Resume Best Practice Guidelines

Resume Best Practice Guidelines©


A retained search engagement is a contractual agreement between Summit Talent Group (STG) and the client. This relationship involves guaranteed outcomes that include STG’s ability to thoroughly review the overall chronological progression of a candidate’s background, education, motivation for job changes, potential gaps in employment, and the like.

Candidates who progress to the final interview stage can expect to be actively involved with STG for a three to four-month period, in which the candidate will devote significant time and be required to complete several written assignments.

The first assignment is focused on resume revision (preparation, content, & integrity) into the STG standard format utilized for all client presentations. STG does not present candidate resumes to clients until the steps below have been completed.

Best Practice Guidelines for Healthcare Executive Resumes

Resume Preparation

STG encourages candidates to begin by asking themselves, “why am I considering a job change?” Resume preparation mandates that candidates self-reflect on their career, particularly targeting the most recent 10 to 15 years of professional experience, to specifically align and position the resume with the job content and geography being presented.

Resume Content

STG partners with the candidate to standardize the resume to meet the Resume Best Practice Guidelines©:

First page = the most impactful and closely scrutinized section of the resume: omit any graphics, tables & charts, extraneous content such as career objective, summary statement, or list of competencies, skills, or adjectives.
Format = the style and visual appeal: page numbering, headers & footers, paragraph pagination, consistent fonts with no bolding, italics, or underlining.
Pedigree = narrative and description about: (1) size, scope, and mission of the most recent employer(s); and (2) summary statement about the candidate’s leadership role(s). The goal is to concisely yet comprehensively “paint a picture or thought bubble” in the mind of the client regarding the complexity of the organizational structure (i.e. how work gets done), and the “value-add” (i.e. impact and sustainable contributions) reflected in the candidate’s tenure and accomplishments.

Resume Integrity

Addressing personal and professional challenges that have impacted candidates’ careers is crucial. Therefore, STG serves as a counselor to the candidate during the recruitment process to incorporate transparency in the resume narrative. Examples include: merger/acquisition, organizational financial performance leading to a restructuring or workforce reduction, family health issue or crisis situation, relocation, completion of education, military transition, segue from self-employment (i.e. “hang a shingle”) to employed status, as well as voluntary, involuntary, severance, or mutual separation.

As with an academic honesty policy, STG stresses the imperative that the entire chronical career history of a candidate is captured, without conflation or exaggeration.

  • Job Changes = reason/motivation for changes in employment status to include short employment tenure, gaps in employment, and early career endeavors (perhaps not related to current profession or employment opportunity).
  • Timeline = continuity and flow of the career history, to include specific dates.
  • Job Description = factual description of the duties and responsibilities in each role.
  • Accomplishments = Expertise and core competencies, aligned with client job requirements
  • Education = accredited undergraduate and graduate degrees earned & active certifications/license (i.e. not education in progress or inactive license) to include specific dates and locations.

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