Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Case Study: Shortcuts in Resume Writing



A client called me yesterday to tell me he had a first interview on Monday with one of his Top 4 Target Companies and that it went well. He’s been asked back for an in-person interview next week. 

There were a couple of tools I used on his project that were helpful “shortcuts.” This client isn’t my “ideal” client these days. (I work mostly with Marketing, Advertising, Public Relations, and Sales – or “MAPS” clients — but he was a returning client from 2014, so I was happy to work with him again.)

His previous resume (2014) had focused on his role as Warehouse Manager/Shipping & Receiving Manager (that resulted in him landing a job initially as Maintenance Technician with his current company). I did an update to his resume in 2016 for an internal role and he was promoted to Warehouse Manager. He was then promoted to QA Inspector/Lead Technical Writer (without a resume update). Unfortunately, last year his employer lost a major contract. He was given the opportunity to switch to a manufacturing position or be laid off. He decided to change to the manufacturing role (with a pay cut), but wanted to start looking for new opportunities. That’s when he reached out to me.

Quality Assurance is the focus for his current job search, but it required completely overhauling his resume. (Which was necessary anyway, with the 7-year timeframe between his last work with me and this job search.)

To gather information for his new career focus, I used one of Evelyn Salvador’s Career Worksheets. The “Documentation: Manufacturing and Production” worksheet provided insightful questions to gather information about his most recent relevant role (2019-2023). I provided him with a checklist to identify the keywords relevant to his experience, and incorporated some of the Documentation questions into my questionnaire. 

Once I had his information, it was time to tackle the resume writing. Lately, I’ve been starting the writing process by browsing Michelle Dumas’ Distinctive Resume Templates to find one that feels like a fit for the client, job target, and industry. I decided on the Blue Collar Resume Template (with Blue Collar Coordinating Documents – resume addendum, cover letter, and references templates). The templates are visually appealing and ATS-friendly and I find it easy to populate them (changing the color scheme with an appropriate color for the client — in this case, blue to denote “trust, security, and stability.”

I also had this client take a DISC profile assessment (I’m a DISC administrator through Jane Roqueplot and Profiling Pro), which I culled insights from to include in his resume. 

He used his new resume to apply to a handful of positions last week and got a call last Friday to set up a phone interview on Monday (yesterday). Because it had been a while since he had interviewed (especially for an outside role), I sent him a couple of resources over the weekend to help him prepare. One was my “Pre-Interview Worksheet & Checklist” (a Fillable Worksheet). I also sent him my guide to Virtual Interviews (based on this Pass-Along Materials document: Jobseeker’s Guide to Virtual Interviews). 

I had previously sent him my “Be the STAR of Your Career Story” worksheet to put together a couple of accomplishment stories while I worked on writing the resume. He reported back that he had used a story about reducing production time from three months per unit to three weeks and said the interviewers were impressed. 

In the phone interview, they basically offered him the job (they asked him how much it would take to get him to move on from his current employer), so his next step is doing salary research and prepping for the in-person interview. I’m going to be sending him some resources to help with that later today.

Resources mentioned in this case study: 
Evelyn Salvador’s Career Worksheets 
Distinctive Resume Templates 
➡️ use promo code 50offbearesumewriter on the Distinctive Resume Templates website to save 50% on your first purchase of any amount.) 
DISC Testing 
Tools for Job Search 
Pass-Along Materials Archive 2011-2020 

What did you think of this case study? Are
 there resources you use as shortcuts? What are they? Comment below!

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