David Wood’s Best Resume Book is a mere ninety-one pages, but what it lacks in bulk it makes up for in useful content. The author, who has headed his own staffing and recruiting firm for forty-three years, covers all the basics of resume-writing. The topics he addresses include, for example, who needs a resume, whether or not to use a resume-writing service, resume formats and content, and whether or not to use cover letters.
Wood also includes a section for the recent college graduate, with advice that will be especially useful in current economic conditions.
What Wood doesn’t include is a lot of fluff. He gets right to the point, writing in a simple style and offering counsel based on his experience. When he explains what makes a winning resume, his insights are particularly helpful. For example, the author says the single most important aspect of a resume is to demonstrate passion. Wood says, “Less than 10 percent of all resumes paint a clear picture of how the potential employer will benefit from hiring the resume writer…The prospective employer wants to know if you will have passion for your job.”
Wood also explodes a number of resume myths. He says, for example, that many people advise job seekers to keep a resume to one page. “Nothing could be further from the truth,” writes the author, explaining that one page is fine, but two pages is acceptable if that’s what it takes to demonstrate “how your past employer benefited from your extra effort.” As for the cover letter myth, Wood suggests not using a cover letter except in a few select situations.
Despite the brevity of the book, Wood manages to include worksheets so the reader can improve his or her own resume, as well as sample resumes from a recent college graduate, up-and-coming banker, entry-level office worker, law school student seeking a summer internship, senior executive assistant, financial executive, and pharmaceutical sales representative. The author has wisely used a great diversity of positions, so the reader can get a sense of how resumes differ based on one’s experience and the position being sought. In effect, the samples will act as useful templates for most any job seeker.
It is refreshing to see a business book that is written with a minimum of extraneous material. Wood’s resume-writing “secrets” are sure to be of value to both novice and experienced job seekers. With the Best Resume Book in hand, a job seeker should dramatically improve his or her chances of getting that resume to the top of the pile.