Michael had recently returned to the U.S. after spending more than five years in Israel studying, mentoring, and engaging with community organizations. Now, offering his high school education and international experience, he wanted to enter the job market and embark on a career that would allow him to provide for his family.
Michael’s original resume was sparse to say the least. With just more than 100 words, Michael had presented an objective statement, 5+ years of experience, his volunteer work, and his education. Despite being entry-level, 100 words were not able to accurately convey the value Michael could offer employers.
Not only was his content lacking, but Michael’s resume was also outdated in structure. Today’s value-based resumes never open with a self-serving objective statement as hiring managers are more interested in what a candidate can do for them, not what a candidate is seeking. Objective statements waste the most important real estate on a resume—the top third of page one—and must be replaced by a more employer-centric qualifications summary.
Michaels new resume opens with a qualifications summary positioning his candidacy for business development and relationship management roles. Exploring his key qualifications, skills, and important differentiating qualities, the new qualifications summary contains more content then Michael’s entire original resume! Highlighting the most important elements of the roles he is seeking, Michael is now communicating how he can add value to a future employer instead of wasting space stating the obvious. To top that off, a list of additional strengths allows Michael the opportunity to quickly customize his resume to address any specific requirements of a posting.
Michael’s original professional experience section was lackluster to say the least. With a couple of bullet points summarizing each engagement, it was impossible for a hiring manager to understand how his past experiences related to his current career targets.
Michaels new resume contains a combination of brief job description overviews combined with bulleted highlights. With this structure we are able to draw the reader to the most important pieces of information about each of Michael’s experiences. Changing the picture from just a handful of words, to fully developed sections, also plays a key role in positioning the value of the experiences in the mind of each reader.
Closing Michael’s original resume was a section about his personal interests in addition to the “References available on request” line. Neither are necessary nor appropriate in a 21st century resume; both waste space and do nothing to reinforce the professional tone of the document.
Michaels new resume ends with his education section presenting his Torah education in Jerusalem and his Regents Diploma. While we usually do not include high school diplomas on resumes, in this case it was important, as Michael’s school background would open networking opportunities critical to his search.
Even as an entry-level candidate with minimal experience, it is imperative to create as robust a picture as possible in order to successfully differentiate your candidacy from your competition. In fact, as an entry-level candidate, a professional document can change the trajectory of your career by elevating its launch point. Do not think that just because you possess limited experience that you still cannot apply best practices in personal branding, in fact, your job search success depends on it.
Before Resume: 111316-dear-sam-change-the-trajectory-of-your-career-image-1