Who is Theo?

Theo was a recent graduate of a Master of Library & Information Science program who had engaged in a cataloguing internship, volunteered to work with the Internet Public Library, and engaged in a research project while an undergraduate student. He had also spent three years managing a local pizza restaurant while he saved for graduate school and his wife completed her degree. He was hoping to leverage his degree, combined with his minimal experience, to get his foot in the door for what can be highly coveted academic library positions.

What did we do for Theo?

Theo's original résumé was visually appealing, however the design did not connect with the target audience. The content Theo had developed was on the right track but a little underdeveloped and lacked the prioritization needed to put his best foot forward. For example, he had listed special skills on page two of his original résumé as well as listed his restaurant experience second, a move that was unnecessary given he had more recent volunteer work in the library field that should have been listed in that place on his résumé.

Through my consultation with Theo I learned more about each of his engagements and his current career interests and decided to create a very unique résumé in order to get him a little more attention from the audiences to which he needed to market himself. As academic library positions are not that plentiful, he really needed to stand out, and despite limited experience, needed to look like a candidate with the skill set of a more seasoned peer in the field.

To start, I created what I felt was a professional design which reflected the tone of an academic library setting. I used the additional information I gleaned during our consultation to fuel further development of Theo's professional experience section, being sure to prioritize the positions appropriately to list his library experiences first. In each of the professional experience sections I used a brief paragraph to introduce Theo's responsibilities, and highlighted the areas in which he excelled or gained particular expertise in bullet points. This format ensured focus on the bullet points and the areas that better differentiated Theo from his competitors.

In the shaded column on the right of his résumé, I highlighted Theo's education, affiliations, skills, and interests. Presenting this important information in a shaded box allowed for additional focus to be paid to the items in this section, ensuring the reader saw that Theo has some experience coupled with fantastic skills acquired in the workplace and the classroom. Theo's new résumé was one instead of two pages, an appropriate length given his experience.

In conjunction with the development of Theo's résumé, he also partnered with my firm to refine his interviewing skills. Working with the firm's interview coach, he gained the confidence he needed to reinforce what was contained within his new résumé, ensuring that he not only sounded great on paper but also in person.

What did Theo Think?

Theo wrote stating, I just wanted to thank you again and let you know that I was offered a job today at the College of Washington Libraries (just a few hours after I'd interviewed with them)! Their decision was thanks, in no small part, to your excellent résumé and interview coaching! You really helped me with the confidence I needed to make a great impression.