Dear Sam: I graduated with a degree in communications four years ago, but I ended up outside my field after graduation. I’m willing to go back to an entry-level job if it means securing a communications position. Still, I’m afraid I’ll be overlooked because I don’t have any recent, relevant experience. I’ve revamped my resume to give it more personality—and have received some advice from friends and family—but I’m still worried. Have I given it too much personality? Is this a resume that would stand out in a crowd in a good way? – Beth
Dear Beth: Great job stepping outside of the box and thinking about how you could uniquely present your candidacy! I applaud your creativity and willingness to do something bold! I believe your resume’s design will glean some attention, but I am concerned hiring managers will not know what you want and who you are.
The key piece you are missing from your well-designed resume is a positioning statement. You do not have a qualifications summary, so the reviewer will be forced to evaluate you as you have been. By that, I mean the reader will only have information to believe you are positioning yourself as a property management assistant as that is how your resume opens based on your current position. This is precisely what you don’t want. To avoid that unfortunate assumption, you must position your candidacy.
Given your field of study was communications, I imagine you know a little about marketing, messaging, and positioning information on a page to attract the reader and prioritize their scan. Take advantage of this knowledge when you present the value of your candidacy for a communications role. Build a summary that promotes the transferability of your professional and pre-graduation experiences, combined with the strengths of your academic program and courses of study. I am confident when you have a little more attention to content and messaging, coupled with your beautiful design, you will be exceptionally successful. Great job!