Starting the journey over

BY SAMANTHA NOLAN Modified: July 13, 2012 at 1:33 pm •  Published: July 13, 2012

Dear Sam: I have been involved with computers since I can remember, from personal use to professionally fixing or upgrading them, but I have never taken it seriously enough for a career choice … until now.

Three years ago, I was working as a freight train conductor when I stepped on a faulty brake platform and fell 15 feet to suffer a traumatic brain injury.

I spent the next year not remembering anything, not knowing who was around me, and not able to execute basic everyday functions.

After one year, I went from not being able to walk, to running on a treadmill; not being able to speak, write, or read, to excelling with ease. It is clearly etched that I have overcome a lot of adversity.

After numerous cognitive therapy sessions and sheer determination, I have worked my brain back into the workforce. Last fall, I secured a job with a vending machine company filling machines with product. I really like the people I work for, but sadly, it is not my passion.

My background is a rather versatile picture of varying career shifts due to the economy. I have experience in music, transportation, administrative support, and IT.

Starting in January, I went back to school and now major in IT Network Administration — happily reporting, after two quarters, I have a 4.0 GPA.

I am now heavily pursuing any form of employment in the IT field. After taking a few of your résumé workshops, I sculpted my résumé to an “OK” status, but realizing that the job market is vicious yet always looking for IT people, can I get help from your world of what I am sure is made of crazy busy status?

I hope to hear from you as I continue to attack the job market in search for my dream job. – Chris

Dear Chris: What an incredible journey you have had Chris; I am so excited about the success you have worked so hard to achieve in your recovery.

From looking at your résumé, I can see you have deployed an ultra-creative approach, and I applaud your efforts. You have taken your résumé far beyond what most candidates achieve, in terms of taking an out-of-the-box approach to market an out-of-the-box journey.

Let me provide some insight into opportunities for improvement.

Reprioritize the focus of your résumé

Currently, you have a two-column résumé with your profile, a bulleted list of core skills all focused on your IT abilities, and a career highlights section with your transportation industry experience and early tenure as a technology coordinator with a cable company.

In the narrower right-hand column, you present additional experience including current involvement with the vending company you mentioned, and earlier experience which occurred prior to your transportation industry experience.