Plain vanilla’s fine if you’re talking about ice cream, but it doesn’t belong anywhere on a resume. Scott Kressner had a lot going for him — solid resume formatting, a great mix of experience and technical knowledge, as well a lengthy stint at RUSH Enterprises during which he steadily rose through the ranks. But his resume was much too generic — too plain vanilla — to get him past an initial screening and on to the interviewing stages.


“I felt that my resume was too similar to the average — that I’d look like everyone else, Kressner says, “I really wanted to stand out from the crowd, but I wasn’t sure how to get there.”

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The secret sauce

For Donald Burns, resume writer, personal branding strategist and career coach withExecutive Promotions, LLC, the secret to creating a great resume for clients is the interview — or, interviews, as it turned out. Burns and Kressner first spoke for about 90 minutes, using his original resume as a guide, though it had little that carried over into the new version.

“After that first interview, I had extracted enough information to produce a credible draft, which was organized around the biggest project of his career — implementing SAP to transform his company, RUSH Enterprises,” says Burns.

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