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  • Lori Jazvac, Certified Resume Strategist

Does Your Resume Pass the 3 C’s Test?

The recent insightful e-summit on Formatting Modern Resumes by Resume Writing Academy highlighted that the resume of 2017 and beyond has reached a new pinnacle of quality. To meet employer expectations, a resume must exhibit the highest standards while helping a candidate to shine.

But how do you know that your resume will stand up to the test to reach the top of the pile?

Here are the 3C’s of criteria that every resume must have to make the candidate stand apart:


The majority of resumes that come across my desk by jobseekers lack an essential element – a clear career focus. Without a clear career focus, the employer or hiring manager will not know what target or type of role the candidate is seeking. In fact, the rest of the resume does not hold much weight.


The resume must pass the 6 second test. But when you multiply those 6 seconds by over 100 to possibly 250 resumes that employers or recruiters need to sift through on a daily basis, what happens? The 6 second test is reduced to only a few seconds spent on actually reading and interpreting whether the candidate is truly qualified.

Content in small, bite-size chunks relating relevant keywords allows the employer to easily digest the information. Long or dense paragraphs, including summaries are often bypassed.

Get rid of unnecessary words such as “successfully,” “accountable for,” or “responsible for,” as well as filler prepositions such as “thus” or “thereby.” These filler words take up space and prevent you from writing direct, high-impact statements.

Watch out for commonly overused or repeated verbs in the resume such as “led” or “developed”. There are a wide array of high-impact verbs to choose from that will add new meaning to your resume. Peppering the summary with adjectives and/or skills holds no meaning unless you can back up this information with solid facts and evidence.

So the key strategies to remember are:

*Writing tighter is essential.

*Get to the point quickly.

*Get rid of the fluff with meaningless adjectives – replace with concrete evidence.


For a resume to be noticed, the content must be compelling to read. Responsibilities-focused resumes emphasizing “what was done” rather than “how,” or the outcome – does little to entice the employer to keep reading. Integrate Situation-Action-Results as part of the SAR Method.

When paired with a subtle, eye-catching design and formatting along with a few visuals, the resume is transformed into an attention-grabbing marketing tool.

The achievements need to be articulated in a way that demonstrates measurable results – both qualitative and quantitative. Without concrete results, the employer will not understand what value you bring to the table and what you can do for their organization.

Showcasing the results on paper in a way that draws the eye while balancing white space distinguishes stellar resumes from ordinary ones.

Don’t forget to add a splash of colour that reflects the industry’s brand. Studies time and time again show that resumes with modest hints of colour quickly grab the attention of the reader rather than plain black-and-white resumes.

Get your resume noticed. Think creatively. Use the SAR Method.

Don’t forget to double-check and proofread your entire resume and supporting documents to ensure that your resume stands up to the 3 C’s Test.

How does your resume stand up to the 3 C’s Test?

Distinguish yourself with a powerful resume that speaks results and communicates your brand value. For more information, visit

Lori Jazvac is a passionate writer, Certified Resume Strategist/Career Consultant, and Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW) specializing in supporting both entry-level and mid-level professionals, including career transitioners to further their career goals.

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