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 http://www.ladybug-design.com
Dear Sam: I have been pouring through some of your most recent columns and though you have offered what appears to be well-thought-out strategies for reworking a resume with three to five years of experience, I have an altogether different issue. Having had a company recently close around me, I have found myself in unfamiliar territory having 20+ years of experience encompassing multiple industries and job functions. I have produced many versions of my resume in an attempt to better tailor this information to the reader. I have gratefully accepted help from all comers but am still not happy with the result. – Eric
Dear Eric: I am sorry to hear of your company closing and am happy to offer some insight into how you could improve the effectiveness of your resume. I should note that a good percentage of my columns are focused on the more mature candidate, so look through a few more columns and you will see many that focus exclusively on candidates with significant experience.
Based on a quick scan of your resume, I noticed one major concern that could potentially derail your search: You have absolutely no dates on your resume. This is a glaring red flag to hiring managers and typically the omission of dates paints a far worse picture than reality. I do think pulling key accomplishments out and placing them in a highlights section on page one is the way to go, but you must add some dates to your professional experience section.
As you are a VP/C-level leader, a hiring manager would expect to see a significant amount of experience on your resume, so going back into the early ‘90s and possibly even the late ‘80s would be somewhat expected. You do not need to cut your experience short, remove all dates, or do anything else so drastic when you are a senior-level manager seeking to stay at that level; after all, to be at that level one assumes you are coming with significant experience and exposure.
Follow these tips to improve the effectiveness of your resume:
Take a look at the resume I have included this week (view on www.ladybug-design.com/blog). While this resume represents a seasoned candidate, dates are only included back to 1998 with foundational experiences bylined with key highlights and dates strategically omitted. Utilize this approach when you want to include strong early experience without the context of exactly when it occurred.
Best of luck for success.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org. For more about Sam's resume writing services, visit www.ladybug-design.com or call 614-570-3442 or 1-888-9-LADYBUG (1-888-952-3928).