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Unbeatable Resumes: America's Top Recruiter Reveals What REALLY Gets You Hired

Unbeatable Resumes: America's Top Recruiter Reveals What REALLY Gets You Hired

Автором Tony Beshara

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Unbeatable Resumes: America's Top Recruiter Reveals What REALLY Gets You Hired

Автором Tony Beshara

578 pages
21 hours
Jun 16, 2011


Unlike most resume “experts,” Tony Beshara doesn’t merely write resumes. As a veteran placement specialist who’s been featured regularly on the Dr. Phil show, Tony actually uses resumes to get people jobs. Now, in this dynamic book, he’s drawing on expertise gained from placing more than 8,500 professions to help you create a powerful resume that stands out from other applications. Unbeatable Resumes takes readers step-by-step through the resume creation process, including tips on how to utilize keywords effectively, use gaps in employment and job changes to your advantage, and enhance your resume with a concise, dynamic cover letter.By pairing Tony’s experiences with the results from a survey of more than 3,000 hiring managers, executives, HR specialists, and other hiring authorities, the book details the most widely critical components of a well-written and effective resume. You’ll also discover how to ensure your resume gets read by the right people; what employers look for on applications and what turns them off; how to customize a resume for a particular job; and the true value and detriment of digital tools including video resumes, job-search websites, and social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn.With detailed examples and discussions on the assets and pitfalls of real-life resumes submitted for jobs in a wide range of industries--including healthcare, banking, construction, technology, administration, and sales and marketing--Unbeatable Resumes shows job seekers of all types how to present themselves in the best possible light--and land the best possible position.
Jun 16, 2011

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TONY BESHARA is owner and president of Babich Associates, the oldest placement firm in Texas. He is the author of The Job Search Solution, Acing the Interview, and Unbeatable R'sum's. He has appeared numerous times on the nationally syndicated Dr. Phil show.

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Unbeatable Resumes - Tony Beshara

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ISBN: 978-0-8144-1763-8 (eBook)

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Beshara, Tony, 1948–

Unbeatable résumés : America’s top recruiter reveals what really gets you hired / Tony Beshara ; foreword by Phil McGraw.

p. cm.

Includes index.

ISBN-13: 978-0-8144-1762-1 (pbk.)

ISBN-10: 0-8144-1762-0 (pbk.)

1. Résumés (Employment)—United States. I. Title.

HF5383.B4335 2011



© 2011 Tony Beshara

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Foreword by Dr. Phil McGraw


Preface        The Top Ten (BIG) Mistakes of Résumé Writing

Chapter 1    Straight Talk About Your Résumé (From a Guy Whose Living Depends on Using Them)

Chapter 2    Surprising Facts About Your Résumé Audience

Chapter 3    The Résumés 3,000 Hiring Authorities Want to See

Chapter 4    Key Features of the Most Effective Résumés

Chapter 5    The Basic Résumé and Some Résumé Makeovers

Chapter 6    Sample Traditional Résumés

Chapter 7    Nontraditional Résumés

Chapter 8    E-Mailing Résumés, Cover Letters, and Attachments: Increasing the Chances Your Résumé Will Get Read

Chapter 9    Leveraging Your Résumé

Chapter 10  How to Handle Common Résumé Problems (Too Many Jobs, Employment Gaps, Changing Careers, Relocating, etc.)

Epilogue     The Top Ten Rules (You Now Know) of Résumé Writing



On The Dr. Phil Show, we strive to bring our guests the best of the best in every category of resource during and after the show. Tony Beshara is just that—the best of the best! Given these tough economic times, more and more of our guests find themselves in social or economic distress, often recently unemployed with the challenge of having to reinvent themselves and find a new career path. Tony is one of the top placement and recruitment specialists in the United States, and with him in your corner you have an incredible advantage. He has developed one of the most successful systems for finding a job or changing careers ever devised. It is specific, action oriented, and above all, doable.

We asked Tony to intervene with a husband and father, who was out of work for eight months through no fault of his own. Tony began with a dynamic and scientifically based rewrite of his résumé. Within thirty minutes, the transformation had begun. The simple but effective changes that Tony made are here in this book.

The guest implemented Tony’s system, including the newly shaped résumé, and despite being in California with its terrible job market, a new job was created. Now, it took nine months of hard job-searching work; it wasn’t easy, but it was doable. There was nothing mystical or magical about what he did—just good, solid, well-executed planning and work.

A résumé is one of the most important tools you can have in a job search.

Tony’s first two books, The Job Search Solution and Acing the Interview, were bestsellers because of Tony’s practical, in-the-trenches strategies for how to get a job. He knows what works. Tony taps into everything he knows from decades of job-placement experience when he shows job candidates how crafting their résumés differently can make all the difference in finding a job. When it comes to looking for a job and creating the most effective résumé, Tony’s Unbeatable Résumés is of the highest standard. Some people are going to get the jobs that are out there. With Tony’s system in the mix, your chances are clearly going to go way up. Good luck, and God bless you and your family.

Dr. Phil


Greatest thanks go to Chrissy for her prayers, time, and spiritual support. A great deal of thanks goes to the team at AMACOM: Ellen, Erika, Carole, and Kama . . . you all are the best! Thanks also go to Pam Williams, who kept these chapters straight revision after revision, and to Vernelle Fugitt for her research. Thanks to Phil McGraw, his organization, and their spirit of service. And a special thanks to the thousands of candidates I have worked with over the years who contributed to this book’s contents.

Dedicated to God’s greatest blessings,

My wonderful wife and best friend, Chrissy, and our family.


The Top Ten (BIG) Mistakes of Résumé Writing

I personally receive 200 to 300 résumés each week. I personally use 200 résumés each week to find people jobs. Being on the front line, in the trenches, when it comes to résumés, I know what works and what doesn’t. This isn’t theory; this is truth. Here are the most common mistakes people make regarding their résumés. In this book, I debunk résumé myths and give you all the inside info you’ll need to get the edge in obtaining job interviews.

So, here are the top ten BIG mistakes people make when preparing their résumés:

1. Overestimating the value of a résumé. Suffice it to say, the value of your résumé in getting you a job, let alone an interview, isn’t what you think! Yes, of course there are valuable things to learn about how to craft your résumé, but it’s also good to have accurate expectations. I explain in depth the reasons people overestimate the impact of a résumé.

2. Overestimating the attention paid to résumés. The average résumé gets read in ten seconds! Most people imagine that someone will systematically and carefully examine, dissect, and digest the résumé in front of them. The truth is that interviewing or hiring authorities only glance at résumés. They look for companies they recognize, the longevity of jobs held, and maybe a few other things. That’s it! They then determine whether to read it in-depth at a later time. If your résumé doesn’t grab attention in ten seconds, it’s over.

3. Underestimating the odds. People underestimate the number of résumés that interviewing or hiring authorities receive. It is not uncommon for them to receive 200 to 300 résumés for every job opening. With the appearance of the send button, these people get overloaded with résumés even when they aren’t looking to hire.

4. Overestimating the qualifications of the people who will screen or pass along the résumé. If you think the right people are reading your résumé, you’re wrong!

5. Including the wrong content. Even the most experienced professionals put the wrong content into their résumés. They make the mistake of including material that they understand, instead of information that will be understood by the people who matter—the ones who can grant you an interview. If a high school senior, who doesn’t know you, has problems reading your résumé and understanding exactly what you have done, who you have done it for, and how successful you were, just imagine what the hiring authorities will think! You have put the wrong content in your résumé! For instance, people routinely list the names of companies they have worked for, without explaining what the companies do. They assume that since they know who their company is and what it does, everyone else does, too. Oh, boy!

6. Using distracting résumé formats. This seems elementary, but most résumés don’t get read because of formats that are distracting rather than helpful. Though these graphic formats are often recommended by professional résumé writers, they don’t work! Now that most résumés are read on a computer screen, you need to take into account the way technology has taught us to read résumés.

7. Overestimating the value of the cover letter. Cover letters are as overrated as résumés. Most of them actually destroy your chances of getting even a good résumé read.

8. Assuming one size fits all. People send the same résumé out to all of the people or job opportunities they are pursuing. No! You should know how to dumb down or highlight different parts of your résumé and how to customize it for success in different environments and for different opportunities.

9. Flubbing the basics. It is amazing how often people mess up simple résumé matters such as length, objectives, summaries, dates of employment, and titles. The sheer length of most résumés, for instance, ensures that they will never get read. On the vast majority of résumés, including an Objectives statement will eliminate candidates right off the bat. And a Summary paragraph can kill your chances of being interviewed.

10. Having the wrong résumé strategy—if you have any at all. Ask the average job seeker what his or her strategy is for ensuring the résumé will get attention and yield an interview, and you’ll get a blank stare. Beyond the send button, there’s no strategy! Big mistake! There are strategic activities you should do before you send your résumé, as well as after you send it—and this book will give you the lowdown on each.

This book is going to prevent you from making the mistakes that keep average job seekers from ever getting an interview.


Straight Talk About Your Résumé

(From a Guy Whose Living Depends on Using Them)

THIS WEEK I sent 221 résumés of my candidates to different clients and helped three people find jobs. On average, I receive up to 40 résumés a day from people seeking my help in landing a job. I receive a lot of résumés, and I send out a lot of résumés.

I am a professional placement and recruitment specialist, and résumés are the tools I use to help my candidates get interviews. Since 1973, I have reviewed more than 32,000 résumés and have been personally responsible for placing more than 8,500 individuals in jobs, all on a one-on-one basis. That means I picked up the phone, called a hiring authority, got them an interview, helped with subsequent interviews, and negotiated an offer for them—8,500 times.

That’s why I know what types of résumés are the most helpful for getting interviews that lead to job offers. In fact, my livelihood depends on that knowledge. The truth is that the vast majority of authors who write résumé books and articles have never found anyone a job, nor have they had to justify to prospective employers the quality of good candidates with poor résumés.

Most of the stuff written about résumés reflects those authors’ opinions of what they imagine works. Instead, I tell you exactly what does work, based on the opinions of the hiring authorities I speak with every day. So, in this book, you’re getting proven résumé knowledge about what works in the real world.

Here is a quick example. Some national personal marketing firms (i.e., professional résumé services) write résumés for fees of $150 and up. They recommend, and will write, a functional résumé for anyone willing to pay their fee. Unlike the traditional chronological résumé, a functional résumé lists all the duties and responsibilities spanning a person’s career. Then, at the bottom of the résumé, are the names of companies the person has worked for, along with the corresponding dates. Usually there is little or no explanation of what each company does. Yet, here are the facts: Most hiring authorities don’t like or read these types of résumés. (Résumé types are discussed in Chapter 3, where you’ll also find the results of a survey involving more than 3,000 hiring authorities, which backs up this fact. Indeed, you will learn what they do want to see in a résumé.)

Does this mean that no one using a functional résumé ever gets an interview? Or ever gets hired? No, of course not. But it does mean that your chances of getting an interview are better if you don’t use a functional résumé. And, after all, doesn’t it make sense to stack the odds in your favor?

The reason hiring managers don’t appreciate functional résumés is that the experience and accomplishments of the candidate are not set in the context of particular companies or job functions. That is, after all, the context in which they are hiring.

A functional résumé crossed my desk a few years ago, in which the candidate had written: #1 salesperson in the U.S. I went ahead and interviewed the candidate because I recognized the companies he had worked for, listed at the bottom. But I explained that he needed to write a chronological résumé connecting his experiences and successes to each job held. When he did so, it turned out that he had been the #1 salesperson in the U.S. 10 years ago! That’s why hiring authorities don’t like this type of résumé. They hide the details. Unfortunately, this candidate had paid $5,000 to a consulting firm that had guaranteed the functional résumé it wrote would land him a job. Guaranteed?

The primary reason people spend so much time, money, and effort in writing a résumé is that this is the one activity within the job search that they can control. Instead of picking up the phone and calling a prospective employer to ask for a face-to-face interview—risking potential rejection—people agonize over their résumés. It’s true that agonizing over a résumé won’t get you rejected, but spending hours on your résumé doesn’t automatically mean it will be successful, either.

Here’s the Truth: Nothing you think about your résumé matters unless it helps you get interviews that result in job offers! So, here’s what I suggest. If anyone charges you money to write a résumé, tell the person you will double the asking price after the résumé gets you an interview, let alone a job. Yes, you read that right. Tell the agency or individual you will pay contingent upon the résumé’s working for you. If the agency truly believes the résumés it produces are as effective as it claims, then it should have no problem taking this deal.

The Real Value of a Résumé

It is rare for someone to get hired by simply submitting a résumé—the purpose of the résumé is to help get you an interview. And at the interview, remember that 40 percent of a hiring decision is based on personality. The series of interviews is used to judge the compatibility of your personality with those of people in the company. That is, companies hire people they like; a résumé cannot communicate your personal traits.

It’s that simple. Your résumé won’t get you hired; rather, your résumé should help you get face-to-face interviews—so that your winning personality can convince your interviewers.

It is possible that you may be lucky and get an invitation to interview strictly by sending your résumé to a hiring authority. But in this market that situation isn’t likely. You’re going to have to do a lot of other things to secure the interviews, and I tell you what these things are in the chapters of this book.

Résumé Secrets? Résumé Magic? Hogwash

If you Google the words résumé magic, you will get over 1.9 million results. If you Google résumé secrets, you will get 22.5 million results. What’s so absurd about all of this is that there is no magic, there are no secrets to résumé writing. In fact, the process is not even mysterious. Writing an effective résumé is simple—as long as you have an effective résumé strategy.

You want to write and use the most effective résumé possible so that you can get as many interviews and job offers as you can. It’s a simple statistical challenge. But this book will help you learn how to write a résumé that will have a higher probability of helping you get those face-to-face interviews.

Conquering the Biggest Challenge

You’ve come to the right place. Here, you will learn how to write a simple, straightforward, and effective résumé. But that’s actually not the hardest part about getting a face-to-face interview. Your biggest challenge is knowing what to do with the résumé after you’ve written it.

How you use your résumé to secure face-to-face interviews is where the rubber really meets the road. The vast majority of people who call me to complain about their zero job responses think that their problems lie with their résumé. And while for some there may indeed be some résumé kinks, that is not the primary reason they’re not getting interviews. Rather, the problem is a lack of technique and strategy.

In Chapters 2 through 7, I show you, step by step, how to write an effective résumé. Then, in Chapters 8 through 10, I coach you on how to use your effective résumé to get results—that all-important golden egg, the face-to-face interview.


Surprising Facts About Your Résumé Audience

MOST PEOPLE assume that if they write an effective résumé it is going to be read by decision makers with great business acumen and experience. And that since these decision makers are so intelligent, they will naturally have the wisdom to interview and hire them. Nothing could be further from the truth.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are 7.5 million businesses in the United States with employees, and the average number of employees in those 7.5 million businesses is sixteen. The BLS also tells us that between December 2000 and November 2008, the monthly turnover rate for U.S. companies was 3.3 percent. This means that we are a nation of small companies, with 3.3 percent of our employees coming and going on a monthly basis.

The average job in the United States lasts two and a half to three years. In 2008, every day 1,751 companies went bankrupt or closed. And each day they were replaced by 1,781 new companies. Even very large companies make poor business decisions and sometimes teeter on insolvency. Most of us are not aware of just how phenomenally erratic businesses are, even in the United States. We tend to think that most businesses are very successful—and that definition of success can be very broad. Yet the U.S. Department of Commerce reports that seven out of ten new employer firms last at least two years but only about half survive five years.

So, businesses expand, contracts are born, and companies die erratically. In 2008, 1.8 million businesses in the United States expanded or opened, creating 7.3 million jobs; meanwhile, 2 million businesses contracted or closed in the same year, eliminating 7.9 million jobs. This means that the hiring authority who might be interviewing you probably hasn’t been in that job very long, either. Even long-term positions can be short. According to Crist Kolder Associates, roughly half of the CFOs of Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies are in their jobs for fewer than three years—that’s about the average tenure of an NFL running back.

Guess why hiring managers want to know What can you do for me . . . right now, today? It’s because (1) chances are they won’t be there long, and (2) they know they have to perform now to keep their jobs into tomorrow.

And with an economy that has been shaky at best, most business-people are operating more out of fear of loss than from a vision of gain. They are afraid of just about everything—especially the economy. They don’t know how long this malaise will continue.

When a business is fearful about the future, it’s difficult to make hiring decisions, but it’s even more difficult for job candidates. With so many candidates to choose from, hiring authorities are compelled to seek out the perfect candidate. They feel that they can’t afford to make a mistake. And they expect better candidates than they interviewed and hired just a few years ago.

If you are like most candidates, you think your résumé is being perused and considered by intelligent businesspeople who have a genuine sense of appreciation for what you can do for their companies. You imagine a wise hiring authority who is personally reading your perfect résumé. But the truth is, the chances are poor that your résumé will ever get in front of that person, let alone be read by him or her.

I have been a professional recruiter since 1973, and in that time, here’s what I have noticed:

60 percent of résumés received for a particular opening are never reviewed by the hiring authority.

70 percent of résumés received for a particular opening are reviewed by a third party—that is, a human resources (HR) individual, internal recruiter, or some administrative person—who may or may not be qualified to interview a prospective employee. (A few years ago, we got a call from the CEO of a $40 million manufacturing company. He said he needed to hire a controller and that his daughter was going to do the initial interviewing—while she was home from college over Christmas break.)

60 percent of the third parties who review a résumé have no direct experience with the job they are recruiting for. Rather, they are relying on information given to them by someone else.

40 percent of résumés that are opened to be read are deleted because the reader isn’t clear about what kind of job the person has done, who the applicant has worked for, and how successful the person has been.

Additionally, most people imagine that companies fill most of their job openings within one to two months. In reality, the average time is more like four or five months.

The average résumé gets read in ten seconds. On top of this, there are at least 100 résumés received for every job posted to the public. Even if a hiring authority decides to read all of the résumés him-or herself, the odds of yours surfacing to the top aren’t great.

If you have been looking for a job for a while, and you have sent your résumé to many companies, you may have asked yourself, Why don’t those people call me? I am an absolute perfect match for their jobs! What’s wrong with them?

Well, now you know. It is not likely your résumé even got read, and it’s even less likely that it was read by the right person—the person feeling the pain. By feeling the pain I mean the person who needs to hire someone because, if someone isn’t hired, he has to do the job himself.

Although it is easy to get discouraged when you hear all of this, if you follow the advice in this book you will significantly improve your odds of getting interviews. And, after all, it is better to be aware of what really goes on than to live in a fantasy world and be disappointed.

There’s really not much you can do about the chaos that goes on in most companies, especially relating to the hiring process. At least by recognizing the relative mess you will be able to get your expectations in order—and you will realize that it’s not you. And then, having a well-written résumé with a high probability of being read is a good first step toward breaking through that chaos. Of course, it’s important to have an effective strategy for using your résumé to get an interview—because a great résumé is only as good as your ability to get the interview.


The Résumés 3,000 Hiring Authorities Want to See

THIS CHAPTER may be one of the most important things you ever read about getting a job. It translates research findings into practical information that can help you get that job you need.

We surveyed more than 6,000 hiring and interviewing authorities in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas. These authorities ranged from first-line hiring managers to CEOs, at companies employing from six people to more than a thousand employees. A full 11 percent of those surveyed were third-party recruiters, such as human resources (HR) managers, while the rest were individuals responsible for managing the persons they would hire. These hiring authorities represented a wide variety of disciplines, including sales, engineering, architecture, administrative support, healthcare (i.e., physicians, nursing, and allied professions), accounting and finance, and information technology.

The Survey

A total of 3,129 people answered our survey. To ensure a good response, we kept the questions short and to the point. Here are the questions we asked:

What are the critical components of a well-written résumé?

When you scan dozens of résumés, what do you look for?

What length of résumé do you prefer?

What are some of the things you see in résumés that you really don’t like? What shouldn’t be on a résumé?

What distinguishes the résumés of candidates you interview from the large number of résumés you ignore?

How many résumés do you personally review—per week? per month? per year? per position you are trying to fill?

How important is a cover letter when you are receiving résumés?

Is it you or your HR department who reviews the résumés first?

When you have a stack of résumés in front of you, how long does it take to initially review each one?

Do you receive or use video résumés?

The Results

Here are the results, with the percentages of respondents specifying the answers given:

What Are the Critical Components

of a Well-Written Résumé?

Reverse chronological order: 98%

Names of companies, a clear indication of what they do, specific dates, specific job titles, and a clear list of duties: 98%

Concise evidence of success: 96%

Quantifiable results and accomplishments: 94%

No spelling, grammar, or typographical errors: 85%

Clear, concise articulation of skills and experience: 80%

Pertinent information that relates to the job being filled: 60%

Written by the candidate (not professionally written): 48%

Format that is clear and easy to read: 45%

Dates of employment with month and year: 45%

Résumé tailored to specific job opening (what can you do for me—now?): 40%

It’s clear that the vast majority of respondents want a reverse chronological résumé. As you will see, functional résumés, as well as most Objectives statements and Career Summaries, are not generally appreciated or desired. Clear dates of employment and concise evidence of a person’s duties, responsibilities, and accomplishments are important.

Functional résumés are acceptable in some professions, like nursing or healthcare. A nurse is a nurse, no matter if he or she worked at a number of hospitals. A hiring authority would want to know the accomplishments or functions and that, for instance, all of the positions were in nursing. I discuss this, with examples, in Chapter 7.

When You Scan Dozens of Résumés,

What Do You Look For?

Professional experience that relates to what needs to be done: 97%

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