Don’t worry, I’m not insulting the resume writer! All too often, we write our resumes in a way designed to dazzle the reader with our in depth knowledge of our job and industry. However we forget that, more often than not, the first screener of our resume is not the hiring manager but a recruiter who is a “dummy” when it comes to the technical intricacies of our particular job.

As a “dummy” I have read many resumes that have left me totally baffled as to what the candidate actually did in his or her prior jobs. I don’t understand the jargon, abbreviations, industry buzzwords or phrases. I’ve spoken to corporate in-house recruiters who have confessed to me that they haven’t got a clue about the technicalities of the job for which they are seeking candidates. They are more interested in seeing how the person works, and will leave the technical screening for the second interview with the hiring manager.

Recruiters usually conduct “behavioral” interviews which is Human Resource-speak for interviews that find what kind of person the candidate is – how they work and how they respond to different working environments and management styles. Studies have shown that past behavior is a pretty good predictor of future job performance. Does your resume let the recruiter know how you successfully overcame the challenges of your past jobs?

So, write your resume as if it is going to be read by a “dummy”. Have a friend or family member that knows nothing about your industry read the resume. Did they get an idea of what you did at your prior jobs, or did it sound like gobbledygook to them?

Take a leaf from best selling non-fiction writers. They make even the most complex and scientific ideas easy to understand by the ordinary reader. Tell your career history anecdotally so that it is easy to read and demonstrates your behavior in certain situations.

You’ll never have the chance to dazzle the hiring manager with your technical expertise unless you get through the first screening with the recruiter in HR.