By Erin Kennedy
James Z. Carpenter (not his real name) has had a very successful career as a Public Relations and Marketing Professional.
When he wrote this resume, he faced three problems, described below, each of which he resolved in his resume.
James had 3 important issues to address so that employers would see him as up-to-date (vs. old) and not assume that he used his period of unemployment as a vacation.
It wasn't until James started his job hunt that he realized he was way behind the times -- he was nowhere to be found online, where recruiters and employers would likely search for him.
He had absolutely no presence online. Not good now!
"Better late than never," he thought as he created his LinkedIn account, and hyperlinked the URL to his LinkedIn Profile in the heading of his resume.
Then, he hurried to build up his LinkedIn Profile, completing the work experience section job description and other sections in agreement with his resume. He focused on using the industry-specific keywords and content relevant for his target job and target employers, generating appropriate connections, joining Groups in his profession, gathering recommendations and endorsements for his skills, and making daily updates.
He wanted to be sure that when a recruiter or employer looks for him online (and through the LinkedIn URL he listed on his resume), he or she would be impressed with his LinkedIn Profile and activities.
James was unexpectedly laid off from his last position. It wasn't his fault, of course, but being unemployed could put him at a slight disadvantage because some employers view an unemployed job seeker as less desirable than an employed applicant. And the longer James is unemployed, the less attractive he may be to a potential employer.
James wrote and sent out his resume immediately after his layoff, when it was clear that his unemployment was very recent.
James doesn’t want to look like he is being inactive during his job search, so he is taking advantage of some free time by taking classes to enhance his technical expertise in today’s modern social media applications.
These classes also increase his competitiveness in the job market since many of these applications did not exist when he originally earned his degrees.
Another thing James did to take the focus off of his unemployment status was to add professional testimonials right on his resume. He specifically added one for his last place of employment so that it shows he did not leave on bad terms or his own doing.
If James listed all his public relations jobs on his resume he might risk age discrimination in his job search. To avoid this problem, here's what he did:
With only 12 years of detailed experience showing on James's resume, an employer will deduce that James is a middle-aged candidate (see my dates-on-resume formula for more details), which James thinks will appeal to his potential employer.
Once in the job interview, James can make his pitch for the job as well as - if not better than - his younger counterpart.
Erin Kennedy is a Master Career Director (MCD), Certified Master Resume Writer (MCRW), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW), and Certified Empowerment & Motivational Coach (CEMC). She has been helping clients since 1999. Erin is also the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc.. Visit her website and connect with Erin on LinkedIn and Twitter.