Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Resume Addendum

At the NRWA conference in Scottsdale in 2006, the icebreaker at the pre-conference welcome party was a game where a resume term would be affixed to your back, and you'd have to ask other guests questions to see if you could identify what you were.

I was a "resume addendum," a document that I rarely produce (and wasn't able to guess in Scottsdale, despite some great clues from my husband and others).

But Friday, I saw a client situation that clearly called for a resume addendum. My client, Joe, is an executive with a 30-year work history. His early experience was in developing international markets -- in his words, he was "the guy that gets off the plane and sets up the company's office in Dubai." This was in the early to mid 1980s, mind you. He later became a guru in the world of franchising, creating the systems that sustained hundreds of franchise outlets for a couple of different franchise companies.

Joe came to me with the challenge of turning his bio (the only career document he had) into a resume -- actually, two resumes, at my suggestion. The first resume I created targeted franchisor systems development, where he'd spent the bulk of the last 20 years. The second was a chronological format that included his earlier international business experience.

Joe loved the first resume -- and got immediate, positive feedback on it from several recruiters and hiring managers, including a few outside the franchise field. And that led to a phone call in which he expressed his disappointment in the second, international-focused resume.

Upon further exploration, we initially came up with a solution to his major complaint: that his international experience was "buried" in the resume, since it was chronological in nature -- despite my highlighting the relevant experience in the Qualifications Profile.

My first thought was to make the second section of the resume (after the Qualifications Profile) into an "International Business Experience" section, minus the dates that would clearly who that this experience was almost as old as I am.

But in further conversation with Joe, I discovered that he really loved everything about his franchise resume -- he just wanted an extra page he could add on when he wanted to target a position using his international experience.

Aha! A situationg fit for a resume addendum! So this weekend, I'll be working to create a page that fits the formatting and style of the original franchise resume, but that highlights his early international business experience.

I'll let you know how it all works out ...

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