The Lightning Resume Blog

What makes a resume effective?

What makes a resume effective?

Writing a resume can be a surprisingly stressful. This simple task can feel like so much hassle, that people have been known to take weeks to write out their resumes. Many others use resume-writing services where they spend their time filling forms and answering questions instead of writing out their own, unique, resume. Worse, the next time a resume is needed the cycle repeats itself, making it harder than necessary to look for a job.

Let’s start with understanding just why resumes are so hard to write. The root of the problem lies in the fact that many people have mistaken beliefs about resumes. For example the most common mistaken beliefs are:

If we get clear on what a resume is supposed to do, we can then figure out how to write a good resume. So our first step is to get clear on just what a resume is supposed to do for us. What exactly does a good resume accomplish?

The function of a resume is to filter us through the hiring funnel and land us an interview.

Our resume is competing with two hundred other resumes for that precious interview. The job of the perfect resume is to get us picked for that interview over all the others. And this is a very very important job. If we cannot manage this first step, many opportunities will slip us by.

So just how do we write a resume that accomplishes this feat? First, of course, we need to understand the hiring funnel. Once we've got a handle on the gatekeepers of the funnel, we simply ensure that our resume contains content that connects with each of them in turn.

By studying the hiring funnel deeply we can see that such a resume must contain two basic ingredients:

  1. It must pass a quick ‘accept/reject’ scan-filter towards the beginning of the hiring funnel and
  2. It must become progressively more interesting as we get deeper into the hiring funnel.

The perfect resume one which handles all of the gatekeepers. How? That's simple:

And that's it. Spending time formatting the resume and making it look pretty is time wasted. Agonizing about how to fit all our many accomplishments into the fewest number of pages is pointless - we can now easily write a targeted resume in a single page that connects with each of the gatekeepers. Having this perspective allows us to know what makes a resume effective and therefore what to write.

The book I have written gives you an easy 5-step process that you can follow to write this perfect resume simply and easily. It also provides nuance and detail to expand on the guidelines above - down to the resume formats that work best. I guarantee you can use it to truly write a different, powerful resume very quickly for each job you ever want.

Post a Question
Back to Blog

Want More?

If you want to be updated with periodic information about the Software Industry along with career tips and hacks, drop your email below.

*We promise never to share your mail with anyone or spam you. Your details will only be used for our occasional newsletter.

The Lightning Guide to Your Perfect Resume

This short book contains a step-by-step process - taken from the best in the industry - for producing high quality, stand-out, resumes.

It has been my experience that developers are poor at writing resumes and struggle to highlight themselves in a way that connects with the best companies and jobs. This book presents the best guidelines along with a simple process that any software engineer can use to create a stand-out, killer resume.