Jenny is a recent graduate with a degree in business administration and marketing. Since graduation, she has worked in a data-entry role within a marketing organization. Her goal is to move from the analytical side of marketing into the creative arena, with hopes of securing a corporate marketing and communications role.
Jenny’s existing résumé did nothing to promote her marketing talents. Not only was the structure outdated, it lacked the visual appeal that is vital when presenting oneself as a marketing professional. Her original résumé started with an Objective Statement, which serves no purpose other than to state the obvious and waste important real estate.
It flowed into a profile section which promoted a plethora of soft skills. While selling soft skills — organization, listening, multitasking, etc. — is not a bad idea, it has to be complemented by experience- or academic-based qualifications. Because other job candidates also will claim to possess some of these general skills, you can’t use them to differentiate your candidacy.
Jenny’s original résumé concludes with her education, related courses, activities, awards, volunteer posts and experience.
On Jenny’s new résumé, I created a unique design that sells her as a marketer. Think about it: If you are preaching that you can market, shouldn’t you be marketing yourself as evidence of that skill set?
Few candidates realize the impact of the lack of focus and/or creativity on their résumé, and unfortunately blame other aspects of their background or search for their lackluster results.
Through great formatting, a fully developed Qualifications Summary, core skills list, Education section that presents applicable honors and a robust Experience section that explores Jenny’s experience-based differentiators, Jenny now looks like a qualified candidate.
The Qualifications Summary is an area where many candidates miss an opportunity to market themselves. Take Jenny’s opening on her original résumé:
“Objective: To pursue an entry-level position in the field of marketing that allows me to expand my knowledge and experience while developing a rewarding and successful career.”
Now read her new Qualifications Summary:
Offer a blend of creative and analytical strengths to fuel marketing and communication initiatives including pre- and post-campaign assessments, SWOT and market analysis, marketing research and consumer behavior and economic trending.
Performed in-depth research during completion of a BBA in marketing, looking into the marketing practices of such organizations as Boeing, GM and Gillette to define target audiences, messaging strategies, customer loyalty and campaign platforms.
Demonstrated strong multitasking, organizational, and communication skills while engaged in professional and student assignments; worked with cohorts as the VP of the Collegiate Marketing Club and planned the club’s calendar and event agendas.
Which approach gets your attention and immediately sells how Jenny is different and aptly qualified for the roles she is seeking? Obviously, the latter. It isn’t just her skills that are sold. Instead, it is a balanced combination of experience, academics (even select school projects) and skills.
Think about how the opening of your résumé — and whether writing an Objective Statement or a Qualifications Summary — can truly make the right or wrong first impression. Taking the time to differentiate yourself and understand the uniqueness of your candidacy will help your audience — and you — understand why you are a stronger candidate than one of your competitors.
Jenny wrote, “I love my new résumé! … The wording is perfect. I now feel very confident about sending my résumé out to companies and posting it on job boards.”
As a result, Jenny secured the job to which she applied. She contacted me again this spring to have me update her résumé, and shortly thereafter wrote, “Once again, I just wanted to say thank you so much for all your help with my résumé. I have received several compliments on it. I have been offered a marketing and business development assistant position with an amazing company and I could not be happier.”
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 ladybug-design.com or call (614) 570-3442 or 1-888-9-LADYBUG (1-888-952-3928).