Brian had not needed a resume in many years and was unfamiliar with the current approach to resume writing.
Out with the old
Brian had not needed a resume in many years and was unfamiliar with the current approach to resume writing. By opening his resume with an Objective Statement, he demonstrated that he needed to learn how to strategically position himself to enter into one of the toughest markets in recent history.
Brian’s original resume read more like a job description, full of brief bullet points disseminating tasks and subtasks. He had taken time to explore his accomplishments, which he placed above the section Current Responsibilities. However, he did not understand the need to explore not only the results of his efforts, but the actions taken to achieve such results.
Pages two and three of Brian’s resume served as a long list of positions and promotions dating back to 1973 when he served in an entry-level production capacity. Within each section, there was no white space to differentiate positions. He used a standard-presentation approach providing his title, years he held the position, one highlight of the role, whom he reported to, and a few one-line bullet points explaining his job. Brian closed with an Education/Training section presenting his high school diploma from 1973.
In with the new
In order to position Brian for success in a tough market, we elevated his presentation on paper and the value communicated in relation to his past experience and current candidacy. To do this, we focused on formatting and content.
For formatting, we created a unique design that felt solid and powerful in appearance to subconsciously position Brian in the correct light for readers. Eliminating the Objective Statement, Brian’s Qualifications Summary succinctly yet comprehensively communicates the highlights of his candidacy, his career target and his key differentiating factors. The goal of this section, as with any resume, is to provide readers with a brief overview of the candidate to facilitate the screening process, secure interest and glean additional screening time.
For the content of Brian’s resume, we streamlined the presentation of his multiple positions with his last employer in order to create a more aesthetically pleasing, focused and succinct overview. By doing this, we eliminated the list look and instead created the brevity needed to engage readers. Boosting the effectiveness of Brian’s resume are the items presented in his Key Achievements sections placed after each employer on his new resume. In these sections, bullet points are presented that explore the results his actions generated, providing readers with an overview of the value Brian contributed throughout his career.
Brian had also presented two potentially disqualifying factors on his original resume: age and lack of a college education. To overcome these factors, we presented information only back to 1985 — appropriate for a senior manager who is expected to possess a certain amount of experience — and omitted his Education section, replacing it with a more impressive Professional Development section.
Brian’s new resume, through the new formatting and content approach, was two pages in length with 1,100 words as opposed to his original resume of three pages and 935 words, demonstrating the more effective utilization of spacing, language, keywords and prioritization.
Brian emailed us to communicate how pleased he was with his new image, stating, “I could not have been happier with my experience and end product!”
Samantha Nolan is a certified professional résumé writer and owner of Ladybug Design, a leading résumé-writing firm. Do you have a résumé or job-search question for Dear Sam? Reach Samantha at email@example.com. For more about Sam’s résumé-writing services, visit www.ladybug-design.comor call (614) 570-3442 or 1-888-9-LADYBUG (1-888-952-3928).