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A tale of two candidacies

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

 New business and financial analyst résumé:

Recent MBA grad currently preparing for CFA Level I exam in June, with 10+ years of project and client relationship management experience and refined financial and business analysis, process design, and problem resolution skills.

 The rest of the qualifications summaries presented keywords and specific highlights of John’s career that best related to his candidacy. When it came to John’s professional experience section, his most recent involvement with a nonprofit organization was cleaned up to ensure it conveyed the feel of a professional not a sporadic role. Highlights were pulled out, upfront, on both of his résumés, allowing for an at-a-glance overview of his roles. When possible, content in his professional experience sections were tailored to reflect the core skills required in each of his target areas.

 John’s response …

Thrilled with his new image on paper, John quickly emailed and wrote, “WOW!!! That is all I can say.”

 Telling your story …

The most effective résumés continue to be the most targeted résumés. If you are not getting the response you want in your job search try to refine your message as opposed to broadening your target audience. Promoting who you are with a certain amount of precision is critical to the success of your search.

If you are trying to market yourself as too many things in one document, you will weaken your candidacy on paper and take the chance of not appealing to anyone. I think you would agree that it would be much wiser to develop a targeted résumé, apply for 10 positions each week, and secure 5 interviews, versus keeping options open, applying for 100 positions per week, and getting 1 interview. Targeting pays off and taking the time to tell your unique story is vital for your success.

 View John’s project management and financial/business analyst résumés on