When it comes to resume writing strategy, yours must be adapted based on your unique situation. Below are the resume writing challenges faced by two real job seekers. Each was stuck in their job search journey based on different issues, requiring slightly different strategies to overcome them.
CHALLENGE #1: How to share a career story when you’ve held the same role over the course of many years.
As a project manager, this client sent me a resume that was 5 PAGES LONG and that contained a history of 15 different roles. 𝙃𝙚 𝙠𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙝𝙞𝙨 𝙧𝙚𝙨𝙪𝙢𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙩𝙤𝙪𝙜𝙝 𝙩𝙤 𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙙 — 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙠𝙣𝙚𝙬 𝙥𝙚𝙤𝙥𝙡𝙚 𝙢𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙜𝙚𝙩 𝙡𝙤𝙨𝙩 𝙤𝙧 𝙨𝙠𝙞𝙥 𝙞𝙩.
To make it easy to skim, make it a compelling read and get this down to a more manageable 2 pages, here’s what we did:
Used a Summary Section:
This section allowed me to explain how he’d been pulled onto high-profile projects every 12 months of so because of his talent for putting tech skills to work to:
- put out regulatory fires
- fix messes to save money
- build things that saved time and helped people do their jobs better
Bundled Projects Together
I turned 5 roles into 1 and did this to create several groupings. For instance,
𝘐𝘛 𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘫𝘦𝘤𝘵 𝘔𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘳 – 𝘚𝘰𝘧𝘵𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘐𝘮𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴 & 𝘜𝘱𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘴 (2010 – 2015)
Described How He’d Left His Mark. In addition to showing his scope by including a range of the budget and talent resources critical to each job title, I listed each project as a bullet and used the bullet to explain the problem he solved and the tech solution he led to fix it.
For a skim read, it helps a great deal to apply a different lens to streamline your story.
CHALLENGE #2: How to Make A Career Pivot into a Brand-New Role
Joe was an Engineer by trade, and over the course of his 20+ year career rose up the ladder to lead teams that support the sale and customers of super high-tech equipment.
His target? A role as a high-tech Customer Experience Executive.
When we discussed what has made him most proud, he spoke of his:
- Love for recruiting, developing and promoting loyal, culturally diverse teams scattered around the world.
- Success leading teams who could work with everyone from product newbies to scientists who have made scientific breakthroughs.
- Ability to support these customers for years — from pre-sales to deal pitching to training.
The resume he shared with me, however, spoke at length about the science and engineering behind what he helped sell and support.
The things he was proud of, and the elements of his experience showing how he was a great fit to:
- build and lead teams around the world
- support customers who use highly advanced technology for their jobs
. . . were missing.
For that reason, I always recommend job seekers begin their career reflection by asking “What am I proudest of?” with each and every role – and then take things from there.
When it comes to your own career sweat and tears, it’s easy to lose sight of the successes that are important. Of equal importance, it’s important to consider your situation to determine the best resume writing strategy for overcoming. In other words, different job search challenges call for different resume writing strategies.