How to write a successful resume

The Marines test their men so that under ideal conditions they can strip down their rifles and put them back together extremely fast. They can do it blindfolded.

Since your resume may be first reviewed in 5.7 seconds and thrown away or kept, you have to make sure it can be read blindfolded.

I’m not saying to use Braille. Instead use bullets, placement of keywords, white space, and numbers (which also attract the eye) to make reviewers quickly see you meet the basic requirements.

Test one – the famous test:

Give your resume to a friend. Take it back after 12 seconds. Ask him what your resume says you are qualified to do. If he can’t tell you, it fails.

Test two — plus:

Get some resumes from friends or coworkers. Tell them you need them for this test. Or go to and download the resumes linked there. Put your resume somewhere besides first in the pile. Now, give the job description for the job you are applying for to a friend. Have him read it carefully. Give him the stack of resumes. Tell him he has 10 seconds per resume to decide if it fits the job. As he goes through the stack, time him on each resume. If he goes past 10 seconds, take the resume away and ask if it passes or fails. Does your resume pass or fail?

If your resume passes both tests, you have got a fighting chance. 

Something to do today

Use the methods above to test your resume. Did your resume pass or did it fail? If it fails, make changes to make your resume better and test it again. 

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