The Magic Yardstick: Does Your Resume Measure Up?

Here’s our simple but powerful tool to create a resume that helps you land your dream job. The Magic Yardstick measures your resume content to determine if it’s helping you achieve your career dreams and if it’s showing how you can help your target company meet their objectives.

Read on to learn more about how the Magic Yardstick can bring clarity and impact to your resume and shape your professional presentation across interviews, performance reviews, networking, and more.

Your resume is not about you… it’s about them

Okay, obviously your resume is all about you, but hear us out. This is one of the most impactful mental pivots you can make to advance your career.

Whenever we sit down to put together a resume or plot a career path, we start by asking questions like this:

✅ What career path do I want to pursue?
✅ What kind of job do I want?
✅ How much money do I need to make?
✅ What kind of commute or work-from-home do I want?
✅ What kind of company culture do I prefer?

Planning our career direction also taps into some of our deeper dreams and fears:

✅ Am I going to be successful?
✅ Will I be able to provide for myself and my family?
✅ Will I be able to win out over the competition?
✅ Will I be able to buy a house/retire/travel/fulfill my dreams?

It’s important to think through these kinds of questions and get clarity on them. But don’t stop there! Because remember:

Your resume isn’t about you… it’s about the target company.

With that in mind, make a mental pivot and think about the needs, objectives, dreams, and fears of your target company.

✅ What does the company need in this job? In other words, what are the business reasons for hiring this role?
✅ What are their objectives?
✅ What pivots or growth plans do they hope to achieve?
✅ What problems occur if they hire the wrong person?

Taking a moment to connect with the needs and dreams the company hopes to achieve through this role, helps you identify what information your resume needs to convey.

Magic Yardstick and resume tips by RedRocketResume

In short, your resume needs to show how you solve problems and drive company objectives:

✅ Make money
✅ Save money
✅ Streamline processes
✅ Create efficiencies
✅ Land clients
✅ Retain clients
✅ Make clients happier
✅ Attract media
✅ Finish projects
✅ Create new products
✅ Introduce new ideas
✅ Improve team productivity

These specific measures of success will vary depending on your exact role, whether that’s customer service (measures of success = client retention and satisfaction), marketing (measures of success = increased sales, customer engagement), project management (measures of success = projects completed, deadlines met), or IT (measures of success = system implementations, product launches).

The Magic Yardstick

The Magic Yardstick is a tool that tells you what goes on your resume and what doesn’t. It determines your messaging and how you present yourself in any professional setting.

The Magic Yardstick makes you ask yourself:
“Does it show how I meet their needs?”

In other words, for each line on your resume, ask yourself, “Does this piece of information demonstrate how I meet the business needs of this target company?”

Many clients come to us unsure about what goes on their resume and what doesn’t.

✅ Old jobs
✅ My college GPA
✅ Volunteer work
✅ Jobs that don’t relate to my current career path
✅ Details about professional projects

The Magic Yardstick brings clarity to these questions.

Does it show how you meet your current target company’s business needs?

If yes 👉 It belongs on your resume.
If no 👉 It probably doesn’t belong on your resume (or can be covered very briefly).

Here’s an example:

I spoke with a resume client yesterday who is targeting office administration roles. Great!

✅ Her resume needs to convey organization, reliability, and relevant experience.
✅ More importantly (because remember: your resume is not about you), her resume needs to convey that she knows how to solve problems, make things more efficient, and collaborate across internal teams.

The problem is that her last job was as a law clerk – not in office administration.

The Magic Yardstick tells her what goes on her resume, what doesn’t, and how to position her past experience to demonstrate that she’s a match for her current target position:

Her resume should describe:

✅ How she used organization and reliability to succeed in her past job.
✅ Examples of solving problems, increasing efficiency, and collaborating across teams in her past job.

Does she have examples like this from her law clerk job? Absolutely! Those examples should be featured prominently in her resume.

Her resume should minimize:

❌ Information specific to the legal field, like writing briefs or attending court hearings, even if they were very important in that job.
❌ Details about daily tasks that don’t carry over to her current job target.

So, what is the key takeaway here? 

The #1 objective of your resume is to show how you can make your prospective employers’ dreams come true!

That means, using the Magic Yardstick to match your skills and accomplishments with the employer’s needs and goals.

Ask the question:
Does it show I meet their needs?

The answer to this question shapes not just your resume, but your cover letter, Linkedin profile, interviews, networking, performance reviews… you get the idea! Anywhere that you’re shaping your professional presentation.

The Magic Yardstick is just one of the tools we use at RedRocketResume to make our clients’ dreams come true, so follow us to learn more.

Want more on how applying this line of thinking to all your resume things can help you land the job of your dreams? Leave a comment below and be sure to check out our magical services.