The Secret Sauce to a Kick-Butt Resume, with Dawn Rasmussen

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Among human resources professionals, it is commonly held that at least 85 percent of all resumes “suck.” A vast majority of resumes are poorly written and formatted, and they don’t showcase the candidate’s value to the prospective employer.

Where does your resume fall? Is it in the mediocre majority or part of the awesome, “non-sucky” 15%?

On this bonus episode of Find Your Dream Job, Dawn Rasmussen, president of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, shares her advice on crafting a perfect resume that stands out, grabs employers’ attention, and lands you the interview.

Dawn reads from “The Secret Sauce to a Kick-Butt Resume”, her contribution to our book, Land Your Dream Job in Portland (and Beyond).


Mac Prichard:   

This is Find You Dream Job. The pod cast that helps you get hired, have the career you want and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard, your host and publisher of Mac’s List.

On today’s bonus episode, we’re sharing exclusive content from our new book, Land Your Dream Job in Portland and Beyond. Land Your Dream Job in Portland and Beyond compiles job search tips and career management tools into one simple easy to read guide. It’s the definitive tool kit for anyone looking for meaningful work. The book also includes special contributions from an array of job search experts and today you’ll hear from one of them.

Here is Dawn Rasmussen, President of Pathfinder Writing and Career Services, reading her contribution, The Secret Sauce to a Kick-Butt Resume.

Dawn Rasmussen: 

Ask any Portland area human resource manager, recruiter, hiring manager, or headhunter, and believe it or not, he or she will tell you that at least 85% of all resumes suck. I know. I’ve asked them.

The good news is that there’s really a simple solution to this common problem. It’s all about shifting your perspective. You may think this document is all about you, but the truth is, it’s really about them. Them being the employer who’s reading your document.

With this staggering statistic in mind, in order to get into the top 10% of awesome resumes, your goal and mission is to start thinking about what you’ve done in the past and start positioning your accomplishments as value. That means not simply including your job duties beneath each employer. You’ve got to do better than that. Now is the time to start keeping track of on-the-job accomplishments. What have you done to make it better? What problems have you solved? How have you helped the company reach its goals? Have you helped make money, save money, or save time?

Fear not, you who have not kept track of such important things. Many times the answers to these questions lie in performance reviews, plans of work, staff reports, kudos letters, and many other recaps.

If you don’t have access to these documents, then your best guess is your best guess, but always be honest and also be conservative. The same thing goes for quantifying your results.

You should always try to put a number on your accomplishment statements that helps answer the question the employers have been thinking about when reading a candidate’s resume. Based on what this person did for the previous employer, what is he or she going to be doing for me? That’s the secret sauce to a kick-butt resume, when you can win them over with results not fluff.

Mac Prichard: 

If you’re looking for expert advice and insider tips like what you just heard, check out Land Your Dream Job in Portland and Beyond. You’ll find everything you need to get a great job whether your in Portland, Oregon, Portland, Maine, or anywhere in between.

The 2016 edition includes new content and for the first time ever, it’s available in paperback, as well as in an array of e-reading devices including Kindle, Nook and iBooks. For more information on Land Your Dream Job in Portland and Beyond, visit