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Candidate differentiates candidacy and lands Fortune 500 job

BY SAMANTHA NOLAN Published: January 13, 2012
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Meet Douglas!

Douglas, a technical analyst, came to me having gained significant experience within a niche market, seeking to transition into an analyst or market research role.

He had developed a two-page résumé which he felt could be improved on significantly. After seeing one of his coworker’s résumés, also developed by Ladybug Design, he contacted me to get the process started.

Original Strategy …

Douglas’ original résumé consisted of a basic list of job duties. His résumé opened with his education section, despite not being a very recent graduate, and followed with his professional experience.

In the professional experience section, he listed all of his duties in bullet points with very little white space to differentiate positions, promotions, or priorities. Page one of Douglas’ résumé consisted of 18 bullet points with absolutely no spacing between any section, and page two followed with two additional roles (6 bullet points), a skills section, and a table of relevant courses.

New Strategy …

Given Douglas was coming into the market having amassed some very specific types of experience with an organization unique in its industry, it was imperative that we present the value of his experience along with the transferability of the functions he had performed.

During my discussion with Douglas — which focused on how he contributed “value” to his past employers by doing things outside of his “duties” — I took eight pages of notes, and perhaps even more important, gained the insight I needed to really focus his background in the direction needed to secure a target position.

I created a unique design for Douglas’ new résumé, ensuring a clean, modern, and technical feel to reinforce the candidate I was presenting on paper. Imperative to positioning Douglas, I opened the résumé with a qualifications summary reflecting the core skills and experience that would be sought by the hiring managers he was trying to attract.

Through a brief paragraph overview of his background and a list of strengths, Douglas is now promoting how he is qualified for his target positions rather than expecting a hiring manager to “figure out” how he fits within the organization.

Perhaps most dramatic was the transformation of the professional experience section. From what was a never-ending list of bullet points came a prioritized, aesthetically pleasing, and engaging presentation of Douglas’ positions and the value he contributed.

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