How do I reinforce the initial impression from a great introductory statement with an equally strong resume?

Judith Cushman Resumes 0 Comments

Answer: Once you have the reader’s attention that your experience, industry knowledge and career goals are a potential fit for the company, you can continue with supporting details. Describe your current company and the scale and scope of your work that reinforce what should be your (now) obvious strengths.

Include answers to these questions to help the reader quickly understand your experience and how it relates to their organization.

  • How big is the company—by number of employees, annual revenues? Is it a major player in its sector? Is it a start-up? What does it do?
  • What is your job? Provide specific examples in addition to broad statements. What are your reporting lines? For example, are you within the marketing, the corporate communications or human resources department of your company?
  • What does your title mean? Is it necessary to clarify your role since the title might be confusing?

After explaining what the company does, its size and where the communications function reports, you can describe precisely what level you have achieved. In one company a Director title is one step away from the top communications position, in another it is a mid-level title 4 levels away from the head of communications. Remember, clarity in a resume (for a reader who is not in your industry or only somewhat familiar with communications) is essential. If there is any potential for confusion, provide an explanation.

When you use adjectives the first reaction is, “prove it” and so you are casting doubt on your capabilities. Avoid that by selecting brief stories about your work that had measurable accomplishments — all factual and impressive.

Strategic is so overused so don’t bother to define it. Instead talk about how a program or a project you created was original and fit company strategy/business goals. Mention results and give credit if others supported your effort. As you tell these stories, fit them in reverse chronological order under the companies you were working for at that time.

And, remember two pages is reasonable for a resume but what you write in the opening statement and in the first paragraph describing your current employment are what make the first and strongest impression.

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