Finding your path is a pivotal step. But, convincing others (i.e. hiring managers) you are the best person for the opportunity, is an entirely different experience. I equate it to a battle. I'm a warrior, in search of victory. But first, I need an impenetrable weapon. A top notch resume.
My last resume overhaul occurred in 2008. I kept it current, but that was it. However, after hearing crickets from hiring managers, I paused. I needed to identify potential issues. I'm quite aware that recruiters see hundreds of resumes and that is after the initial screening process. But, I needed to make sure self-sabotage was not rearing its ugly head.
I enlisted the help of a resume expert. Being a content creator, I should have known, but resume writing is a discipline. Producing "scan friendly" content, with embedded key words, that positions the candidate in a preferred direction, etc., is not an easy feat. That being said, I could not be more pleased with the results. While reviewing the final product, I had 5 aha! moments. Those moments are the reasons my resume is worth every cent:
1. Senior level expertise is front and center. I've worked at my current firm for quite a few years. I started in an entry level position and fast forward to today, I'm an Assistant Vice President. A MBA, several promotions, volunteer opportunities, and helpful mentors all have a role in my journey. But, to be candid, I've hit the middle management ceiling. And I equated my role with my level of expertise. My resume writer did not make that mistake. Based on work history and skill set, she put Senior Level Leader at the top of my resume. Sometimes it takes another set of eyes to see the truth.
2. Attractive to the "above the fold" recruiter. Your average hurried recruiter might spend 10 seconds reviewing a resume. For this reason, my writer leveraged the above the fold best practice. She created both a compelling title and a key word friendly summary. She also built a bulleted list of scannable skills at the top of the page. All done to catch the eye of a stressed out recruiter.
3. Emphasizes my preferred direction. My background encompasses product mgmt. and digital marketing. However, I want my next role to focus solely on content marketing/editorial development. I have the experience, but its tucked away in various projects. My writer was able to parse out relevant experiences to demonstrate my fit for my optimal role.
4. Formatted to deemphasize, but not eliminate, my tenure. Do not get me wrong. My tenure has strengthened my skill sets, shaped my philosophy of work and unlocked personality attributes I did not know I possess. For example, I'm an introvert, so I was surprised to learn I'm a pretty good coach/mentor. That being said, I'm fearful my long tenure could be perceived as complacency. To minimize that risk, the writer used formatting techniques to deemphasize tenure while highlighting the trajectory my career has taken. It's not a small ask, but achievable with the right level of expertise.
5. No spelling errors. Imagine my horror when I found a spelling error in a previous resume. A Content Strategist with spelling errors? Talk about self-sabotage. My writer's thoroughness combined with her proprietary software, completely eliminated my concerns.
Now that I have my sword, its time for battle. The battle to propel my career to where my interests truly lie.