More than a half dozen, very strong candidates with
technical accomplishments and distinctive interpersonal
skills have come to me asking for help in crafting
business focused resumes recently. In our very
competitive tight market they seek alternate career
Business focused resumes are one of three subsets
of resumes that technically skilled knowledge workers
prepare to apply for interviews. The other two,
chronological, the most common, and used for R&D
and manufacturing positions, and functional, the least
common, and reserved mostly for unique situations,
like change of fields.
Seven notable distinctions separate business focused
1. Most business focused resumes employ Applicant
Tracking Systems ATS to screen, search for ‘keywords
in context matching the job description’ and rank incoming
A good video is displayed in the Proptel web-site.
2. Keywords that are contained in a specific job
description, including inferred information, score
higher in ATS rankings. Thus, information such as “at
least 4 years experience” might be better stated explicitly
in a business focused resume, rather than listing positions
that clearly show more than 4 years without the specific
statement. So, both explicit and implicit indication is
Don’t just include what you think is a common keyword,
look for specific keywords in the job description.
This also means you need to craft specific resumes for
each company application.
3. Format- heading information should be in the normal
text of the document, rather than in headers or footers.
Typical business section headings should be used, such
as Summary [note the difference between knowledge
worker chronological resumes– Objective, Highlights,
and Qualifications], Experience, Education, Honors and
Awards, Affiliations. Unique section headings may not
be recognized, like career highlights.
Avoid pasting your resume sections into fields, if
possible. Upload the full document to retain organization.
4. Keyword listing- Found it interesting to learn of
the recommendation to include a keyword listing at the
end of the Education section.
5. Responsibilities- Found it interesting that business
focused resumes using ATS will sometimes look for
not only accomplishments, but also management
6. Cover letter- Included in the uploaded file, there
is value in the ranking system to indicate where you
learned about the position opening.
7. Suggestions are that the length of the resume is less
of a concern than aligning your document and supporting
your credentials sufficiently. Although recent graduates
are expected to produce something closer to one page.