After 25 years with a major retailer, Tommy M. was ready for a change. He had been steadily promoted through application-development and project-management positions based on consistent success, but his resume had rarely been seen outside internal HR. He knew that resume – comprising 40+ bullets scattered across four pages – was not going to cut it, and he wasn’t confident that he had the knowledge to create a resume that could open doors on his own.
“You can’t use an in-house resume – it’s just not going to work,” he says. “And if you’re not familiar with what really works, you won’t find it on your own.”
After some time away from the corporate bustle that left him feeling burnt out, he decided it was time to get serious about his job search in February and came to TheLadders to turn resume development over to the experts. During the initial information-gathering process, he found himself panicked on how to accurately describe his experience. Many of his greatest achievements spanned multiple positions, and he wasn’t sure how to take ownership for them.
“In any long-term position, your whole mentality becomes team based,” he says.
During a long car ride, Tommy discussed the process with a friend. He told stories of projects that ensured the success of larger initiatives and of rising through the ranks from a sales associate during his college years to an influential IT leader, capable of designing sophisticated technology solutions and forging relationships with top executives. That’s when Tommy realized that he had to stop writing about the trees and start writing about the forest.
“Write your story,” he advises others going through the resume process. “Don’t try to pick out bullet points; try to tell the story.”
With a detail-rich work history, a writer can understand a job seeker from a holistic point of view and draft a resume that that captures the client’s unique strengths. Many members I work with struggle to detail the scope of their work or feel unsure about when to take credit for collaborative work. The best way to work with your writer through this challenge is to follow Tommy’s advice. A writer can never have too much information!
For Tommy, the first draft was a major relief. “I read it and thought, ‘This tells the story I wasn’t telling,’ ” he says. “I could quit worrying about getting a job and start getting a job.”
Within a few days of posting his resume and applying for positions, Tommy saw exceptional results with phone contact with several interested employers. Energized and optimistic about new challenges, he feels well prepared for the job search with a document that reflects his driven personality and the impact he’s had on his organization. “The biggest thing that I gleaned from the whole process,” he says, “is that I have value beyond my company.”
Meredith Spencer is Academy Certified Resume Writer and Certified Professional Resume Writer who specializes in technology industry resumes.