The Do’s and Don’ts of a Next Level Resume

A good resume is a self-promotion document that presents you in the best possible light, for one simple reason – to be extended an invitation to interview or compete for a job.

Your resume is not simply about your former jobs. It is a visual presentation about YOU, how you performed, and emphasizes the accomplishments that are most relevant to the work that you want to do next.

How do I get started?

You must know what position you are applying for, and understand the requirements for the position. In my last post, “Researching Companies, Yield Results”, we talked about researching companies. This will be key as you develop your resume. As you read the job description, see if this is a position for which you meet the qualifications. Then you will need to craft your resume for that position.

Start with your objective. If you are applying for a position as General Manager, your objective should state that you are seeking a position as a General Manager. As a Senior Recruiter with Sodexo, I have seen great resumes with great job descriptions, and then I have seen some that were not so good. Having an objective helps the recruiter to get an initial glance at your goal for the position for which you are applying.

Next, be able to state clearly what you did or do in your current position or prior positions. For example, if the position that you are applying for says, “The successful candidate will have knowledge of controlling food costs,” you must clearly state you currently control food costs and how you are successful at doing so.

Let’s discuss some definite Do’s for a great resume:

• Be sure to fill in gaps of unemployment (Full-time student, Travel and Study Program)

• Create a different Job Objective for each position that you apply/post for.

• Be sure to include internships, volunteer work, and any involvement in student or professional associations to highlight your skills

• If you have a strong GPA, include it!

• Always take a clean, unfolded copy of your resume with you to the interview

A few Dont‘s to consider:

• Do not exaggerate your qualifications to get the interview: State the facts and list verifiable information.

• Do not list salary requirements on your resume

• Do not write on your resume in “texting” language

• Use a professional email address that speaks well of you

Your resume is a visual presentation of you and your qualifications. Make it the best, as you may not get a second chance to make a first impression. Good luck!


Derren is the Manager, Diversity Recruiting for Sodexo which is a leader in integrated food service and facilities management. He is responsible for managing the Sodexo Future Leaders Internship Program as well as executing diversity sourcing initiatives for both campus and targeted experienced hires. With over 14+ years of experience with Sodexo, Derren has had great success as a General Manager in the company’s Health Care Services division as well as in several positions within their Talent Acquisition Group. He’s an active corporate partner with the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality (NSMH). Derren is an AIRS Certified Diversity Recruiter (CDR) and Certified Internet Recruiter (CIR).

Related posts:

  1. Ready Your Resume
  2. The Modern Resume
  3. The Objective Statement

3 Responses to “The Do’s and Don’ts of a Next Level Resume”

  1. avatar Michael says:

    Mr. Thompson,

    Your suggestions are great regarding peppering your resume with keywords. I have done this. The problem that I am facing in my job search involves other issues. I am fortunate compared to others that I have spoken with that I am receiving calls from recruiters and going on interviews. The problem that I am having is with the interview itself.

    As an African American, I am finding that the interviewer does not know how to interview. Statements such as: “You speak very well”, or “I didn’t know you had an MBA” are made during my interview. I find this insulting that as an African American it is shocking to some that I have a command of the english language and that I am educated.

    • avatar Andy U says:

      It is shocking to hear some of the ignorant comments made by some recruiters. I would hope that they would read the resume before they meet the person they intend to interview. That just makes me question their abilities. All I can suggest is that you remain the professional and show them you are the better person. The MBA shows you are well educated, the fact you are well spoken should come as no surprise. Go figure!

  2. How do you get get past the saying” you are over qualified with a MBA”. Most recruiters lok past my resume saying that I am over qualified for most positions and under qualified for executive position.

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