Advice from 30 years in recruiting: 2 ways candidates can guarantee their dream job (without lying!)

After 30 years recruiting some of the best (and worst 😅) talent the nation has to offer, I’ve learned a thing or two.

Those who seem to get every single job they apply for have something in common. And it’s a secret! Until now…

I’m revealing these industry secrets to help you get the job of your dreams.

These are the two critical elements that every job seeker must have to nab that gig:

  1. Results-oriented résumés
  2. Specific numbers, examples and stories
Your resume after reading this article

Step 1: Create a results-focused résumé

You’d be surprised how many terrible résumés we see.

I spend about 30 seconds reviewing each résumé before I decide whether they’re worth an interview or not.

The only thing I’m looking for is: Does your past experience lend itself to this position?

So here are some tips to make sure you make a résumé that accomplishes that goal:

Show, don’t tell

I don’t want to hear about what you did in previous positions. I want to know what you accomplished.

Focus on showing the impact you made in your previous roles.

Your résumé should answer these questions:

  • What were the results of your work?
  • How did you change the outcome for your company?

Quantify your achievements

It’s not enough to just say you accomplished something. You need to back it up with specific numbers.

Replace “Improved customer satisfaction” with “Improved customer satisfaction by 25% through implementing a new feedback system.”

See how much more impactful that is?

The more numbers you include, the better. But not just for numbers’ sake.

Be real.

Tailor your résumé to the job you’re applying for

Recruiters like me receive hundreds of resumes for each job, so you need to make sure yours stands out.


  • Highlight your achievements.
  • Draw my eyes to your experience that matters most.
  • Make sure the copy makes sense for those reading it.
Customize your resume for the job

Step 2: Be ultra-specific

What’s the missing piece?

With a results-oriented resume, you’ll get interviews. Sure.

But that’s only half the battle. If you can’t get through a real conversation, then you have no shot at getting your dream job.

You have to be able to talk about yourself with specific numbers, examples and stories.

What do recruiters want in a candidate? They want to know you have a track record of success and can prove what you resume says about you.

Anecdotes over everything

Recruiters will ask you about your experience. How do you show you’re capable?

Stories stories stories.

Be prepared to provide specific examples of how you’ve …

  • handled certain situations,
  • overcome specific challenges
  • and gotten the outcomes you desired.

Let’s say you applied for a management role. Recruiters will ask you for an example of when you had to motivate your team to achieve a difficult goal.

Be prepared to provide real anecdotes.

Note: If you’re just starting out in a new industry or your first job, dream up a situation and detail exactly how you would act. Be confident.

Explain your thought process

Recruiters want to know how you think. Because you can bet your bottom dollar they’re imagining you in that job.

Explain why you made certain decisions in the past and how those decisions resulted in positive outcomes. Because you’ll likely face many of the same challenges in their position.

Demonstrating your thought process shows you understand the role and the impact you’ll have.

Be honest about your mistakes (but learn from them)

No one’s perfect. And no one understands that better than recruiters. Heck, sometimes I feel like the least perfect person in the world 🤣

When I interview candidates, the best ones aren’t afraid to tell me about when they’ve made mistakes and how they adapted.

The key is to show that you were able to learn from the experience and use it to improve your performance going forward.

My face when I see the perfect resume

Congrats! You just landed your dream job. And it’s all because you …

  • Crafted a results-focused résumé and
  • Provided specific numbers, examples, and stories

Give concrete evidence you can do 1) what the company needs you to do and 2) what you say you can do.

At Field of Talent, we always have a huge variety of open positions with incredible companies. Check them out here.

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Advice from 30 years in recruiting: 2 ways candidates can guarantee their dream job (without lying!)