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Susan Ireland, Expert Resume Contributor

An author, professional resume writer, and recognized expert in the field of resumes and cover letters, Susan Ireland has been helping job seekers since 1989.

Susan Ireland Resume Expert Qualifications:

Author of four job search books, including The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Resume, Susan Ireland is also manager of The Damn Good Resume website for the late Yana Parker, author of The Damn Good Resume Guide. Yana was Susan's mentor in the late 1980s.

Articles by Susan Ireland

Guide to Effective Resumes:

  • Effective Resumes Home
    If your resume has been circulating in the job market for more than a month and you haven't gotten requests for job interviews, the problem could be your resume. In this section, find articles, videos, and sample resumes to help you improve your resume.

Sample Resumes:

  • Sample Resumes Home
    Susan Ireland has made these sample resumes available to help you see how you might prepare your resume. Each sample has an article explaining the fictional job seeker's problem, resolved by the resume.
  • Sample Resume: "Average Joe" Job Seeker
    Eduardo Hortiz (not his real name) is a "regular guy" who wants a non-management job in customer service. He's been a customer service rep for more than 20 years and he has no plans to move out of his chosen field or up the ladder into management.

Entering or Re-Entering the Workforce:

  • Sample Resume: Mom Returning to Work w/Career Change
    LaDonna Davis (not her real name) always thought she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up. After she graduated college with a BA in Education, she got a job as a preschool teacher. Then, she had a child, dropped out of the workforce for five years, and changed her career goal.
  • Sample Resume: Very Untraditional Career
    Jared Burke (not his real name) is a marketing professional in the construction industry. From his resume, you would think it was his life-long goal to do this work. But Jared's career path wasn't a straight line – it's had some remarkable zigs and zags along the way.
  • Sample Resume: College Student
    Loretta Perkins (not her real name) is a community college student who is on course to graduate with an Associate's degree in Business Administration in May 2016. To help pay her college tuition she has a part-time sales job at a furniture store. Sadly, her employer is going out of business next month so Loretta is looking for a new job in sales.
  • Sample Resume: New Grad
    When Joyce Favor (not her real name) entered college, she knew she wanted to get a degree in business but wasn't sure what area of business.

Unemployed Job Seekers:

  • Sample Resume: Handling Employment Gaps
    Chin Lee (not her real name) is a human resources specialist who has an employment gap in her resume. See if you can figure out where it is ...
  • Sample Resume: Older, Laid-Off Job Seeker
    James Z. Carpenter (not his real name) has had a very successful career as a Public Relations Professional. When he wrote this resume in early 2016, he faced three problems, described below, each of which he resolved in his resume.
  • Sample Resume: Laid-Off Project Manager
    This chronological resume for Kenneth Baker (not his real name) emphasizes a very steady career progression, and de-emphasizes a recent layoff.
  • Sample Resume: Just Fired
    Brent Castleton (not his real name) just got fired. He had never before been fired from a job, and, at first, he was in a state of shock and his pride was badly wounded. Then, he realized he could turn his job termination into an opportunity to make a career change.
  • Sample Resume: Unemployed Job Seeker with a Chronic Illness
    Sandi Peterson (not her real name) is an Internet Marketing Professional looking for a job in online marketing management. While browsing a company website she found a job post that seems a perfect fit for her.

Making Your Resume Effective:

  • How to Create an Achievement Resume
    Sometimes saying less is better than saying more. Frequently a few strong accomplishments can generate more questions and interest than a page full of details. The achievement resume incorporates this concept by focusing on brevity and simplicity.
  • Is Your Resume Effective?
    If your resume has been circulating in the job market for more than a month and you haven't gotten requests for job interviews, the problem could be your resume.
  • How to Use Your Resume to Paint the Picture of Your Future
    The secret to getting a new and exciting job is to build your resume around your future, not your past. So, before you even start writing your resume, you need to plan what kind of work you want to do next.
  • How to Triple the Value of Your Resume Think of your resume as a piece of high-end real estate where every pixel counts. You can triple the value of your resume real estate by stating your experience as achievements instead of boring responsible-for job descriptions. Here's how:
  • How to Write Your Resume for the Right Audience Your resume is about your future, not your past. Based on this principle, keep in mind while writing your resume that your audience is the hiring manager for the position mentioned in your job objective statement.
  • How to Manage Resume Red Flags
    Most employers don't like to take hiring risks, especially in today's litigious society where employment laws are loosely interpreted. The Major Red Flags on Your Resume.
  • How to Choose the Best Format for Your Resume
    Chronological? Functional? Combination? What difference does it make which format you use for your resume? It's all about timing. With the right format, you can grab an employer's interest during his or her initial eight-second scan of your resume.

Other Special Situations:

  • Sample Resume: Older Job Seeker Looks Younger
    This chronological resume is for George Benicio (not his real name), a 53-year-old job seeker who wants to continue his career as a corporate trainer. How old does he look to you, based on this resume?
  • Sample Resume: Extreme Career Change
    Jared Burke (not his real name) wrote this resume in 2003 to get a job as an office assistant in a small business in his home state of New York. Here's what makes his resume so interesting: it needed to present Jared's previous seven years when he lived in a spiritual community in India focusing on prayer and meditation.
  • Sample Resume: Highlighting Education on a Resume
    Because his education is an important aspect of his appeal as a consultant, this sample resume for Frank Ford (not his real name) highlights a strong employment history as a Senior Management Consultant.
  • Sample Resume: Non-Profit Executive with No Degree
    This chronological resume is for Eunice Graves (not her real name), a job seeker who wants to continue her career advancement to a position as director of a non-profit organization. She is highly qualified and motivated, but does not have a college degree, which could be a stumbling block. See how this issue is addressed in her resume.

LinkedIn and Your Resume:

  • How to Create a Master Resumefor Your LinkedIn Profile
    Do you have the strongest LinkedIn Profile possible? Does it showcase all your professional qualifications and attract exciting career opportunities? Here's a technique that will help: write a "master resume" that you can copy and paste into your LinkedIn profile.
  • How to Convert Your Master Resume into a LinkedIn Profile
    Your LinkedIn profile is one of your most valuable career-building tools. It serves as your online resume on one of the most popular recruiting web sites on the Internet:

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