How Not to Get a Job

By Anonymous

As a headhunter who recruits in the fields of engineering and manufacturing, I can often judge in a matter of seconds whether a candidate could be a good fit for a particular position. When a resume fails to include a sentence identifying or describing the candidate’s current or former employer, he risks being eliminated for a position for which he could be eminently qualified.

If the candidate has worked for a manufacturer of hula-hoops while I’m searching for a Quality Engineer with experience in the rocket launching industry it is not important for me to know about his previous employers. But if I were searching for someone with experience in the toy and leisure field, then by not alerting me to the company’s hula-hoop specialty a candidate could miss out on a potential dream job.

A Single Sentence—Huge Potential Career Dividends

So what is the solution for making sure your resume is a career boosting friend and not a foe? Include a single sentence capturing what your previous employer does or who its core audience is. If the hiring company is a leading manufacturer of products that rotate around one’s waist, don’t forget to mention the company’s signature line of hula-hoops.

An excellent method of making sure your resume is crystal clear is to have someone unfamiliar with your industry read it over. Ask the reader if he understands what your previous employer does. Then ask if he has a grasp of what you’ve done in the past. His observations might be an eye opener on whether your resume is hitting its intended mark.

Seinfeld’s George Costanza applying for job with the NY Yankees

Make It Easy on the Reader

As a headhunter, I often delve into career areas outside of my comfort zone of engineering and manufacturing. When I venture into these new niches, it is reassuring to find a resume that doesn’t speak over my head. I occasionally have “aha” moments where I read about an employer and say to myself, “So that’s what they do.” This revelation can trigger the next critical step of matching an employer with a suitable candidate.

When speaking with a recruiter for the first time, you’ll make a friend for life by politely asking if you can answer any questions about your profession, industry or technical skill set.  Educating someone in a non-judgmental way is a sure-fire method of expanding your networking team.

Another helpful resume tip is to avoid playing “Where’s Waldo?” Think like an employer and don’t make the reader hunt for key words that reenforce why you’re the best person for the job. If an employer is seeking a machinist with Trak, Haas and Fanuc experience don’t wait until the interview to share you have this exact background.

Resume Treasure Map

A candidate should view his resume as a “treasure map.” Your resume should highlight career jewels that hopefully match your skills with an employer’s needs. These nuggets are the linchpin to the resume reader, who wants to interview the candidate holding a treasure chest of technical skills, education or experience.

Finally, unlike your favorite mystery novel, don’t leave the best for last. I admit that I sometimes have a short attention span when reading a resume. If I don’t find what I’m looking for in the upper half of the first page, it’s possible I’ll move on to the next candidate. The best resumes, novels and fishing lures open with a hook. If the reader gets an early taste of what he is looking for, it’s more likely the rest of your resume will get a thorough read and lead to an interview.


Does it worry you that Donald Trump does not have experience in government on his resume?

What has been your experience with headhunters?

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20 thoughts on “How Not to Get a Job

  1. AvatarJoe O'Toole

    Does it worry you that Donald Trump does not have experience in government on his resume?

    No! Short answer: “Drain the Swamp” Although, that may create difficulties in running the Federal Government.

    Long answer: We have survived many mediocre administrations that were led by career government employees. Now it is time to see what a businessman can do with a cabinet of politicians, think tankers and military professionals. Hopefully a new trend may arise. if it works out poorly, we should survive.

  2. AvatarMisterchipster

    Not one bit, many of the clowns we have elected in the last 200 years have had the same issue, some actually turned out to be great leaders. Hopefully he will bring “out of the box” thinking and “get ‘er dojne” practicality to an elected position woefully short of common sense and reason. Don’t get me wrong I don’t expect a super human and some failures are to be expected. He has skin in this game so even if he serves his interests I believe he will be more in line with the America we all grew up in.

    1. Avatarrick

      I feared that HiLlEry would win and sell these United States to the highest bidder via her “charitable” foundation…

  3. AvatarDonnie

    Actually it is refreshing to see someone without political experience. I hope he performs as advertised. I think calling out the price of the Boeing Air Force 1 project was a fair political ploy, now I hope in the first year he busts a couple of senators or congressmen on some pork barrel spending. I find it repulsive that I pay taxes to have some elected turd funnel millions of dollars to his son-in-law for advertising, bumper stickers, or some other government tool that we paid an exorbitant amount of money for. These thieves should not be hard to find, if he will just look. “Run it like a business”.

    1. AvatarBig Al

      The cost of Air Force One is so high because the of all the over and above extras the government (military and White House) are requiring. Boeing lost their shirt on the 2 present AFOs and they will probably lose money on any new ones they produce. The airplane has to basically be redesigned to accommodate all the extras they have to put into it.

  4. AvatarD Switzer

    You say he doesn’t have experience in government, But, He has loads of experience dealing with government. I think that speaks loudly..

  5. Avatared kays

    I look forward to see how the next 4 years unfold. I can’t see it being any worse then the last 16-20 years. Never used a head hunter. The longest I have been without a job since 1977 graduation is 10 days.


  6. AvatarDon McKillop

    Trump has a heck of a lot more experience running a large organization than Obama had in 2008, and seems to know how to hire, fire, and compromise to get things done. His outrageous remarks (build the wall, etc) are simply a starting point for negotiating to gauge his adversaries’ reactions. The big difference I see is that he’s surrounding himself with doers from industry, not college professor types like his predecessor. Finally, just like we did with Obama, he deserves a fair chance.

  7. AvatarMorrie Goldman

    “Does it worry you that Donald Trump does not have experience in government on his resume?” It’s not his lack of experience in government that worries me, it’s everything else about him that worries me. Here’s a guy who changes his views on major issues as often as some change their socks. He is so self centered that everything he says or does is framed on how he and his family will benefit. During the campaign, he said whatever he thought the group he spoke to wanted to hear or whatever would attract the most media coverage. Now, he’s already backed off of many of his key messages. If he didn’t know something, he simply made up lies. So far his cabinet picks seem to be a club of billionaires. If they supported his campaign with big dollars, they automatically qualify to be key members of his administration. I’m not sure that was what all those blue collar workers who voted for him expected. When Regan was elected, I was also concerned, but Regan surrounded himself with very smart, experienced people. That worked out pretty well. Trump doesn’t seem to believe that he needs advice from anyone. The job of President of the United States is probably the toughest and most stressful in the world. Having a President who thinks he can wing it is down right scary indeed.

    1. AvatarDonnie

      You almost me think he was a true Democrat. Sounded like everything they have done for the last 8 years for sure.

      1. AvatarMorrie Goldman

        Actually, I don’t think he a “true Democrat” or a “true Republican.” He a Trumplican.

    2. Avatarrick

      Trump has set incredible goals for himself and in most instances achieved them.

      Look at the Wohlman Rink in NYC. The City of New York wasted 6 years with no results. Trump finished it in less than 6 months – Ahead of Schedule and under budget!

      “his cabinet picks seem to be a club of billionaires..”
      These are champions of industry that MADE it on their own – in SPITE of Government roadblocks. They Made it on their own.

      And what of the Generals, Military, Doctor, and government servants that are on his team? Nice cherry picking and disinformation. Watch Rachel Maddow much?

      How about Secretary of the Interior: Ryan Zinke? Aformer Congressman AND retired Navy Seal. NOT a Billionaire,
      Secretary of Energy: Rick Perry? One of the most successful Governors of Texas – He ran a Yuge state. Actually ran something.
      Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency: Scott Pruitt – A former Attorney General
      Secretary of Homeland Security: John Kelly – Retired Marine Corps General
      Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ben Carson – Retired Brain Surgeon
      Secretary of Defense: James “MAD DOG” Mattis – Retired Marine Corps General
      Health and Human Services Secretary: Tom Price – Congressman
      Deputy National Security Adviser: K.T. McFarland – previously served as principal deputy assistant secretary of Secretary of Defense & female
      U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations: Nikki Haley – Govenor & female
      CIA Director: Mike Pompeo – congressman
      Attorney General: Jeff Sessions – Senator & State Attorney General
      National Security Adviser: Michael Flynn – Retired General
      Senior Counselor to the President: Steve Bannon – net worth ~ $10M nowadays that’s not much
      Assistant to Secretary of State – John Bolton – Former UN Ambasidor

      These are people that have produced results.
      Let us see what this blog question will be after the first 100 days…

  8. Avatarrick

    Those in Government have NO real accountability.
    Been to Motor Vehicles lately?
    Most politicians never met payroll or balanced a budget.
    It is easy when there is an ENDLESS steam of YOUR tax dollars.
    SEVEN YEARS of continuing resolutions – NO budgets – where and how much money? NO ONE KNOWS!
    20 TRILLION of debt


    We will be winning so much that we will not be able to take it 😉

    Merry Trumpmas and a safe & healthy New Year

  9. AvatarDonnie M

    I sure agree with the previous poster Rick. With all the experience the politicians have we should not be in debt or have a bloated government. If that’s what experience is, then I want leaders that do not have much political experience. We need statesmen not politicians. Look at out Constitution, the powers of the government are few and finite. Not many and infinite. 70% of the federal spending is unconstitutional. Never did the founding father want people in government for a career. Just serve a term or two and go back and make a living doing what they did before. That’s run by WE the people. Some say Trump has no experience, look at Barack Osama and his experience, nothing a community organizer… he never made payroll, ran a business etc. there is really not much that we know of him before he became senator. Judges sealed his records. If a conservative did that the left would have had a hay day! But BO got away with plenty. I think Trump should drain the swamp, but I think there is too much crap that the drain will not be big enough. I just get a kick out of how big of crybabies the democrats are! They act like a 2 year old brat who got his lollypop taken way! It could have been different if the nominee would have been someone other that Hillary! If people didn’t remember, there was so much corruption from Arkansas to the White House the first time the Clintons got there. I hope Jeff Sessions goes after the Clinton foundation and blows the lid off and send them to jail. I think they would look good in orange!

  10. AvatarDick Crosby

    My God man! What have you got to lose with Trump? That Chicago neighborhood organizer, Obama, brought nothing but Chicago corruption politics with him to Washington. He’s not only treasoned America, but his wishy-washy, so called leadership, has undermined the stability of a bunch of the world, that was depending on us for support. Look what he’s done to Isreal! Pathetic! Thank God for tough guys like Netanyahu. And I’m an English-Irish-Swedish kid.
    GO TRUMP! Fix this mess, and go back to your business
    like Geo. Washington, and the other old timers did. We need a law forcing “swamp dwellers” to get out of Washington. Permanently! When their mischevious deeds are done. And then let new guys try to straighten out their messes. Trump is like a breath of fresh air! It’ll be a blast!

  11. AvatarMark Williams

    Would you Donald Trump as a employee? If the answer is YES then you should be happy with the next 4 years. If the answer in NO you will be fearfully looking forward the the next 4 years.

  12. AvatarMild Bill

    I wouldn’t hire Mr. Trump only because he doesn’t know a damn thing about making parts. Not worried about the future. The election of Harry Truman is an example of
    someone being president that was far less qualified than Trump. Truman’s business
    experience was three failures. He had no real political experience, and only received the nomination with the heavy finger of the party bosses on the scale. Also left office with a very low approval rating. Our country survived, though.


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