Who is Annabel?

Annabel was a very successful pharmaceutical sales representative who had 20 years of experience in the medical and pharmaceutical sales field and both a bachelor's and master's degree. Annabel had held five positions during her career including one position outside of the field as a behavior therapist.

Why did Annabel need help?

If Annabel had wanted to continue on her career path in pharmaceutical sales she would have had a very good résumé to build on, however given that she wanted to transition out of the field she needed a résumé that better reflected the transferability of her sales experiences. Annabel had positioned herself as a senior sales executive which wasn't necessarily the best strategy given not all the positions she was pursuing were of a senior level.

What did I do for Annabel?

Annabel's résumé needed to be softened while creating a strong image through content and formatting. Her original résumé positioned her as a senior sales executive with an undeniable record of achievement in the pharma industry. This approach would have been great if she had wanted to stay in the industry, however Annabel wanted to transition out of the industry and possibly even enter the nonprofit arena in a community-focused and relationship-based role.

For Annabel's new résumé I focused on her business development and relationship management strengths-strengths that were transferable to non-pharmaceutical sales environments. To do this I minimized the appearance of her titles and company names so her pharmaceutical sales background was slightly masked. To accomplish this I presented areas of focus where you would normally see the job title, but still presented her job titles in a smaller font which was italicized and a little more difficult to read (a key strategy!).

I also added key sales results sections to validate the claims made in the qualifications summary, and to position Annabel as a top sales professional regardless of the industry. In the professional experience section I added color to focus the reader on the key results Annabel had achieved, presented her responsibilities in a paragraph, and disseminated her key areas of focus in a two-column format with bullet points introduced by functional subheadings. This approach really focuses the reader on the transferability of Annabel's experiences given the bullet points are prefaced with introductions that frame the content to come.

Annabel's new résumé, just like her original, was a full two pages in length, fitting for someone presenting 20 years of professional work history. As Annabel's first position lasted almost 10 years, there was no way we could trim her experience without potentially diminishing the effectiveness of her résumé. However, I did present her less related counseling experience in a byline at the end of the professional experience section so not to confuse the reader about her career focus.

Annabel's new résumé was powerful in content, unique in design, and effectively positioned her for opportunities outside of the pharmaceutical sales industry by focusing on the transferability of her experiences.

What did Annabel think?

I received very kind words from Annabel who stated, I had used at least three résumé writing services before I was referred to Ladybug Design...the  work of Ms. Ladybug surpassed each...she makes claims that are honored within the work provided...very much attention to detail and your résumé is not a carbon copy of the last customer...

Just like with Annabel's résumé, your résumé should be a unique representation of your candidacy both in format and design. When you take the time to differentiate your candidacy based on the uniqueness of your experience, and combine that content with an attractive design, you will certainly improve the effectiveness of your search.

If you would like to see specific case studies highlighted for this series, with candidates tackling issues you are facing, feel free to email suggestions to dearsam@ladybug-design.com