A tale of two candidacies

BY SAMANTHA NOLEN Modified: November 13, 2012 at 11:47 am •  Published: November 13, 2012

Meet John!

John came to me seeking to position himself for both project management and business and financial analyst roles. Knowing we would need to send completely different messages to each of those audiences, we embarked on creating two résumés to promote the skills and experiences he possessed that were most applicable to each target hiring manager.

Original résumé …

John’s original résumé appeared crowded, unfocused, and disparate given he had transitioned from a career role of 12 years into a startup organization. Having left his career in 2010, the image created by John’s original résumé seemed to be one of simply volunteering for a nonprofit organization in his free time. Certainly not the case, John’s new résumé needed to reflect the robust nature of his involvement in his most recent role, while gearing the content toward how he now wanted to position himself. Critical in an effective résumé, the story John needed to tell was more about what he wanted to do in the future, rather than what he had done in the past.

 New résumé …

Not only did John’s résumé need a makeover in terms of formatting and construction, but it also needed to tell two different stories. I opened John’s résumés with qualifications summaries which showcased his involvement in the (1) project management field, and (2) the business and financial analyst arena. Opening with powerful instead of vague statements, contrast his old versus his new introductions:

 Old résumé:

Results-oriented manager: experienced at planning, directing and executing diverse, detailed projects to satisfactory completion.

New project management résumé:

Plan and direct multimillion-dollar projects from concept to completion—Possess 10+ years of project management and engineering experience, and the depth of knowledge to execute projects for optimal efficiency, quality, and cost-effectiveness while coordinating internal and external stakeholders.