The Sport Of Writing Your Resume Where The Job Description Left Off

To me, resume writing is a sport of sorts. I have taken friends’ resumes and tweaked them only to the chagrin of having their email inboxes flooded in a few hours.

There are a few reasons why resume writing can get tricky and the first is that not many employers have the time to write a four-page job description.

Because writing a job description is such a tedious task, many employers don’t have the time nor do they have the patience to spend 16 hours jotting down and/or remembering every important detail that corresponds with the job slot they are responsible for filling.

This is why a simple “cut and paste” from the job description to the resume is often unsuccessful.

Doing the best they can, resume writers are often forced to read between the lines and infer the more significant points to transfer from the job description to their resumes (and cover letters). Sometimes, these points are not written down at all.

For instance:

If the employer says they need someone who dresses nicely near the top, it probably means that the last incumbent was a slob or the clientele is high-brow. Put a picture on your resume.

Also, use your knowledge and common sense to decipher the daily activities that are probably of the utmost urgency (not always importance) to the hiring party and place these additional points throughout your resume in an unassuming manner.

In most instances, use the buzzwords or industry terms that correspond with those tasks.

Finally, they need to know how to verbalize on a piece of paper that someone is probably going to glance at for all of 30 seconds prior to determining if it warrants a full minute of review.

All of this is a daunting, but doable task. To get you started, I’ve included mock resume objectives and resume tips for sales/sales management, marketing and recent college graduate job seekers.

All of these stem from self-taught business knowledge and writing skills that were not taught to me in university.

Sample Sales Objective:

To leverage my business knowledge, sales acumen and marketing skills in order to align myself with a progressive, growing company that rewards results, team effort and forward thinking….

To write a good sales or sales management transition resume, you have to think like the employer or hiring manager. Remember that both think differently and have different personal and professional goals which will be the driver of a final decision.

When transitioning into a sales management role for the first time, remember that you are a risk factor and I would personally spend more time on smaller, entrepreneurial companies who are more apt to take risks.

Contrary to the practice of many, it is sometimes good to recognize this gamble on your resume and egg on the entrepreneur or forward-minded thinker.

Remember that you are a sales professional. Focus on how you can make them money; no more, no less.

Sample Recent Grad Resume Objective:

After spending four years studying x, y and z, I feel that I can heavily contribute to an employer’s bottom line….


Just as there are apprenticeships/internships in law, accounting and medicine, sales and marketing newcomers have to pay their dues. When it comes to writing a resume or cover letter, the young job seeker should have 2 different versions – corporate and entrepreneurial.

The larger companies are going to look for stability, while the smaller firms, regardless of clout or marketing are more willing to take somebody without internship experience. It doesn’t make one better than the other; it just makes knowledge of that difference part of your job seeking.

Remember that as a recent college graduate, your sole existence is to do the tasks that the employees who are a “recent college graduate +1yr.” worked hard enough not to have to do. Proving yourself is a marathon; any employer who says it is an absolute sprint, has inaccurate information.

Sample Resume Objective – Marketing Careers:

Following a four-year tenure with x corp., I have begun to transition to the more analytical side of marketing and wish to….

Marketing Resume and Cover Letter Tips:

The primary reason many marketing job seekers, especially entry- to mid-level, miss the initial “resume scan cut” when going for a marketing position is that they focus on the knowledge they guess the employers want, and it turns out that they’ve guessed wrong.

From countless interactions with younger job seekers looking to get into marketing, I’ve noticed that the majority have all the pertinent skills and knowledge. However, for a reason I can’t understand, many are being told by universities, writers, coaches, friends and colleagues to focus on other, overly creative and less lucrative skills.

The last tidbit of advice that I can give to prospective job seekers wanting to be in marketing is to focus as much on the analytical side of the employer’s needs as you do the creative aspects listed on the job description.

Regardless of whether you’re writing a sales, sales management, recent college graduate or marketing resume, resume writing is about telling the employer exactly what they want to hear. Whoever has them most excited prior to the initial interview is usually going to be the winner.

Just like anything else, many times luck plays a role as to whether the employer actually picks up the phone to call you after you submit your CV, though it’s hardly a sizable factor.

“For me, losing a tennis match isn’t failure, it’s research.”

Billy Jean King

Just as the tennis champ says, resume writing is simply trial and the proper tweaks after each perceived error.