How to improve your resume using testimonials

13 Oct, 2015

Your resume should stand out to be effective among the stacks received by hiring managers. Even if you've already covered all the standard elements of a good resume, you can enhance the appeal of your resume with testimonials.

These snippets of praise from former employers will help prove your competence to hiring managers. Here is more about testimonials and how to include them in your resume for the strongest impact.

References Versus Testimonials

Stating that you can provide references upon request has been recommended in the past for resumes, but as a testament to your ability, this is bound to be less impressive than testimonials.

Like tidbits offered by advertisers to tell consumers how much other people have benefited from their products, resume testimonials are short vouchers for your value as an employee, co-worker or partner. Also like testimonials included in advertisements, these will be most effective when taken from individuals with authority. The words of supervisors, company heads and clients are likely to command respect from those who review your resume.

Where to Get Testimonials

Effective testimonials can come from a variety of sources. For example, glowing comments from performance reviews are potential powerhouses. You can also add testimonials from industry authorities who have praised your handling of meetings, conventions and other events. This choice can be especially convincing as it may be perceived as coming from a more neutral source than an individual with whom you might be more closely acquainted. Of course, recorded remarks from former supervisors also make worthy testimonials.

How Many Testimonials Should You Include?

The number of testimonials your resume should include can vary depending on the number you have available, the value they provide and the aspects of your performance they cover. In most cases, two to three testimonials will suffice to make your resume stand out. Of course, you don't want to bog down hiring managers on this section of your resume. To keep things succinct, try to include your testimonials as bullet points rather than as one paragraph. Bullet points will also emphasize that testimonials about your ability are from separate sources.

Organizing Your Testimonials

Like other parts of your resume, such as Education and Work History, testimonials can benefit from being placed in their own distinct areas. However, you actually have two basic options: You can insert the testimonials among other parts of your resume or put them in their own section.

If you choose to put testimonials inside other sections, you can use them to fill empty space at the bottom of pages or as padding to emphasize the content above or below. Alternatively, you can add a page to your resume exclusively for testimonials.

For each testimonial you use, include information about the source and his or her relationship to you at your position. This context will aid hiring managers in understanding the relevance of the praise.

Limited time is available for hiring managers to interview applicants, so emphasizing what you offer for their time investment is vital at the resume stage. Testimonials add to the value shown in your work experience and cover letter sections so hiring managers know how much others have appreciated your work. Choosing your testimonials carefully will maximize the effectiveness of this strategy, and formatting them correctly can further boost their power to help you land the interview and the job.


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