See how we help take this salesman from semi-prepared to selling himself.

When a seasoned salesman won our resume makeover contest, one thing was clear: He needed to learn to sell himself on his resume. At the time, Gabriel had only been on his job search for a few weeks, and was still mostly in the game-plan phase of putting together his professional materials and gearing up to apply. We connected him with TopResume professional resume writer Billie, and they immediately got to work preparing Gabriel for a quick and successful job search.


A restructured resume

The first thing we did for Gabriel was restructure his resume, giving him a streamlined and visually appealing format to improve the readability of his document. Within this, we placed his earliest job role into an “Additional Experience” section without dates to ensure that he still receives the benefit of this experience while eliminating the potential red-flag that older professionals have to deal with when they list job roles from 15-20 years ago. 

Additionally, we provided Gabriel with a date format that only shows the years of his experience. While we have found that career gaps shorter than six months are almost never a concern for hiring managers, even these short gaps can be a source of anxiety for job seekers. This format effectively covers his one-month gap in 2018, ensuring that he is able to submit his resume with confidence.

Managing messaging

Gabriel had been a business owner for many years, which can send mixed messages to a hiring manager. Optics are everything, and in an effort to effectively mitigate the potential red-flag of business ownership, we reframed it as the functional title “General Manager”. In doing so, his resume is now better equipped to showcase what he did in this role. 

“If you've decided to make the transition from self-employed to corporate employee, oftentimes it helps to dial down your job title from 'President' or 'CEO' to something like 'Principal' or 'General Manager' instead in order to avoid being perceived as inflating your role,” career expert, Amanda Augustine, explained. “There's a big difference between being the CEO of a one- or two-person company and being the CEO of a major corporation.”

In addition, some employers are weary of hiring business owners, as they're concerned these professionals are too accustomed to calling the shots at their own company and, therefore, will be less willing to collaborate with his co-workers and managers.

As a business owner, you'll often have to wear many different hats: salesperson, marketer,   accountant, and so forth. However, when you're targeting a role within another company, it's best to reframe your experience as an entrepreneur, which involves adjusting your job title and only highlighting the elements of your business that reflect your qualifications for your current job target.

Seconds-long scannability

Your resume has less than 10 seconds to leave a hiring manager wanting more — and Gabriel's resume wasn't cutting it. To account for this, we restructured his job descriptions to include a strategic blend of paragraphs and achievement bullets, which work together to stand out in the brief scan. The employer will then focus on his accomplishments — as well as the in-depth review — and the specifics of his day-to-day responsibilities, using that to weigh Gabriel's strengths against other individual candidates. We also included “Areas of Key Emphasis” bullets to ensure that his professional value is immediately identifiable within seconds of opening the document.

References available upon request

Finally, we removed mention of references from his new document; the standard practice today is to leave that out of resumes entirely (except in specific contexts like federal resumes) and simply provide them in a separate document if and when requested by the hiring manager.

The result

Gabriel was pleasantly surprised at how quickly he had his new resume in hand and is now ready to dive into his job search. 

“My new resume is much more professional,” Gabriel told us, “I feel good about it and would recommend TopResume.” We're wishing you the best of luck, Gabriel!

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