Title: Résumé Makeover "reaches out and grabs attention"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Client Background

Blair was transitioning careers from order fulfillment / material handling to medical billing and coding. She had recently received her medical billing and coding certificate and was in pursuit of a two-year degree in office administration to complement her skill set.

Résumé Strategies

While Blair was entering this new field as an entry-level candidate, her background and proven record of success in the professional arena, was vital in positioning her as more qualified than her competitors emerging from billing and coding programs. To ensure Blair was positioned appropriately, a strong qualifications summary was developed to replace her original objective statement. The summary served to present her core value offerings, externship experience, and the transferable skills she had developed in her 15+-year career. Additional noteworthy skills were presented beneath the summary, developed from her coursework and practical experience.

As Blair's educational credentials would play a key role in qualifying her for the roles she was pursuing, her academic background was presented beneath the summary. The education section was also placed on page one to ensure that her experience broke at the appropriate place-immediately after her externship experience-leaving her less related experience to fall to page two of her résumé.

Through our consultation, we explored Blair's positions in greater detail, and I used this information to build much stronger sections both in appearance and content. In her original résumé, each section lacked in appeal and content, something that had to be rectified in order to portray each role with the importance with which we wanted it evaluated. Accomplishments were separated from daily responsibilities, jumping off the page through formatting selections.

Page two of Blair's résumé explored her previous career, being sure that each section focused on transferable skills so that the hiring manager did not have to determine the value of each experience in relation to her current objective. Again, this information was strategically placed on page two of her résumé so that focus would be paid to her recent education and externship experience. Lastly, as Blair wanted a complete employment search portfolio, business cards and mailing labels were designed to present a polished and professional look to her target audience. An appropriate image was selected to complement and reinforce her current career objective, and to assist in garnering the attention of a hiring manager.

The completed product not only achieved her objective of positioning her appropriately for her current career goals, but also presented her former career in the correct light. Through a unique design, selective formatting, and strategic prioritization of her experience and skills, her new résumé is both effective and aesthetically pleasing.

Client Reaction

"I am amazed at the difference in my "before and after" résumés! I had several compliments on my "old" résumé, but I wasn't getting much response from it. My new résumé seems like it's literally reaching out and grabbing the reader's attention. I definitely didn't get that feeling when reading my "old" one."


Left: Blair's original résumé received several compliments, but did not produce results

Below: Blair's new résumé is both effective and aesthetically pleasing. Matching business cards complete a professional portfolio and elevate her candidacy to the next level.

Samantha Nolan is a certified professional résumé writer and owner of Ladybug Design, a full-service résumé writing firm. Reach Samantha at dearsam@ladybug-design.com, www.ladybug-design.com, or 1-888-9-LADYBUG (1-888-952-3928).


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