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
Sally, a licensed social worker who was recently downsized, sought to return to a direct care environment. After spending the past five years working with patients over the phone, she was eager to return to her roots in direct care. Sally wanted to focus her search on county and state positions, specifically working with seniors through the Area Agency on Aging.
Sally's Original Resume:
Sally had an existing resume which was designed and written in an antiquated manner. Not only did the content solely focus on day-to-day responsibilities, but also the format was less than appealing. Sally opened her resume with an objective statement, followed with fewer than 200 words describing 8 years of experience, and ending with her education and volunteerism. In brief, her resume was out of date and not effective.
Sally's New Resume:
Knowing that Sally wanted to return to her roots in direct care, and specifically target her job search to environments where she could work with an elder population, it was important to gather the related and transferable facts about her background during our phone consultation. As a modest person, Sally never thought of her positions in terms of the "value" she contributed; instead, she "was just doing her job." I explained to Sally, as I do with many of my clients, that a resume has to speak to what you did that will differentiate you from other candidates. If we simply conveyed day-to-day functions and did not speak to the "value" she contributed, then she would look equal to her competitors and not get the interviews she wanted. Fortunately, Sally did have functions she performed that were helpful in differentiating her candidacy, and even though some of them were not your traditional accomplishments, they were still very effective in positioning her ahead of the competition.
Vitally important in the success of Sally's new resume was creating a great format, presenting Sally as a social worker dedicated to the aging population, and overcoming the fact that her last position was not in a direct care setting. Through design of a soft and feminine resume combined with strong content and a focus on the transferability of her last position, her resume emerged as an effective tool in her search to secure a social work position in a direct care and eldercare environment.
Sally was kind enough to email me to tell me of her job search success. She stated, "I just wanted to thank you so much for the wonderful job you did creating my resume. It helped me land the job I have been looking for. I start [next month] and will be a case manager for the Area Agency on Aging. I will be working in their program which helps seniors age 60 and up, who are on Medicaid, stay independent in their own homes. Anyway, thank you so much for your help."
Keys to Sally's Success:
The best results always come from a combination of a great resume marketing a great candidate. Sally had the experience; she just wasn't able to "package" it to get her foot in the door. Often I find my clients are so stuck on the fact their recent experience isn't as related as they would like, they lose sight of the fact that they are still aptly qualified for what they want to do; and it often takes just a little objectivity to figure out how to market the transferability of recent less-related experiences. I'm thrilled Sally will enjoy her new position with her target employer.
View Sally's before and after resume at www.ladybug-design.com/blog
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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).