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Testimonials in Your Resume #2: The Blurb Block

Social proof can be your job search superpower! If you’ve read my previous post on using testimonials in your resume, you’ve discovered that a well chosen LinkedIn recommendation, customer kudo or glowing quote from a performance evaluation can boost the appeal and credibility of your resume.

Here’s an additional innovation: the blurb block.

Why You Might Need a Blurb Block

In the previous post I showed an example that looks like this:

“Judith is a consummate Human Resources professional … She often came to me and asked ‘How can I make this process work better for you?’ She’s an incredibly collaborative colleague. I highly recommend Judith.” – Steven Sanchez, Director of Payroll, Multinational Marketing, Inc. (LinkedIn recommendation)

This is great, but it takes up a lot of space for one quote. That’s fine if it’s the only one you’re including in the resume, but what if you have several? Packing more value into a small space is one reason you might want to use what I call a “blurb block.”

Example

A blurb block, along with its heading, might look like this.

Highlights of LinkedIn Recommendations  (or Excerpts from Performance Reviews, or Customer Kudos or other heading)

“Kris’s innovative ideas and upbeat personality make him an invaluable resource to the whole team.”  |  “Creative and passionately motivated.”  |  “Very strong technically. His code is always well thought-out, elegant and user friendly.”  |  “Exceptionally dedicated.”  |  “Generous in sharing his knowledge . . . and finding ways to scale that knowledge for maximum benefit.”  |  “Brilliant work.”  |  https://linkedin.com/in/kris.x.wu

(Leave out the URL if you’ve included it elsewhere in the resume, or if not all the quotes are from LinkedIn.)

Additional Reasons to Use a Blurb Block

I mentioned above that a blurb block saves space in your resume. There are other reasons to use them, such as when the quotes themselves are more impressive than the roles of the people who gave them. I often see profiles in which all or most of the recommendations are from peers rather than higher-ups.

This technique is also useful when you have very long testimonials you’d like to chop up into bite-sized chunks, like the two- and four-word quotes I used in the example.

Where It Goes

I like to put the block in the resume’s summary, where it’s hard to miss. It usually looks best at the end of that section.

Building the Block

Of course you’ll want to use quotes that talk about your role-specific skills, but ideally you’ll also include comments about soft skills and personality. Traits like those in the example are much sought after, but can be hard to demonstrate in a resume; you need social proof.

Alternate longer and shorter quotes. Play around with the order, see what works best for you. Make sure you start and end with very strong kudos.

To make the blurbs pop even more, you can highlight some key phrases in boldface type, like this:

“Kris’s innovative ideas and upbeat personality make him an invaluable resource to the whole team.”  |  “Creative and passionately motivated.”  |  “Very strong technically. His code is always well thought-out, elegant and user friendly.”  |  “Exceptionally dedicated.”  |  “Generous in sharing his knowledge . . . and finding ways to scale that knowledge for maximum benefit.”  |  “Brilliant work.”  |  https://linkedin.com/in/kris.x.wu

The Blurb Block is a highly readable, space-saving way to make the most of those multiple testimonials. Here’s the only hitch: you can’t use testimonials in your resume if you don’t have them. So read my post about getting LinkedIn recommendations. Your resume will get better results when it shows other people vouching for you!

(This post was originally published in 2019 and has been updated.)

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