Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Security Resumes that Open Doors

Security Resume Writing

I write a lot about security resumes and there is a reason for that.  Nearly every day I run into a situation where someone’s resume is either the cause of a door opening or keeping a door closed.  As long as I continue to see resumes that keep doors closed, I’ll feel compelled to write about resumes.
Door Closer
Yesterday, a highly accomplished Director of GlobalCorporate Security whom I’ve known for many years called and asked if I would consider looking over his resume.  He recently spent a significant amount of money with what he described as a “Professional Resume Writer” to have his resume rewritten. 

Without me asking, he told me that he wasn’t happy with his new resume.  He told me that he wasn’t getting the response he expected when he sends his resume to open corporate security jobs and he asked if I might share my opinion regarding his new resume.  He is a bottom-line guy and he wants to understand why his resume isn’t generating desired results.

My Review of a Director of Global Corporate Security Resume
Because the person I’m referring to is gainfully employed, I can’t share any of his resume in this article.  What I can tell you is that I put this resume in front of someone in my office who doesn’t know the candidate like I do.  I wanted my colleague to give this resume 15 seconds of attention, much like the span of attention anyone’s resume receives when a company is receiving hundreds of resumes for an open security job.

My objective was for my colleague to spend 15 seconds with this resume and then to write down everything they learned about the candidate in that time period.  In 15 seconds my colleague was able to tell me the person’s name, where they worked and their title but not a lot more.
I heard nothing about the individual’s education, certifications, subject matter expertise or accomplishments.  The elements of a resume that separate candidates who progress through the interview process versus the elements that hold other candidates back.

My Analysis
This resume format is highly ineffective and causes the job seeker to blend into the pack.

What’s The Problem?
This “Professionally Written Resume” is now a pretty resume.  It is appealing to the eye but the resume lacks sound content and a logical flow. 

What is sound content?  Content that explains business-focused accomplishments, contributions to the business and value created as a result of what an individual has been paid to do on the job.

The Solution
I’ve known this Director of Global Corporate Security for at least 5 years.  He is well-educated, highly articulate and loaded with accomplishments that place him in a professional category above many of his peers.  He is a future Chief Security Officer for a Fortune 500 company.

The solution for this person is to apply my security resume writing methodology to his resume.  Doing so will turn this resume into one that can quickly be visually scanned in 15 seconds.  In 15 seconds with a new format, a reader of this person’s resume will be able to determine who the person is, where they’re located, how they’re educated, how they’re certified, where they work, how their career has progressed and they’ll be able to quickly pick up on multiple areas of subject matter expertise this individual brings to a future employer's table.
The 15 second scan will draw the reader in and cause them to want to read this person’s resume in detail from top-to-bottom.

Does This Resume Writing Methodology Work?
In the past 48 hours, an individual who was a security resume writing client of mine approximately 2 years ago sent me an email to tell me about an interview process he is currently involved in.

In this email, the candidate tells me that he applied for a corporate security leadership position where an HR person told him the company had received 200 resumes.  My resume client’s resume was the only resume that floated to the top and my resume client is the only candidate out of 200 who has been interviewed to date.
How Do You Measure a Resume Writing Approach?

According to the Director of Global Corporate Security who reached out to me yesterday, what is bothering him the most about the resume writer he chose is that “she doesn’t understand the security profession”. 
A resume is a personal marketing document.  A resume is a tool for selling you.  In order to sell you, a resume has to be easily understood and must be easily consumed by the recipient of the resume.  In order to write security resume that will have an impact, the writer of the resume needs to intimately understand the audience that will consume the resume.

If a resume is not easily consumed, easily understood and clearly written, it will not open interview doors.  If you’re looking for a resume writing solution, measure the value of the resume writing approach by the frequency in which the approach opens interview doors. That's the bottom line.'s Security Recruiter Blog