Ted, 39, currently works as a customer experience manager for a major grocery chain. He has also held positions in consumer insights and market intelligence, but he’d now like to progress his career into a brand management position in consumer goods or retail. “The brand management role is a blend of analytical/strategic thinking and creativity, which describes me very well,” Ted writes. “There’s nothing more rewarding than seeing my brand/product on the shelf and doing well.”
His current role is mainly project management, which Ted doesn’t enjoy. “Logistical, administrative and project management work drains my energy,” he says. In his next role, he’d like the opportunity to do research and synthesize the results into “a winning concept using creativity and strategic thinking ability.” He hopes that his next company is “collaborative, caring and innovative, but also results-oriented.” Ted’s ideal work environment is one where he’s given frequent feedback, so he knows how to improve.
Ted has applied for about 20 jobs since last October, but he has struggled to get past the resume screening and land an interview. So we reached out to career coach Dr. Jonathan Tam and Sarah Robson, a marketing manager at Molson Coors, to review Ted’s resume and share their feedback.
WHAT THE CAREER COACH SAYS
Ted’s resume is clean and traditional. He’s done a good job at quantifying his accomplishments through numbers. But Dr. Tam thinks that Ted’s resume should be trimmed down. “He could use some more white space to help focus the reader,” explains Dr. Tam. “I would suggest increasing the indent on the left and right sides so that it looks more spacious.” To compensate for the greater indent, Ted should then cut down the word count. He can do this by trimming the bullet points from older jobs to highlight only the most important achievements. He should keep bullet points for each position to five or fewer.
If Ted is struggling to get past the resume stage, he should make sure that he has fulfilled the basic qualifications and preferred qualifications outlined in the jobs he’s applying to. Then, he should incorporate exact keywords from the job posting into his resume.
Dr. Tam also suggests that Ted reach out to brand managers who are currently working his target role to get a better understanding of the nature of the job. “If the relationship develops, he can pass them his resume for the brand manager role and solicit useful insider feedback,” Dr. Tam explains. Experienced brand managers can also help Ted determine how to best convey his skills to land a job.
WHAT THE INDUSTRY EXPERT SAYS
Ms. Robson appreciates the clean formatting of Ted’s resume and how he outlines the results he’s achieved. But she has some suggestions to improve it. She suggests refining his profile section to add his ability to develop short and long-range brand plans, since it’s an important part of a brand manager’s responsibilities. Ms. Robson also recommends that he add links to the creative work associated with the campaigns he’s been a part of. “It is helpful to showcase real-life campaigns to add credibility and excitement, to create that memorability,” says Ms. Robson.
One resume element that Ms. Robson says is often overlooked is to humanize it with a touch of personality. “Work experience and results are imperative, however, employers also want to ensure that they are hiring someone who can fit within the company culture,” she explains. To help section headers stand out, Ms. Robson recommends putting them in a different colour, like blue.
Ms. Robson believes that Ted would be a good candidate for a brand manager position at Molson Coors as he has highlighted successful traits for that role in his resume, like planning development and strategy, data analysis and executing campaigns. To land a role, she recommends Ted to “find a company and job you are truly passionate about.” From there, as Dr. Tam had suggested, Ted can reach out to a current employee at that company. “Understand their experience, their journey and any insight as to what it is like working at that company,” Ms. Robson says.
THE NEW RESUME
Ted has increased the indents of his bullet sections of employment descriptions to help increase white space. He has also made section headlines blue to help them stand out. Taking Ms. Robson’s advice, he has added links to some of the brand launches and campaigns he has worked on. And he added volunteering experience to add some personality to his resume.
INTERESTED IN HAVING YOUR RESUME REVIEWED?
E-mail us with your resume at email@example.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. If you’re a hiring manager interested in reaching out to the person profiled, we encourage you to contact us. You can find all our resume reviews here.
We’re especially interested in hearing from those who have had their employment affected by COVID-19. On the flipside, 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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