top of page

The Résumé Advice You Must Avoid

Updated: Apr 8, 2023

3 pieces of advice to dodge

Welcome to my blog...

I've been a résumé writer longer than most of my peers, and even longer than most résumé certifications have been around. What I see in the industry is alarming. The worst of it is bad advice that makes the life of a résumé writer easier. Lacking knowledgeability in a résumé writer will certainly reduce the impact of their writing for leadership, sales, finance, supply chain, logistics, and IT.

I was once a Boston banker. Then a stakeholder in a Cambridge tech startup that pioneered e-commerce as you know it today. We were bought by IBM. After that, I worked on an outsourcing contract under the IBM name in 2003. I staffed 200 development projects across 30 IT/IS competencies.

Then my career as a recruitment firm owner and résumé writer began. It combines my proven writing abilities; sector and industry experience; and recruitment history, as both a hiring manger and a headhunter.

I look out for my clients, and they experience exceptional results because I know the world of work from every desk imaginable. I know résumés, ATS systems, hiring manager habits, and HR practices. I understand networking, and it never starts on LinkedIn; never begins with a hiring manager; and never ever gets started with HR.

It is time to expect more from résumé writers.

What does yours really know?

Here are three pieces of advice you're seeing. All of them are bad. Really bad. I'll start by helping you here, and look out for more posts and blogs to come!

1) Load your résumé up with keywords?

A good résumé will naturally feature the keywords in their proper hierarchy.

I've bought and/or programmed 16 ATS. Résumés with lots of keyword hacks usually pop up first -- and get tossed first.

You need a resume that grabs -- and then holds the reader.

Hone your message -- then home in!

ATS can never stand for Y-O-U.

2) Limit your résumé history to 15 years?

This is a product of 22-year old résumé “writers” telling 44-year old professionals what to do.

It’s also a way of cutting down their work.

I often use myself as an example. If I got an MBA in Finance, I would most certainly highlight my experience as a banker in asset based finance. In fact, I would functionally format my résumé to show it on my first page.

It dates back to the 1990s!

3) Keep technical résumés simple?

No. Write them for your audience.

I saw this written by someone who claims to know a lot about Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). This shocked me out of my seat.

You need those complex keywords, and your audience needs complex context.

You’re not writing this for a 12-year old.

Or a 9-year she recommended.


Let's talk!

Your résumé should be as long as it needs to be. Some of my clients are competing for positions with a large pool of applicants after completing highly specialized master's and medical programs.

Often, they are limited to one page! This also happens for interns and for consulting firm entry-level, analyst, and associate-tier opportunities.

Nearly all my résumés are two pages. When they are three pages, it is typically for someone who has a lot of projects to list. I separate those into a third page.

Construction Managers are a great category to consider such a third page.

Those with long CVs seeking a shorter résumé for common distribution might assign Publications and Presentations to a third page.

Your career history is relevant as far back as it goes. If you were a school teacher 25 years ago, and plan to apply for a new job that involves instruction and training—include that experience in some way if you’ve nothing more recent or relevant to show.

Even when there is more to show, it would most likely be helpful to include it.

Happy Hunting!

Your career hero,

Brian Brandt

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page