Annabel is a very successful sales representative with 20 years of experience in the medical and pharmaceutical industry, and she holds both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Annabel has held five positions during her career, including one outside of the field as a behavior therapist.
New Career Path
If Annabel had wanted to continue on her career path in pharmaceutical sales, she would have a very good résumé upon which to build. However, given that she wants to transition out of the field, she needs a résumé that better reflects the transferability of her sales experience.
Annabel had positioned herself as a senior sales executive, which wasn’t the best strategy given that not all the positions she was pursuing were of a senior level.
What I did for Annabel
Annabel’s résumé needed to be softened while creating strong content and formatting. Her original résumé showcased an undeniable record of achievement in the pharmaceutical industry. But, Annabel wanted to make a career transition, possibly into the nonprofit arena in a community-focused and relationship-based role.
For Annabel’s new résumé, I focused on her business-development and relationship-management strengths — skills that are transferable to other environments. I started by minimizing the appearance of her titles and company names to slightly mask her sales background. To accomplish this, I presented areas of focus where your would normally see job titles, and I presented her job titles further down in a less predominent, italicized font.
I also added Key Sales Results sections to validate the claims made in her Qualifications Summary, and to position Annabel as a top sales professional regardless of the industry.
In the Professional Experience section, I added color to focus the reader on key results Annabel had achieved, presented her responsibilities in a paragraph and introduced her key areas of focus in a two-column format with bulleted functional subheadings. This approach focuses the reader on the transferability of Annabel’s experience given that the bullet points are prefaced with introductions that frame the content to come.
Annabel’s new résumé, just like her original, is a full two pages, which is fitting for someone presenting 20 years of professional work history. As Annabel’s first position lasted almost 10 years, there was no way to trim her experience without potentially diminishing the effectiveness of her résumé. However, I did present her counseling experience in a byline at the end of the Professional Experience section to avoid confusing the reader about her career focus.
Annabel’s new résumé has powerful content and a unique design, and it effectively positions her for opportunities outside of the pharmaceutical-sales industry by focusing on the transferability of her experience.
I received very kind words from Annabel: “I had used at least three résumé writing services before I was referred to Ladybug Design … the work of Ms. Ladybug surpassed each … she makes claims that are honored within the work provided … much attention to detail and your résumé is not a carbon copy of the last customer …”
Just like with Annabel’s résumé, your résumé should be a unique representation of your candidacy both in format and design. When you take the time to differentiate your candidacy based on the uniqueness of your experience and combine that content with an attractive design, you will certainly improve the effectiveness of your search.
To see specific case studies highlighted for this series with candidates tackling issues you are facing, feel free to e-mail suggestions to email@example.com.
Samantha Nolan is a certified professional résumé writer and owner of Ladybug Design, a full-service résumé-writing firm. Do you have a résumé or job-search question for Dear Sam? Reach Samantha at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more about Sam’s résumé-writing services, visit www.ladybug-design.com or call (614) 570-3442 or 1-888-9-LADYBUG (1-888-952-3928).