“A resume is a balance sheet without any liabilities.” —Robert Half

An effective resume presents a view of your past accomplishments and opens a path to your future. View your resume as an appetizer–not the main course. It should be brief and to the point. A resume is a summary and not intended to relate the story of your life.

A great resume may not get you the job—but a sloppy, full-of-errors resume will prevent you from getting an interview.

Every resume that comes to our office via email or fax is read by me (Dorothy), which is why today I am wearing glasses as I write this.

The resume you send to us allows us to evaluate your past experience and how we may best assist you in achieving your future goals. There are several types of resumes (hit the Web for ideas), but I still prefer the chronological order with the most recent position listed first. This style is best for our industry because of the many changes in property owners or management.

Last week, I reviewed a resume that showed a manager had four different jobs in the past three years. After speaking with her, I fully understood that she had remained on the same property reporting to four different management companies as the property changed ownership. We were able to help her change the resume so that it reflected her job stability. If in doubt, send us your resume and we will be happy to review and suggest changes. We are a FREE source, so take advantage of us!

Note: If you are out of work and need help with your resume, please do not fall for any of the interview-writing schemes on the Internet. There is a wealth of free information out there to utilize first. Writing a resume is simply common sense.

Getting Started


Includes your name, address, phone number, and email address. At least once a week, I will receive a wonderful resume but the basics are not there. Also, money may be tight if you are currently out of work, but should your telephone be temporarily out of service, always have a backup number listed on your resume for an additional means of contact where a message can be left for you. If we can’t contact you, neither can a prospective employer! Also, it is very important that you retrieve and empty your voicemail on a regular basis. If voicemail is full, no one is able to leave a message for you.

We also suggest calling your own phone and listening objectively to your message and music choice. I love early rock-and-roll, but leave it off the cell when you are seeking a new position. I have called applicants only to listen to a full minute of their music choice of the day before I am asked to leave a message. Your outgoing voicemail message and email address should reflect your professionalism.

Career Objectives

Your objective should be considered carefully and not limit your options in any way when seeking a new position. I am not a fan of career objectives if you are listing a specific career path on your resume. You may have a great deal of talent on your resume and could be considered for many different possibilities—but when your objective is specific to one field, you may be overlooked or not even considered for other potential opportunities. In other words, let the objective be the tool that opens up more dialogue for you when presenting your resume. Let it lead a path to your success.

As I mentioned earlier, each resume coming into our office is read and evaluated to determine if you are a match for our any of our clients’ needs. We often see things in your past job performances that will lead us in a different direction for you. On a recent applicant resume, we spotted a lot of volunteer work with different social services organizations, lots of work for the food drive for the apartment association and the establishments of after-school programs on the property, as well as the coordination of Meals on Wheels for some of their residents. We had an open position with a long-time client who was seeking someone like this to establish a Social Service Department within his company for a portfolio of senior housing—a perfect match!

Your resume should be one or two pages at the most. Remember, this is only an introduction. A good resume will grab the attention of the readers, motivating them to call you to meet you in person.

As recruiters, this may be the only introduction to you before making the decision to refer you to our client. GUARANTEED, we will read your resume—but not every word. Yes, we do understand that a property manager posts the rent, walks the property, and hires and motivates the staff: this does NOT have to be repeated in the job description of each position you have listed.

List Achievements and Examples of Problem Solving for Each Position

Honesty is the best policy! List all your accomplishments, but always be truthful. Yes, we do check and, yes, you will be caught. Do NOT leave off employers!

We do understand it may not have been a positive experience but it was a learning experience. You would find it embarrassing to leave off an employer and interview for your dream job only to run into a former coworker while interviewing.


After the work history, list your education, again in chronological order, most recent on top and working backward. It is also important to list unattained degrees or on-going education. If you have not had college at all, list nothing. I don’t think you should list your high school, as it only points out that you did not attend college.


List your military service and recognitions while serving our country. And from all of us at Dorothy Long Search, thank you for your service!

Professional Affiliations

This should be limited to only your professional (career) affiliations.

A Few More Things to Remember

Use White Paper

Don’t waste your money and time with borders and colors. When faxing and printing your resume, they oftentimes appear blotchy and unpresentable. All you need are the basics, a well-formatted and scripted resume—but be sure to triple-check your spelling and grammar! Ask a friend or family member to assist you with a quick overview of the final draft to catch anything you might have overlooked.

Avoid Unnecessary Personal Information

Do not include personal information such as age, marital status, or ages of your children on your resume. Photos on resumes are a thing of the past. Save them for the social networking sites.

Don’t Make Salary Requests

Do not list requested salary or past salary information. Yes, we do understand some ads request this (sneaky, aren’t they?) because they want to know how much money you will accept even before the interview. Simply provide this to the prospective employer on a separate sheet of paper.

No References

Do not list references on your resume. You want to control who checks your references and when it is done. Have your professional references with both their corporate number and their cell number listed on a separate sheet of paper. At the end of an interview, if you are asked for references, you may take this as a very positive sign.