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12 Ways to Get Your Resume Seen

Don't make the mistakes many do in their "summary of experience"

By Art Koff and MarketWatch

(This article appeared previously on MarketWatch.)

Many boomers, as well as retirees, looking for work are hitting the pavement with outdated resumés.


Of course, you don’t wear out shoe leather anymore. Now you’re sending your resumé through email or applying online — and the resumé that you submit today is substantially different from what you used years ago.

(MORE: How to Win at Job Interviews)


Follow these simple suggestions and your resumé is much more likely to be seen by the recruiter or employer receiving it:



No matter what your resumé says or how it’s formatted, if it isn't read you’ve lost the battle. Once read, the purpose of a resumé is to get an interview.


Following these two guidelines will improve the likelihood of getting your resumé read:

  • Tailor the general resumé you have written to the specific job and company where it is being sent. Expand your description of the areas of experience and education that apply and cut back the space you have devoted to those areas which have little or no value to the employer reading your resumé.
  • Make sure the first area at the top of your resumé is a “summary of experience” and includes specific applicable experience as opposed to generalities. Consider using words from the job description or posting. This area of your resumé should be designed to prove your value proposition and differentiate you from your competition — and shouldn’t list objectives.

On average, recruiters and hiring managers scan individual resumés for fewer than 20 seconds before deciding if they are going to read them.


Many recruiters separate resumés into three categories; not interested, hold for further review if a better candidate can’t be found and those where the candidates meet most or all of the criteria in the position description. Your resumé must get into this last group if your credentials are appropriate for the position to which you are applying.

(MORE: Why Applicants Don't Hear Back)


Here are 12 questions to ask yourself before submitting your resumé to make it to the viable candidate pile. 



1. Did you list your cellphone for contact? If so make sure there is a professional voicemail message on it.

Art Koff is the founder of, a site that serves boomers, retirees and people planning retirement; he’s also the author of Invent Your Retirement: Resources for the Good Life, published by Oakhill Press. 

Art Koff is the founder of Retired Brains, a website that provides information about retirement for boomers, retirees and people planning to retire. Read More
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