OpsLadder member Leshia Evans had her first resume makeover in 20 years. A professional rewrite let her numbers speak for themselves.
Leshia Evans hadn’t needed a resume for more than 20 years. Loyal to her company, she never needed to look for a job.
Evans, of Cumming, Ga., has worked in the electrical industry for 30 years, the last 20 of them at a global engineering company with annual revenues of $110 billion. Evans started there as a regional engineer and left the company as a senior commodity manager when she was laid off earlier this year.
Her old resume needed to be recharged and modernized.
The OpsLadder member tried including a summary section that read more like a cover letter, she added pages of testimonials and references from former colleagues, and she embedded her photo in every copy of her resume.
What she didn’t know: Each of those are grounds for rejection.
Either by an impatient human recruiter or an automated applicant tracking system (ATS), these formats are unacceptable. ATS software frequently dismisses long resumes and embedded images, said J.M. Auron, a certified professional resume writer who works with Ladders resume-writing services and helped Evans update her document. In addition, many human-resources professionals are instructed to reject resumes submitted with photos to avoid claims of discrimination.
“She hadn’t written a resume in 20 years,” said J.M. Auron, the resume writer who worked with Evans. “She hadn’t looked for a job in 20 years. (She) had no need to even think about writing a resume in 20 years because of an extremely stable job history.”
Auron did away with the photo, the references and the summary, and he immediately set about crafting a document that brought to life an impressive array of performance numbers throughout a long career.
Back in the hunt
Evans is looking for a job similar to the one she had before she was laid off: a senior commodity manager in the electrical, power, or oil and gas industry. “A commodity manager produces quotes, plans and spec reviews; negotiates; and strategically aligns the commodity with technical support, risk management, industry and technology trends,” she said. “Also included in this position is supplier management and reporting.”
Auron began using Evans’ summary statement to paint a compelling portrait of an overachiever.
“She never missed a quota in 20 years,” Auron said. “In the last 10 years, she has been between 30 percent to more than 100 percent over quota,” he added. “So writing a resume for someone like her was a piece of cake. … You just work with the numbers.”
Indeed, as one of the subsections in Evans’ updated resume noted she “dramatically exceeded targets year over year.” From 2000 through the third quarter of fiscal year 2009, Evans’ performance ranged from a low of 131 percent to a high of 203 percent of her goals.
He also dropped the long, conversational summary, which might have been confused with a cover letter.
Evans’ original resume began:
“Strategic purchasing of medium and high voltage switchgear 2.4kV to 800kV for the Strategic Industries Division, Power Systems Division and the Technical Service Division throughout the US.”
Auron’s revised version:
“Business and product savvy professional with more than two decades of experience slashing costs, and developing long-term customer and vendor relationships. Talented technical commodity manager with in-depth, diverse technical knowledge of electrical power and distribution commodities, and application and procurement of MV/HV engineered equipment for large project jobs in the Metals, Paper, Water, Mining, Oil & Gas, International and Service Solutions industries.”
Auron’s new version emphasizes what Evans says is her greatest strength: “Exceeding goals.”