David came to me with the goal of transitioning from a very niche field to a more mainstream analyst role with the government or a large corporation providing him with the potential for growth. David's existing résumé was a little confusing as it seemed to present him as a jack-of-all-trades rather than a well-qualified analyst with a unique depth and breadth of experience. It was my job to transition his résumé into a document that not only communicated his qualifications, but also differentiated his candidacy by conveying the complexity of the analyst roles he had held in the past.
David and I had an extensive consultation which resulted in eight pages of notes documenting key responsibilities, contributions, projects, and assignments. Based on the complexities of his current employer's projects, I took the time to understand what it was David analyzed so that I could translate it into language that made sense for his target hiring audience. David was wonderful in disseminating this information to me and provided me with helpful job descriptions, assessment results, and his existing résumé and cover letter. These documents, combined with the pages of information I gleaned from our consultation, equipped me with the tools to craft his new résumé.
My challenge was to present David's experiences in an easy-to-understand manner while adequately conveying the level of analytical acumen he demonstrated on a daily basis. It was also my goal to create a solid aesthetic that supported the communication of more complex, in-depth information, making the document pleasing to the eyes and easy to read. Supporting this strategy, I used a sans serif font (Tahoma), adequate spacing, and ample white space, to create the clean, uncluttered, and modern look I sought.
Opening the résumé with a standard qualifications summary-nonexistent on David's original résumé-I positioned David for the analytical opportunities he was seeking. Including a strengths section, I was able to provide an overview of his skill set to facilitate the ever-so-brief screening process. Moving then to his professional experience section, I differentiated David's responsibilities from his achievements through formatting and strategic placement. Also something that was not accomplished on his original résumé-distinguishing day-to-day functions from special projects, assignments, or contributions-was absolutely vital in grabbing and maintaining readers' attention. Page two of David's résumé (not shown) simply followed with earlier professional experiences, his education, and his technical inventory.
Lastly, despite David only having a little more than three years of experience, the strength of his background warranted a two-page résumé. Cramming his qualifications, experiences, education, and skills onto one page would have done David a disservice. Instead, through inclusion of a strong qualifications summary-serving as an executive summary of his candidacy-I was able to provide the reviewer with the information he/she needed during the screening process while providing the supporting information to better differentiate his candidacy once screened in for the position.
David was nice enough to email me, just a little more than a month after receiving his new résumé, to let me know he had secured a job with a Fortune 500 company. He stated, I would just like to drop you a line to thank you for the exceptional résumé and cover letter you developed for me. Your service has helped me land a job with a Fortune 500 company... Given the state of the economy, I was especially thrilled that David's job search was just a few weeks long. Best of luck in your new position, David!
View David's before and after résumé by visiting www.ladybug-design.com/blog