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Second-act career

BY SAMANTHA NOLAN Modified: October 12, 2012 at 1:19 pm •  Published: October 12, 2012

Instead, thoroughly evaluate the opportunities that interest you and highlight related experiences, skills, and achievements. This may mean that you have to have a few modified versions of your résumé, although the changes won’t have to be extensive.

In the achievements section, highlight the value you provided in your past role. Answer questions such as:

What were your sales results?

How did you expand market share?

How many products lines did you represent?

How was your performance when benchmarked against other reps?

How did you effectively manage numerous relationships?

Use the answers to these questions to infuse your résumé, and this section, with personality and a strong presence on the page, leaving your day-to-day functions — and the presentation of your self-employed status — to fall to the bottom of page one or even page two.

In the professional experience section, be careful not to present a summary focused on running a business, and instead focus the hiring manager’s attention on the functions you performed that directly relate to your current career goals.

The move back to the corporate world can be done, it just has to be approached carefully so you position yourself as a highly qualified candidate with strong related skills, versus an entrepreneur who thrives in roles requiring autonomy and the ability to manage all business functions.

I certainly wish you all the best with the transition.

Take a look at the example I have presented of a combination format résumé (view online at As you can see, the qualifications summary and select highlights sections take up the majority of page one of the résumé.

Based on this approach, the 4-7-second screening process will be spent almost exclusively on these high-value areas of the résumé, leaving any potential disqualifiers hard to hide in the professional experience section, to fall to the end of page one.