Resume First Impressions Matter

Resume First Impression
Jeff’s approach to resume writing results is a clear, directed, and simply effective resume for getting results.  Jeff will show you how to best position yourself to get through HR, sell yourself to the hiring manager, and get the job you want.
— Chief Information Security Officer

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How Do I Write a Resume That Opens Interview Doors?

Interview Door Opening Resumes

It’s About You but Never for You

While your resume is always about you, it is never for you. The purpose of writing a resume is to help someone else, someone in your resume’s audience, to get to know you quickly.

By quickly, I’m mean real fast.  Research suggests that resume reviewers give your resume 6 seconds of initial attention.  In those 6 seconds, it is your job to demonstrate what you have to offer that aligns with what your audience is seeking. 

The goal for your resume in the first 6 seconds of your audience’s resume scanning process is to give your audience enough evidence that your resume is worthy of their time to read.

You have to earn your audience’s commitment to read before they’ll move past visual scanning mode.

People Don’t Read Anymore

Think about it.  Our minds have been conditioned to scan 120 characters in a Tweet. When people write comments on Facebook, how often are those comments short and incomplete sentences? It isn’t that nobody can read. The reality is that most people will start out scanning before they commit to reading.

Write your resume so that it can be visually scanned in 6-10 seconds and make sure you are delivering what your audience cares about more than what you care about.

Your Resume is a Highly Complex Document

If you’ve ever struggled with resume writing, it’s okay.  Writing a great resume requires a mix of Technical Writing, Business Writing and Creative / Strategic Writing.  Knowing exactly what matters to your resume’s audience is where you begin the process of creating your own resume.


Jeff Snyder’s Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810


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Is Your Job Search Stuck?

Resume Writing

The social media post read like this:

“I simply do not understand how someone can be out of work for any amount of time. I have been out for 4 months and we're almost heading to a shelter. I don't know what we will do if SOMEONE doesn't hire me soon.”

Out of curiosity, I dug deeper and looked up the LinkedIn profile of the person who wrote the quoted words.  The LinkedIn profile offered next to nothing in terms of evidence of Accomplishments, Contributions to past employers or Value this person has created along the way in their career.

No, I’m not suggesting that this person has no Accomplishments to report or that they don’t do anything of value. What I am suggesting is that they have invested minimal time into building what I consider to be a skeleton LinkedIn profile that doesn’t communicate value.

If you want results in any facet of life, you’ll have to take action. The person who wrote the quoted words above is likely good at something but I don’t know what that something is and neither will any employer who needs this person’s skills if they don’t do a better job in packaging and delivering their value.

Since this person needs to do some LinkedIn Profile Optimization, there’s a pretty good chance that they need help with resume writing and interview coaching as well. Don't let yourself slip into the position of the person who wrote the quoted text above. 

Jeff Snyder’s, Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810

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When Seeking Resume Writing Advice, Focus On Results Rather Than Opinions


I recently read an article on LinkedIn entitled THINGS YOU SHOULD REMOVE FROM YOUR RESUME IMMEDIATELY.  If you want to read this article, simply click on the article title. I provided the hyperlink to take you to the article.

When I cut and pasted the text of this article into a Word document so I could read it later, it came out to 12 pages.  While I agree with some of the article’s points, I don’t agree with every point.

Instead of arguing over opinions, know that my resume writing opinions come from results, results and only results.  Here’s what you need to know about what I teach my clients about resume writing.

CISO Resume Writing

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​ I’m a Director, She Wrote…That’s Great News, I Thought in My Mind

My Resume Writing Service

I have been assisting people with resume writing since 1990.  In 2008, I turned my pro-Bono work into an active part of my business.  I didn’t go out and study other people’s approaches to resume writing.  Rather, I collected thoughts from several of my clients as well as from many of my colleagues and peers; people who have reviewed tens of thousands of resumes in their careers.

From there, I set out to build a resume writing methodology from scratch. I started with my own thoughts, the information I’d collected from my colleagues and peers as well as information your audience told me they wanted to see in a resume and began building from the ground up.

What I created is a proprietary resume writing methodology that has opened interview doors for my clients around the globe since 2008 and continues to open interview doors today.  My clients have included Analysts and Engineers, Architects, Managers, Directors, VPs and “C” Suite Executives.

Hiring a Resume Writer

Here are a handful of suggestions with regards to how you might want to go about selecting a resume writer or a resume coach.

  • Hire a resume writer who understands your profession and the audience you’ll be sending your resume to.
  • Hire a resume writer who can demonstrate client results as a result of their clients using their resume writing approach.
  • Be ready to roll up your sleeves to partner with your resume writer or resume coach.
  • Don’t approach a resume writer with this mindset:

“To be frank, I was really looking for someone just to write my resume. I was not looking for guidance. As you may have noticed, I am Director of Information Security and have very little time to devote to resume writing.”


You’ll Have To Participate

Understand that you are the only person on the planet who has walked in your shoes.  Nobody knows why you are unique or special other than you.  Nobody knows how to tell your stories of Accomplishment, Contributions or the Value you’ve created for previous employers other than you.  The best any resume writer can do is to meet you half way.  If they claim to be able to do more, I suggest that you turn around and run away.

A great resume is a forward leaning document.  This document cannot be written by you handing a resume writer your last three job descriptions.  Job descriptions talk about what you are hired to do.  They never talk about what you did or how you did what you did.  This by the way is what employers told me they want to see in a resume. 

You have to participate in the resume building process.

My Resume Writing / Resume Coaching Options

I offer a 1 Hour Resume Coaching program for my clients who are confident in their writing skills.  These clients are people who want to learn my proprietary resume writing methodology.  I’ve boiled this knowledge transfer down to a 1 hour coaching call. 

For my clients who are not as comfortable with their writing skills, I have a service that I refer to as my Full Resume Writing Service.  My 1 Hour Resume Coaching program is so effective because it addresses both auditory and visual learners, so I deliver this program to my Full Resume Writing clients before I take over as their editor.

I my Full Resume Writing clients to the drawing board to build their raw resume material based on the methodology I have taught them.  When my clients are ready for me to jump back into their resume writing process, I do so as their personal editor.  I take their raw material and turn it into a polished, professionally written resume that is then ready to open interview doors.


Nobody on the planet can write your resume for you from start to finish.  Regardless of how busy you might be, you have to slow down to participate in a knowledge transfer process. 

There is no other way to end up with a great resume.

Jeff Snyder's Jeff Snyder Coaching Blog, 719.686.8810


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When a Resume and LinkedIn Profile are Built Strategically, Big Things Can Happen



One Year Ago

Yesterday afternoon, a client who invested in Resume Coaching and LinkedIn Coaching with me a year or so ago called to talk about additional coaching.  He has a great problem that needs some attention.

Just over a year ago when this Cyber Security professional called me for the first time, he was in a good job that paid well.  After his Resume was rebuilt and his LinkedIn Profile was rebuilt, he landed a job at $153,000. 

Prepared When Opportunity Knocked

He wasn’t looking for another job so soon but he told me yesterday that his LinkedIn profile has been attracting 5-10 inquiries every week for the past year.  A start-up company reached out to him recently and offered  a job he couldn’t refuse at $200,000. 


The Cyber Security professional invested $409.00 with me one year ago to build a winning resume and a winning LinkedIn profile that are aligned and carrying the same message.  In a period of one year, the Cyber Security went from compensation in the low $100s to compensation exceeding $200,000.

When opportunity knocked, the Cyber Security professional was prepared.

Striving For Excellence

The problem my Cyber Security coaching client has today will turn into opportunity for him once we work together to get his Emotional Intelligence balanced so he can learn to behave like a $200,000 Vice President.  We'll accomplish this through Emotional Intelligence Coaching.

Jeff Snyder Coaching, 719.686.8810

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Stop The Insanity

Stop Sign Jeff.jpg

"I have a two page resume and just had it professionally written.  It has been 11 months and only two interviews with no luck.  I have submitted literally hundreds of on-line applications with not one hit."



Stop What You Might Ask?

Stop hiring "Professional Resume Writers" just because they label themselves that way.  

Look for this:

  • Results: Not how much money the resume writer has made selling their services but how much success the resume writer's clients have had in the marketplace. This is the way to measure a resume writing service's value.

  • Methodology: Is the resume writer delivering 1980s or 1990s resumes because that's all they know?  Stop hiring these people if they haven't gone to the business recently to find out what the business wants in a resume. Times have changed.  Therefore, the methodology behind creating a resume should have changed too.

  • The Clock Is On:  If your resume can't be reviewed successfully in 10-15 seconds by a decision maker, your participation in the game could very well be over.

  • Visual Scan: If your resume can't be visually scanned from top-to-bottom in a matter of seconds; game over.  Resume reviewers are extremely busy and data-overwhelmed people.  They are much more likely to visually scan your resume upon first glance than to read your resume.  If your resume does not scan well, it likely not be read at all.

  • Applicant Tracking Systems:  If a resume writer does not have or has never seen the inner-workings of an Applicant Tracking System, run away.  Your resume will be stopped at the gate if it does not play nicely with an Applicant Tracking System.

  • Pretty Resumes: Pretty resumes are not necessarily effective resumes.  As a resume reviewer, I'd rather see a text resume that clearly demonstrates Accomplishments, Contributions and Value than to see a pretty PDF formatted resume that is loaded with fancy fonts, boxes and symbols that don't play nicely with my Applicant Tracking System.  Don't be fooled by pretty.

  • Audience: If the resume writer does not intimately understand your professional audience, run away.  Your resume is about you but it is for someone else 100% of the time.  Your resume must be written for it's audience to understand with ease.

  • Interpretation: The more technical your skill set is, the more likely it is that you have built a resume that requires the audience to interpret.  Stop it!  The burden of interpretation should rest on your shoulders.  Your audience should be positioned to enjoy the journey of getting to know you without having a dictionary handy.

  • Mobile Friendly: Hiring authorities often travel.  If your resume does not display clearly on a mobile device; game over.  Your resume might be reviewed by a hiring authority while they are sitting at the airport when they review your resume.

  • Clean, Clear and Logical: Your resume should be built to match up with the order in which a hiring decision maker is looking for information. In order to understand this, a resume writer either had to be a hiring decision maker or they have to have worked with decision makers over an extended period of time to understand their thought process when they review resumes.

  • Resume and LinkedIn: Is the resume writer telling you about the importance of aligning your resume's message with the message you're sharing on your LinkedIn profile. If they're not, they should be. You are being visited on LinkedIn whether you know it or not. Make your visitor's first impression count.

  • Results (2): Opinions are great.  Everyone has an opinion.  Look for a resume writer who delivers results that matter to you. Be sure your resume writer's approach to writing resumes is built on prior results and not just an opinion.  Make sure the resume writer you hire tells you what you need to know and not just what you want to hear.

Happy Competing!

Jeff Snyder Coaching

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Ineffective Resumes Stall Job Searches

Bad Resume Format

The bottom resume format is one that I recently suggested was not good for the 21st century. For that matter, it wasn't good in the last century either.

I was asked if the bottom example was the only format that is ineffective.  The person who asked this question paid for "professional" resume assistance before they came to me and he/she has not been getting desired results in their job search.

The top example is not the resume of the person who asked this question.  This resume sample is one that I found on a professional resume writing website posted as a sample of the writer's work.  

This format was good in the 1980s and 1990s.  Times have changed. We're in a different century now and the rules of the game have changed.  

While this format is nice looking, it is very ineffective for many reasons.  I chose this example because I see resumes like this come to my own Inbox every day.

This is a tidbit of my resume writing advice.

You have 10-15 seconds to communicate:

  • Who you are
  • Where you are
  • How someone can communicate with you
  • What you’re great at
  • How you’re educated
  • How you’re credentialed
  • What you do today

Ideally this is accomplished on the first ½ to 2/3 of page 1 of your resume.  This is the first 2/3 of a resume that came to me yesterday. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, get help.

Bad Resume Format

Resume writing is a complex topic.  This is especially true if you are a technology professional. Your resume needs to be a blend of Technical Writing, Business Writing and Creative Writing.  

Too much of any particular ingredient and your resume will likely be ineffective.  If you choose to work with a resume writer or a resume coach, determine if this person's clients have achieved desired results lately.  

Jeff Snyder Coaching

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This Is Not a 21st Century Resume

Bad Resume

A 21st Century Resume must be human friendly, applicant tracking system friendly and mobile friendly.

This resume came to me yesterday. I’ve done my best to leave some of the text showing while sanitizing what I’m sharing.  My intention here is to show information security professionals why the business has trouble taking you seriously sometimes.

I approached the owner of this resume to determine if he had a teachable and coachable mindset.  He did not.  He only wanted to know if I could place him.  The answer is a resounding NO.

If what I’m sharing doesn’t apply to you, don’t take offense.  If you present yourself like this, please do something about it.

You have 10-15 seconds to communicate:

  • Who you are
  • Where you are
  • How someone can communicate with you
  • What you’re great at
  • How you’re educated
  • How you’re credentialed
  • What you do today

Ideally this is accomplished on the first ½ to 2/3 of page 1 of your resume.  This is the first 2/3 of a resume that came to me yesterday. If you don’t know how to do this yourself, get help.

Jeff Snyder Coaching

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