and job research. Using this research can be a good way to spot industry and job keywords (for the core competencies and summary sections), role responsibilities (for the experience section), and important transferable contributions (for the accomplishments section) for inclusion on your resume.

10. No mistakes, your competition is very clean and well read

So what mistakes do jobseekers often make on their resumes? Leaving on irrelevant information, red flags like gaps in employment or lack of metrics, or not communicating his or her unique value proposition effectively to help improve his or her chances of being selected for an interview by a hiring manager.

To conclude, if you think that your resume is perfect, check the following recommendations as well:

? Use verbs when possible;

? Write laconic subheadings;

? Create a professional e-mail address;

? Explain the terms that might confuse an average recruiter;

? Don?t forget to add your LinkedIn profile or portfolio links;

? Proofread your resume before sending it;

? Send a Word or PDF version only.

Boiling it down, think about your situation from the hiring manager’s point of view. He or she has to be pulled aside from their day-to-day at the end of the workday to review resumes and fill an open requisition. An open requisition that is either costing them money or not making them money by leaving it vacant. When they find an ideal candidate, sometimes it’s more of a cultural fit if they know they can train someone rather quickly. So trust that if it’s supposed to happen, it will. If not, keep looking for opportunities in this new space. Maybe volunteer with a group, offer a company to work for free so you can learn the ropes, or join an online forum and start engaging with individuals in that industry to gain more learning. It comes down to ‘will you make money for the new company or cost them money?’ Work hard to be the former, it will carry you farther. Prove you can do the job, and a good job at that.

Thank you for reading! Please visit to keep up with all of MJW Careers’ content, and visit or email (or call 855-YES-EMPLOYEES) to learn more about our resume writing, interview training, career coaching or outplacement services and solutions.

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