Morgan, 47, worked as a product marketing manager for an international travel agency but was laid off in August 2020 due to COVID-19. Before that, she held marketing and event management roles with the government and in the medical, finance and non-profit industries. Since her layoff, Morgan has applied for over 30 jobs but has yet to land her next role. She’s interested in brand marketing, event management, product management and marketing manager roles.
In her previous positions, Morgan enjoyed working with a team and managing people such as graphic designers and social media co-ordinators. “I am very interested in coming up with a strategy and campaign, forecasting the bigger picture and managing a team to implement the company strategy and goals,” Morgan writes. “I would love to promote a product that I feel passionate about and work with an employer that would mentor me too.” She’d enjoy building business relationships with clients and peers, and travelling for business would be a bonus.
For her next role, Morgan hopes to find a company with room to grow into a leadership position. “They would provide a comfortable and flexible work environment so that employees can perform at their best,” she says. So we reached out to career coach Shauna Vassell of Koncave Coaching and Consulting and Barret Van Allen, marketing director at CIBC, to review Morgan’s resume and offer their advice.
What the career coach says
Ms. Vassell’s first piece of advice is for Morgan to trim her resume down from three pages to two. “She should reduce the space in the education and credentials section,” Ms. Vassel recommends. From there, Morgan should move her industries of experience higher up in her resume. “She has worked in over six industries, in various capacities, but this information was buried within the three pages,” Ms. Vassell says.
While Morgan does have some good content in her resume, Ms. Vassell recommends some edits for maximum impact. She can highlight the depth of her experience by adding more dollar values and social media metrics to her job descriptions. “The percentage values that are currently in the resume make her overall impact in the company appear on the smaller scale without comparisons,” Ms. Vassell says.
Since Morgan’s experience spans multiple industries, Ms. Vassell says it’s worth having a few versions of her resume ready to send out. “That way, her resume can be specific and relevant.” Based on her skills and prior experience, Ms. Vassell believes that Morgan is well-positioned for a senior branding manager. To better demonstrate her leadership skills, Morgan can add more information about big initiatives that she led, including the size and scope of the work she was involved in, such as budget amounts. She can also provide evidence of her people leadership skills and projects where contributed to high-level strategic thinking.
What the industry expert says
As a marketing director, Mr. Van Allen encourages Morgan to “think like an advertiser and really try to understand her consumer,” he says. “In the job world, the consumer is the hiring manager and she needs to put herself in their shoes and grab their attention so that they will want to read on.”
Mr. Van Allen suggests Morgan accomplish this by adding some colour and imagery to her resume, such as logos of former places she has worked at. This would help her resume read more like a portfolio. A well-written LinkedIn profile, which Morgan has already linked to in her resume, can also help her stand out in a sea of candidates. “For many of our postings, we get well over 100 applicants,” he says.
Morgan should then edit the opening paragraph of her resume. “Take keywords from the posting and use them to tell her story,” Mr. Van Allen suggests. She could think about how a co-worker or family member might describe her while incorporating those keywords.
While revising her resume, Morgan should eliminate repeated phrases. “‘Negotiated contracts’ appears in a couple of places, which means she has the opportunity to leverage those sections to be more impactful and bring her other skill sets to life.” In addition to applying for jobs, Morgan should also reach out to brands she’s interested in working for. “Find the people in your network who can help you get your foot in the door and own the rest,” he says.
The new resume
Morgan successfully trimmed her resume down from three pages to two. She did this by reducing her education and credentials sections. Morgan also limited the number of bullet points for each job to under five, then ensured that the remaining bullets described her accomplishments while avoiding repetition. She updated her profile statement to be more leadership-focused and also added her industries of experience in this paragraph. Lastly, Morgan has added some colour to highlight certain titles and sections which will help her resume stand out.
Interested in having your resume reviewed?
Email 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 impacted 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.