Resume Spans Geography Gap

Malcolm Anderson wants to woo U.S. companies from his home in the U.K. Revising his resume helped bridge the distance.

searching_for_moneyHow do you apply for a job in another city or state? Will you disqualify yourself from the start if the recruiter or hiring manager reads your resume and discovers you’re not local?

OpsLadder member Malcolm Anderson had bigger problems: The director of supply-chain operations is a U.K. citizen living in Kent, England, outside London, but he’s looking for jobs in the U.S. That means minimizing or obscuring thousands of miles of spaces long enough to be considered for the job.

Anderson is no stranger to the U.S.; he has family members here and has worked for U.S. businesses in the U.K. He felt the distance was really just a matter of perception, and the fix started with his resume, said Donald Burns, a certified professional resume writer who works with Ladders and helped Anderson address the issue.

“He had a long international phone number and a U.K. address” on his original resume, Burns said. “But eventually we found out that he also had an address in Florida and a cell phone with a U.S. area code, despite still residing in England.” Burns used the address in Kissimmee, Fla., and the U.S. cell number as the contact information for Anderson’s new resume.

“That’s the way to go,” he said. “You don’t want to put on the resume ‘willing to relocate’ or ‘will pay own relocation costs’ because you might get passed over as a candidate on the issue of location alone.”

Delete and Highlight

Anderson also struggled with a lengthy resume that gave nearly equal weight to his 22-year military career in transportation and logistics support and the more than 10 years he spent doing much the same work in the private sector.

Because Anderson was looking for a new private-sector position, Burns decided to push Anderson’s military career to the bottom of the document and limit the 22-year experience to a small “Additional Experience” section. “We had to top [the resume] off with highlights of his more recent jobs and summarize the rest,” he said. “We basically had to re-weight it. We had to find the highlights and delete a lot of the other stuff. When you do that you get a much stronger resume.”

Burns also tightened Anderson’s chain of jobs and promotions to highlight the progress he had made in his career. For instance, at one organization, Anderson progressed through three positions – transport manager, regional general manager and general manager of transport strategy. His original resume lumped together all three jobs, hiding the fact that he was promoted twice by the company. In another organization, Anderson started as sales manager and wound up as logistics director. Burns restructured the resume to reflect the progress and promotions Anderson had achieved.

The summary approach cut Anderson’s resume nearly in half, from about 1,600 words to about 900 words – “That’s about as much as a person can digest in 10 to 15 seconds.” What is left is a “much more punchy resume.”