Does Your Résumé Have Enough Gravy or is it a Dry Turkey?

As we prepare for the holiday season, I find myself comparing my work to feast preparations. Is there a difference between a well prepared holiday feast and a microwaveable frozen dinner in a box?

As a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, I often hear from potential clients who need to be educated on the value of the available service. It costs how much to have a résumé professionally written? Can’t anyone write one? Can’t you just fix mine up quickly so I can send it out? “Interesting”, I say to myself. When I had my broken front porch steps repaired last month, I certainly did not ask the contractor to slap some concrete around the front of my house, charge me a few thousand less and call it a day. So why do job seekers need to be reminded of the potential Return on Investment?

How long have you been out of work?  How long have you been seeking to make a career move?  How many résumés have you sent out without receiving a response?  My question is how can you afford NOT to take seriously the most important marketing tool that you have to offer a potential employer?

Why use a Certified Professional Résumé Writer?

Like any profession, the best are people who invest in themselves and are constantly learning. The nation’s finest résumé writers are credentialed and constantly honing their skills through training, continuing education and staying current and in the know with job search trends.

To provide a client with that stellar document, hours of preparation, collaboration and execution are needed. Just like that holiday feast!

We need to know what we are cooking up. We carefully assess the client through interviews, worksheets and other tools necessary to extract needed information.  We gather our ingredients and then carefully prepare those ingredients.

Yes, the preparation is time-consuming.  A 20 lb. turkey that’s baked for 30 minutes is unappealing and potentially toxic.  So is your uncooked résumé.  Is it thoughtful and well-prepared, seasoned to perfection?  Sprinkled with just the right amount of key words and filled with juicy, tantalizing information that compels the reader to continue?  Or, is it a dry, laundry list of unsubstantiated tasks that will end up as scraps under the table?


Although professional chefs are often reluctant and unwilling to share their prized recipes, I will share a small morsel of information if your résumé is dry and unappetizing:  MAKE SURE YOU HAVE GRAVY.

To add that much needed ingredient, review your existing document.  Have you stated your challenges, actions and results ( C.A.R. ) ?  Your reader does not only want to know what you did (CHALLENGE) but how you did (ACTION) and the positive impact that your action had on the company (RESULT).  That’s your secret ingredient C.A.R.  It’s the gravy in the résumé.  If you make sure that your résumé is filled with demonstrated accomplishments and you can highlight the C.A.R., potential employers will gobble your résumé up.

Happy holidays!

Marlboro resident Michelle A. Riklan is an internationally award-winning certified professional résumé writer, career coach and employment interview consultant. She can be reached at and her website address is