Employers Are Very Interested in What Others Say About You
Your resume is primarily about what you say about yourself (i.e.) what you say you have done, how good you think you are, what you think your personal attributes are, etc. But employers are much more interested in what other people say about you. This is why you should always include short employer testimonials in your resume.
There is great power in obtaining a few succinct testimonials or endorsements from employers, or customers, or clients, or suppliers etc to insert into the body of your resume.
Here is a typical example of a resume testimonial :
I have spent over 15 years writing resumes and have interviewed numerous job candidates as a past owner of several businesses. I have a good understanding about which resumes are likely to secure interviews.
Resume Testimonials – the Most Important Part of Your Resume
I rate inserting endorsements in your resume from employers as probably the single most important words appearing on your resume. Comments from employers or other relevant people about some positive aspect of your work, or your character, or a project you worked on, or the customer service you provided or …(fill in the blank) – these comments have tremendous power in influencing an employer.
Yet it’s ironic that most resumes don’t include these. We all know the power of Google reviews and how they influence us when we are deciding to make a purchase. It’s no different for an employer. They are also purchasing a product (you) and they want to know what others think about you.
Include in Top Half of Page One
One of the most powerful inputs that will influence their decision to hire you are testimonials from other people that you have worked for, or worked with, or in some other way are able to provide an informed comment on how you work. (See example 4 below where we have even used a Mystery shopper report card)
I include these comments in the top half of the first page on resumes I write.
Now I hear you complaining that this involves too much hard work going back to past bosses to get some endorsements, or that you don’t have anyone you could ask. Firstly, you are not looking for a written reference, just a one or two sentence sound bite (see examples below). Secondly, I’m going to make it easier for you by providing an example that you can copy and paste to send as a text message or email to the person you need to contact.
(BTW, this is why I recommend you always listen out for, and take note of any positive comments, or experiences that could be used as a endorsement on a resume for later use. So any time a boss, or colleague, or customer, or supplier, or stakeholder of any sort provides some positive verbal feedback, spoken or implied, write it down and save into a ‘Resume Testimonials’ file for later use. They are gold).
Endorsements From Employers Make Your Resume Stand Out From the Crowd
Thirdly, yes it involves a bit more work but that’s exactly why you do it – because no one else is doing it!
But an endorsement from an employer will make your resume stand out from the many other resumes – and that is what resume writing is all about.
Many activities in a job search are about doing those difficult (although not that difficult) things that no one else is willing to do. You may have heard the late Jim Rohn’s quote that successful people are willing to do the things that unsuccessful people won’t do.
Below is an example of what you could send to a past employer and some examples of the types of testimonials you want them to provide. Providing examples for them makes it easy for them to understand exactly what you are looking for and to give you what you want.
It could be worth trying to touch base with a phone call before you send this to let them know what you are seeking and stating that you will send them some details including examples to try to make it easy for them.
Also having these two separate touch points (phone and email or text) also increases the chances they will take action for you, but you may still need to chase them up.
Here’s What to Send to a Past Employer, or Client to Ask for an Endorsement
(a little introductory small talk, then..)
I’m currently putting together a resume and it has been recommended by a professional who is helping me, that it would be beneficial to have some testimonials from past employers, suppliers, customers etc. on my resume. I was wondering if you might be able to help me out. What I’m looking for is just one or two sentences regarding some positive aspect about my work, or about my personal character traits (applicable to the work environment) or any other comment that would be helpful to a prospective employer. I’m not looking for a reference – literally just a sentence or two that can be incorporated into the resume body.
Here are some examples of the sort of thing I am after:
“Kirsten has an outstanding work ethic; nothing was ever a problem…she communicates well with clients and has a brilliant eye for detail…”
Trevor Mitchell | Head of Design | Bayleigh Group Inc | NY
“Casey is an extremely reliable staff member who takes constructive criticism and feedback well. He has good organizational skills and exhibits a friendly disposition amongst colleagues”
Sally Mees | Acting Principal | Moreland State School | San Diego, CA
“Courtney demonstrates great ability to grasp and manage difficult business issues and statutory obligations, plan and execute processes, and train, oversee and mentor staff.”
John Metcalf | Director | Prince Accountants | Houston, TX
“Karen gave me her complete attention during our interaction. She was not aggressive but was genuine and extremely positive in her approach. She was very confident in communicating the quality and application of the products being sold.”
Excerpt from mystery shopper report in which I scored 100% – the only person
in the company to do so in the last 5 year
Thanks Melissa, I really appreciate your help.
Send off the above examples of testimonials via an email or text message and then expect to follow them up a few days later if they haven’t responded (people are busy you know). I always find a phone call is a better way of following up than another email – leave a friendly voice mail if need be.