Your Resume Determines Your Perception as a Candidate

Which category do you fall into?


A recruiter can often determine the type of candidate you are based on your resume. That is why your resume needs to be strong, concise, and clearly communicate that you are the one for the job. If you often find yourself saying, ‘I’m not great on paper,’ then you are in trouble.

There are five categories of candidates based on their resume, each with their own flavor. I will describe each candidate type and hopefully you can figure out where you fall in the mix and make the necessary adjustments so your resume reflects whom you really are. 

Candidate 1 - The Fred Flintstone: This type is usually pretty easy to identify. The candidate likes a 9-5 job and is used to clocking in and out. This type of set-up is a comfort zone for them. They know what they have to do and they perform their “duties”. ‘Responsible for’ is a term sprinkled all over their work history (This blog will explain why this is not helping you). There is not even a hint that they are someone who has taken the role further than the bare minimum of their job description. Some people see work as a means to an end, which is fine, but if you are ambitious and this sounds like your current resume, revision time is now!

Candidate 2 - The Cautionary Tale: This person has put zero effort into their resume and it shows. There is no summary, the jobs they have are very limited in scope, and they put one or two words for their bullet points. There is absolutely no consistency to the resume structure and it is filled with errors. This is the type of resume that recruiters save as an example of what not to do. If this is you, and more than likely you are not intending it to be you, please get some help. Otherwise, recruiters will not take you seriously.

Candidate 3 - Mr. Maybe: At first glance they seem to have the skills that are needed and wanted for the role. However, the resume is disorganized and not cohesive. A recruiter needs to do some digging to figure out that they might very well be qualified and a good fit. If it is too much work to get at the heart of their accomplishments or expertise, the great candidates get passed by and end up in the wastebasket. As a former recruiter, this type of candidate was most frequently seen. Unfortunately, they are losing out on great opportunities and more than likely they’re not even aware of it. If you find yourself missing out on an interview, you thought you were a shoe-in for, this may be the problem. Make sure your resume clearly articulates your value, and if you struggle with this it might be wise to seek help.

Candidate 4 - The Professor of Life: This is our sort of Renaissance man; seen and done it all. Often times they are overqualified for the position for which they are applying. Unfortunately, this can be a disadvantage in the eyes of many recruiters. This candidate’s experience makes them appear as an expensive hire in the recruiters’ eyes and may make them think they won’t be sticking around for the long haul. These candidates are more likely to have a longer work history and list it ALL. They think this makes them seem well rounded and tells their ‘story’. What it really does is date them and makes their resumes too long. It is most critical for these candidates to show the value of their experience and quantifiable reasons why they are worth bringing in for an interview. An edited work history is very necessary.

Candidate 5 – The Perfect Match: This resume meets every box on the employer’s checklist! They have created a resume that clearly identifies himself or herself as someone who has taken their role and ran with it. Their skills are clearly outlined and backed up with accomplishments. These candidates effectively Toot Their Own Horn!  A recruiter loves The Perfect Match because it took less than 30 seconds to determine that they were a YES!

Your resume is a make or break document in an economy where the employer is in control. Make sure that you are falling into the category that accurately reflects you as a candidate.


If after reading this blog you determine that you aren’t the candidate you want to be, MAKE CHANGES. We offer a full line of Services and would be happy to help you become the Perfect Match!