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resume review

Arya, 26, has been working in HR and IT recruitment since 2017. But she’s now looking to pivot into a sales role in B2B technology. “COVID-19 has accelerated years of digitization into months across all sectors making me realize the disruptive power of technology and the possibilities for organizations that embrace it,” Arya writes.

She has been looking for a new role since October, 2020, and has applied to over 50 positions. “I found that many entry-level positions in technology companies still ask for one to two years of prior B2B experience,” she says. “The most common feedback I receive is that they see my passion for the role but they will go with someone with prior B2B experience.”

Arya is looking for an innovative work environment that fosters professional growth. “They should be accepting of diversity in the workplace, not just of race and gender but knowledge and experiences as well,” she says. In her previous roles, Arya liked problem-solving and taking an advisory approach to work. “I enjoy helping candidates realize their strengths and strategically communicate confidence in interviews,” she says. Arya has listed Microsoft, Salesforce and Zoom as her top companies of employment.

While Arya is attending virtual networking events and is reaching out to technology sales individuals on LinkedIn to expand her network, she wonders whether lack of experience will prevent her from getting the job that she wants. So we reached out to career coach Iris Cai and Kaelah Russell, team lead in talent acquisition at the education tech start-up Prodigy Education, to review Arya’s resume and offer their insights on her next steps.

THE RESUME

WHAT THE CAREER COACH SAYS

Ms. Cai recognizes Arya’s professional writing skills and the clean formatting of her resume. But she has some advice to further refine the document. First, for her overview and objective section, Arya should include more “key differentiators” instead of general skills. “Characteristics such as ‘a passion for finding answers’, ‘being motivated’ and ‘strategically delivering upon commitment’ don’t differentiate her much,” Ms. Cai says. Instead, Arya should highlight skills that would apply to a B2B tech sales role, such as relationship building and familiarity with sales software. Arya’s skills and qualifications section repeats what’s listed in her overview section, so Ms. Cai suggests removing it and adding relevant points into her overview or education sections.

For Arya’s experience section, Ms. Cai says she is using too many bullet points. “She’s only been in her latest job for less than two years and she has 11 bullets,” Ms. Cai says. “You shouldn’t have more than four bullets for such a job. For more junior roles, where she’s only there for a year, she should use one-to-two bullets for each role.” The bullets she does keep should be accomplishment statements that are evidence of her success, or possessing key skills. “They should back up the claims she makes about her key differentiators in the overview section at the top,” says Ms. Cai.

While Ms. Cai says that Arya has strong soft skills, she is concerned about her lack of expertise in sales software specific to the companies she wants to work for, such as Azure, Salesforce or cloud solutions. “I suggest that she take some online courses to learn about the products she wants to sell,” says Ms. Cai. “She can also look at the LinkedIn profiles of those who have jobs she wants, and identify what kind of technical skills she needs to learn and put on her resume and LinkedIn.”

WHAT THE INDUSTRY EXPERT SAYS

Ms. Russell’s first impression of Arya’s resume was that it was “very wordy.” “That can make it feel a little impenetrable for hiring teams,” she says. “There’s almost too much detail, so we would recommend being a little more targeted.”

Since Arya is transitioning careers, Ms. Russell suggests that the skills and qualifications she includes should be transferable to an IT sales role. For example, she has listed her experience with recruitment and HR platforms, but these skills wouldn’t be used in a sales position. Instead, Ms. Russell recommends Arya highlight her networks. “Having a large network is a highly valuable asset that hiring managers tend to look for in roles like this,” says Ms. Russell.

Lastly, as Ms. Cai mentioned, additional training could help Arya transition to a sales career. “Salesforce experience can be self-taught,” Ms. Russell explains. “It is very, very impressive if a junior rep already knows how to use the most widely used CRM on the planet.” As Arya completes courses, she can add these skills to the education section of her resume.

Ms. Russell says that her company usually hires salespeople with three-to-five years of SaaS experience, but she could improve her chances of hiring with the right online training. “If Arya teaches herself Salesforce on her own and can demonstrate that she’s competitive, she would have a great chance at becoming a business development representative at Prodigy.”

THE NEW RESUME

Arya has successfully trimmed down her resume from two pages to one. She accomplished this by removing her skills and qualifications section, removing roles irrelevant to IT sales and removing bullet points in her experience section. She has also changed her professional summary from a paragraph to a bullet point format and has reworded her achievement bullets to include more quantifiable measures of success. Lastly, Arya has added a professional certifications and training section to highlight her recent skill-building activities.

INTERESTED IN HAVING YOUR RESUME REVIEWED?

E-mail us with your resume at globecareers@globeandmail.com with ‘Resume Review’ in the subject line and we’ll ask a career coach and an expert in your field to provide their feedback. Emails without the correct subject line may not be answered. Names and some details are changed to protect the privacy of the persons profiled.

We’re especially interested in hearing from those who have had their employment sffected by COVID-19. On the flip side, if you’re a hiring manager interested in reaching out to the person profiled, we encourage you to contact us as well. You can find all our resume reviews here.

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