3 Top Résumé Tips

by Scott Vedder | Fortune 100 Recruiter, Best-Selling Author, and IAAP Speaker


I am proud to have helped administrative professionals and other job seekers nationwide in their careers. I’m also fortunate to have been recognized by the White House and Pentagon as an expert on career transitions for military veterans and spouses. I’ve delivered my Signs of a Great Résumé and Interview Workshops at a number of local IAAP events. I was inspired by the enthusiasm, professionalism, and achievements of the IAAP members I met. At these workshops, I was asked for my best tips for writing an administrative résumé that will stand out from the crowd. Here are my top 3 tips to get you started:

1: A résumé is not a job description.

Don’t just describe the basic things you did on a job. If every administrative professional who ever supported your organization could write something similar, then you’re not being specific enough. A recruiter doesn’t want to know what “any executive assistant” might bring to a role. We need to know what types of experiences have specifically prepared you for the job. Explain and quantify what makes your experience unique and why it’s relevant to the job. The best way to make your résumé speak for itself, is to use what I call !@#$%, the Signs of a Great Résumé to showcase your experience and skills, and to highlight your greatest achievements and contributions:

! – Any part of your experience that was “amazing!”

@ – Defining points, places, dates and things in your career

# – Numbers that quantify and prove your past successes

$ – The dollar value of your contributions

% – Figures that easily show growth and results

When you use the Signs of a Great Résumé, your résumé will speak for itself! For example, what was the # of team members and scope of professionals you supported? What $ value of expense report monitoring, completion, and auditing did you perform? By what % did you improve the efficiency of processes for your team by being creative and innovative? What are the ! moments your boss might say are the most significant contributions you’ve made to your organization? (But don’t actually use exclamation points; it might seem like you’re yelling at someone.)

2: Don’t use a generic résumé to apply for multiple jobs. 

You must customize your résumé to the job posting so it’s clear why you’re qualified for a specific position. Recruiters use applicant tracking software to review résumés against the job posting. They’ll know if you’re just blasting out a generic résumé. A generic résumé can’t explain why you’re qualified for a particular job and will not help you get an interview. Use the Signs of a Great Résumé to describe your most relevant experience for each job. Review the posting to find key words that are important to the employer; those are what recruiters will be searching for in the résumé review software.

3: Start writing your résumé now

The best time to start writing a résumé is today. Don’t put off writing your résumé until you see your dream job posted. It’s much better to be prepared far in advance of a job posting. This way you’ll have time to provide detailed information about your best qualifications and all of the relevant experience you’ve gained in your career.

Best wishes for an administrative career that’s full of !@#$%.

IAAP works with the best trainers in the industry to ensure you have relevant, engaging, practical content at your fingertips. This blog is written by a speaker with a program in the IAAP Approved Programs database. Search by name or keyword to find their contact information and book them for your Branch or Region event.

For more résumé and interview tips, or to book Scott Vedder to deliver IAAP-approved programs for your chapter, conference, or meeting, visit www.ScottVedder.com.

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