How can a person who has been impacted
by the downturn in the economy represent
herself or himself well with their respective resumes?
This is what I asked when a dozen mid-career
people met with me at the ACS national meeting.
1. Show a good match of skills and accomplishments
that meet an employer’s needs on the first page
(in the resume “red zone”).
2. Create an easy-to-read and easy-to-find
- reverse chronological order
- years of involvement and graduation consistently
in a visible location
- critical information order providing understandable
supporting detail in the EXPERIENCE section
- providing their name on each page, using
keywords in an organized structure with active
3. Offer real outcomes that benefit the business–
patents, product extensions, precise methods
that saved time and money,
Many resumes appeared to spill out into the
margins in large blocks of words. People with
10-25 years of experience have an especially
difficult challenge bringing out relevant experience
for today’s marketplace. Reviewers seek to
find and hire people who can come in and
make a difference quickly, showing adaptability
and a humility to meld into a culture taking
on challenges willingly. The over-detailed
resume does little to sell a person’s capabilities
unless it was shown to be sustained or
broadened over time.
Others find their field overpopulated and
need to either differentiate themselves from
the traditional skill sets or reapply their skills
in different applications in a career switch.
Still others have been switching from one field
to another for 2 and 3 year stints. They have not
developed clear expertise (10,000 hour rule),
but do have exposure to a number of practical
experiences with a variety of methods.
As many are finding, these are not tasks they
can take on by themselves. One resume may
not be sent to several prospective employers.
This calls for strategic thinking incorporating
a “master resume” (or CV) starting point and
project management tactics to articulate
appropriate information to each target. It
is not out of the question to have more than
one career consultant support this challenging
Consultants met at the conference shared that
the effort is paying dividends for job seekers.
It is taking more time than in earlier years.
Please include dates, although not the months,
but be judicious about time gaps
Please consider using “Work history” summary
for employment more than 15 years ago
Please take the advice of reviewers on sections
that provide too much information of limited
or no value. Take it out of targeted resumes.
Please be specific, but use acronyms wisely
Please realize that you do not have to fill all
two pages top to bottom. Consider using
links to back-up documents in the cloud
(web-page, google-docs, .pdf files).