Graduate from that high school résumé

BY SAMANTHA NOLAN Published: January 23, 2012
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Meet Jordan!

Jordan had worked in the grocery industry for more than seven years, launching his career with a food broker before segueing into a grocery department manager role. In recent years, however, his career had shifted downward, and he had returned to an individual contributor role as a department team member.

Jordan’s goal was to return to a management-level position in the grocery field, and sought to reposition his experience to show he possessed the experience and track record to predict success in a leadership role.

The problem:

Jordan had maintained the same résumé since high school and simply added to his list of positions and responsibilities. At first glance, his résumé looked, well, like a grocery list!

Looking more like a plain text version of a résumé, Jordan’s presentation of his background left a lot to be desired. The top issues I found with Jordan’s original résumé were:

1. Lack of positioning — Jordan opened his résumé with an objective statement which did nothing to engage his target audience and sell how he could effectively manage a grocery department.

2. Overly succinct content — While being brief and impactful is important, Jordan had taken this to a whole new level, presenting many two and three word bullet points with little ability to communicate anything.

3. Formatting — As mentioned above, Jordan’s résumé looked more like a plain text résumé rather than a nicely designed Word document. With no attention to formatting, the aesthetic was sure to repel readership.

4. Value void — In Jordan’s ever-so-brief statements there was little-to-no ability for him to communicate the value of his experiences or accomplishments, leaving his résumé to read as a high level overview of his basic job descriptions.

The Solution:

As with many of my clients, Jordan was a little uncomfortable self-promoting on paper. Through our consultation however, I was able to have Jordan narrate his days at work, allowing me to capture valuable pieces of information completely omitted from his original résumé.

By asking pointed questions about his experiences, I was also able to gain a much better understanding of the value Jordan had contributed to his employers, the performance he had driven, and the accomplishments he had achieved.

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