Joe Regenstein, CPA, FPAC

Resume Writing: Get The Interview By Using Metric Story Points by David Beich

Resume Writing While reviewing resumes for a recent job posting, I thought of this resume writing book by David Beich. I saw a wide variety of resume styles, and thinking of the ones that stood out, they all utilized a similar methodology.

The key to resume writing is thinking like a recruiter who is short on time and needs to review hundreds of resumes for multiple job postings. To further complicate our task, we may need to get by algorithmic gatekeepers before we get to the weary eyes of the recruiter (and ultimately the hiring manager). Your resume consumer is looking to mentally note how many boxes you check using a simple thumbs-up and down mentality. Having large monolithic blocks of text makes this task more difficult. To overcome this, we need to make it simple to compare our resume to the job description by presenting keywords, experiences, and knowledge using Metric Story Points (MSP).  

Why Use MSPs

Interviewing is our opportunity to tell stories of our skills and accomplishments. To get to the interview, we need to get our foot in the door by catching the limited attention of our target audience. Using short phrases, the author calls Metric Story Points (MSP), we can get past the gatekeepers. These MSPs are short one or two-line bullet point phrases that summarize the story we plan to tell later. Remember, we want someone to look at each MSP in a few seconds and note if it is relevant to the job description.  

Including a metric with the story adds context to real-life events. For instance, managing accounts receivable is essential, but including the amount and how you were able to shorten days outstanding gives the actions you took more substance. Once we get the interview, we can tell full stories about our accounts receivable bona fides.  

A bonus is putting these MSPs in a cover letter and interview notes. We’ll discuss cover letters later, but with notes, we can select a relevant story from the list and avoid drawing blanks when asked a question about a time when we did something. Then it comes down to your storytelling ability starting with the situation, the action you took, and the result. As much as I would like to think I could create stories on the fly, the stress of a lengthy interview would lead to lackluster results without having some stories ready to go.  

How To Create MSPs

There are four questions for each story point which we will ultimately optimize into the bullet point that represents the task we did for that job.  

First, describe the main task, such as writing code, gathering data for analysis, and presenting that analysis. Second, note what the environment was for this task. Third, write a sentence to explain the task or duty. And fourth, write down a metric or descriptive fact we can add. 

Here is an example:

  1. Set quotas for the sales organization
  2. Retail sales representatives from a Fortune 50 organization.
  3. Determined the targets for the next month using forecasting and the business. Allocated this down to each outlet.
  4. 2k outlets, 10k sales reps

Finally, we can combine these into a concise MSP:

We can discuss how the target was arrived at, communicated, and allocated during the interview to demonstrate mastery of the topic. Each of these MSPs should start with an action verb and appropriate adjective to aid in search engine optimizations and show you took action in this role.

Professional Skills Section

We can use a similar technique to develop Marketable Trade Stories (MTS) for any skills and certifications we want to highlight. For each MTS, we need to discuss how we used the skill, why it was valuable to the organization, and a specific result we achieved using our marketable skills during the interview.



Objective Statement

To provide why we are applying for a position, create an objective statement in the top section. The author provides a formula to write this one-sentence elevator pitch:

What I am looking for + Reasons why I’m qualified + Job field I am interested in

Resume Length

Instead of cramming everything into one page or writing “War and Peace,” try using these guidelines. Depending on your work history should be between 1 to 3 pages:

Work History Section

Skills and Certifications Section

Volunteering Section

Readability Tips

We want to make our resume easy to read and navigate. Here are some formatting tips: 

  1. Name, address, phone number, and email after your name and credentials. 
  1. Objective Statement as the first content section.
  2. Each section is titled with bold text, e.g., “Objective” or “Work Experience.”
  3. Each job is bold text with adequate space between positions to make it easy to know when one ends and another begins.
  4. Beyond your name, use 12-point font; if tight on space, you can use 10-point, but it needs to be a sans-serif typeface (no tails) such as Calibri, Helvetica, or Verdana.

Cover Letters

After completing our resume, we can write 2 to 3 sentences introducing why we are interested. The last sentence in this first paragraph would set up the bulleted list of 5. To 10 relevant MSPs with the metrics removed. And finish with 2-3 sentences on how you are the ideal candidate. We now have given the recruiter a competing reason to look at the resume.  


If done correctly, using the authors’ method and tips, we now have a cover letter and resume that links to the job description. It is easy for the gatekeeper to scan for relevant keywords, and we have a nice list of stories for the interview.

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#Interview #Resume