Now, if you are applying for a position with a national laboratory or an engineering firm, this blog post might not be applicable. But like most things on the net, it is free and there is a certain consideration for the price you paid for this advice.
When it comes to resumes, I am a traditionalist. I like to see where people have worked, the dates, responsibilities and accomplishments. In recent years there has been a move to write towards your skills instead of your experience.
For example, someone who sold shoes at a store in the mall might list this in a traditional resume: “Sales Associate, Bob’s Shoe Company – Provided sales support for Bob’s shoes and helped to set new sales records.” Then there is the “skills” based resume: “Marketing – Developed sales strategies for a national shoe company.”
You see the difference? The “Skills” approach is useful if you don’t have direct marketing experience. But from an employer’s perspective, it is a bit maddening trying to figure out what kind of experience a candidate has when going through the hiring process.
My suggestion is a hybrid approach, with a twist. List your experience and list your skill areas. That way you provide a prospective employer your past employment and your skill sets.
Here is the twist, include a few one-paragraph case study that features your problem solving capabilities. If you have a lot of information put two of those together on a second sheet. Include things like the situation you walked into, the challenges, strategies developed, how it was implemented and the results.
From a hiring perspective, if you give me your experience, skills and a few success stories, then you’ve done a great job in getting my attention.