Circles of Change:Conversations with Dr. Zara Larsen
on Change Leadership and Career Fulfillment
March 30, 2008
“Crafting a Contemporary Resume: Your Transition Passport”
Guiding Principles and Perspectives:
Creation of a contemporary resume is not just about the end document, it is the process of discernment and personal inquiry to get there.
The resume is the foundation for the SYSTEM to communicate your value proposition to prospective employers and clients.Experience, expertise, transferable skills, passions and what motivates you (how are your wired) to target the “best fit” opportunity and firm.
The other components of the SYSTEM include your elevator speech explaining why you are transitioning and what you are looking for, summary of references, introduction and networking letters/emails, and thank-you notes.A paragraph-formatted biography can be effective to communicate the kernels of your bulleted resume.This format allows greater flexibility to share “between the lines” your style and personality, and often includes a professional head shot photograph.
Do NOT fall into the internal company document trap, where you only list job titles and that which you were responsible. Readers are looking for what you contributed in particular where YOU made a difference in how you executed and what positive, sustainable process impact is your legacy.
We recommend an ordered framework using a conservative format:
Personal contact information (untitled)
Summary Statement (untitled) – For what you are respected/known
Professional Accomplishments (job assignments, in reverse chronological order with bullet-ized contributions)
Philanthropy and Civic Leadership
Recognition (Awards, Interviews/Speeches)
Publications and Patents
Avocations and Interests (Optional)
It is absolutely crucial that you communicate hard line deliverables and contributions for each position you have held – as data-driven as possible. Every line in your resume must pass the “so what?" test.
Compelling cover letters and resumes should be developed in an integrated way; however, seldom do they stay connected once inside a company.Your resume must be free-standing and most robust.
Be prepared to continuously improve your resume by testing it with a friendly audience, plus paying special attention to employers’ reactions.Be discerning as to how you may be influenced by feedback.You are 100% accountable for your resume.
As you develop your search strategy, remember it’s all about networking, and networking into your networks’ networks.Your resume is the first piece of the transition puzzle – a coveted passport for your journey of change.
Copyright The Larsen Group: Architects of Change 2008