Winter Makeover

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Samantha Nolan is a Certified Professional Resume Writer with a graduate degree in Marketing and Communication, and owner of Ladybug Design, a full-service resume writing and interview coaching firm. For more information, call 1-888-9-LADYBUG or visit

Do it with personality

Meet Gail…
Gail, a 2001 college graduate, had returned to school to complete an early childhood education teaching license so she could pursue her passion. Since 2008 she had been involved with a private preschool organization working within a Head Start program. With future funding uncertain, she decided to be proactive and seek a new opportunity in early childhood education.

Gail's original resume…
Gail's original resume was very plain in design, written in the wrong voice—never write a resume in first person, instead use a passive voice—and lacked the enthusiasm or personality expected of an early childhood educator. Opening with an objective statement, Gail's resume wasted the most important real estate on the page with a statement that every educator would claim—a desire to inspire students with a love for learning and the hope to persevere. While the message was certainly appropriate, it would be best demonstrated through functions and contributions within a professional educator setting.

Gail's resume went on to include her education and experience, with the latter encompassing one paragraph—consisting of five lines of text—for her last two roles. Gail's resume closed on page two with her volunteer experiences in her own children's classrooms.

The new approach…
Given Gail had completed just one professional teaching engagement—coupled with two student teaching roles required for her license—it was prudent to combine her experiences to create one strong section. The "meat" of Gail's resume was a "Key Highlights" section which conveyed the value she had contributed in the classroom, the skills she developed and demonstrated, and the key initiatives of which she had been a part.

Before presentation of her professional highlights, I opened Gail's resume with an engaging qualifications summary. Realizing that most teachers possess incredibly similar credentials and often experiences, it is imperative to infuse an educator's resume with personality, passion, and a personal flavor. To do this I strategically selected my word choices, added color and graphics, and presented excerpts from Gail's wonderful letters of recommendation.

Gail's new resume now jumped off the page with energy, enthusiasm, and a true early education focus. From the heading of "Preschool Teacher" to the graphics of the little children reading and finger painting, there is no mistaking whom Gail is and what she loves to do. Her new resume, even though we added her new position, was just one page in length, which better reflected her candidacy while still ensuring appropriate representation of keywords sought by potential employers. At one glance, her potential employers would see her passion, enthusiasm, and verve for early childhood education, positioning her candidacy before one word needed to be read and reinforcing through on-target and strategic content.

View Gail's eye-catching resume at

Samantha Nolan is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and owner of Ladybug Design, a full-service resume-writing firm. Do you have a resume or job search question for Dear Sam? Reach Samantha at For more about Sam's resume writing services, visit or call 614-570-3442 or 1-888-9-LADYBUG (1-888-952-3928).