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How I helped a serial career-switcher find her true calling| PART 3 USING A FUNCTIONAL RESUME

(If you have missed out on the introduction to Lynette & how she gained career clarity, please read Part 1 and Part 2)

As mentioned in Part 1, Lynette had spent the past 2 years applying for jobs, without getting any offers. It was baffling to her as she was previously able to hop from one career to another without a hiccup. It was as if her luck has run out!

When I read her resume, I could see why. Her resume was a mind-boggling, 10 pages long! She had worked at about 20 jobs, most of the stints lasted for only a few months.

We both agreed that her resume was too long & confusing to read. Most recruiters and HR personnel hardly read beyond the 1st page, so a total “resume makeover” is needed before she could start applying for digital marketing jobs.

Here were the changes we made:

1. Switch to a Functional Resume format

This format focuses on one’s professional skills rather than each job you held, and is useful for career switchers or candidates with career breaks. With the functional resume format, Lynette’s marketing skills (technical skills and soft skills) were neatly presented on the 1st page.

2. Draw attention to her previous marketing jobs

On the 2nd & 3rd page, we placed special emphasis on her marketing jobs by highlighting on her achievements and experience in helming multi-national teams.

3. Summarised times where she took up various short projects by presenting them as one job.

E.g. Freelance Producer & Post-production editor (year to year), followed by short one-liner description of each project.

4. Remove months in employment & only including the years when listing past positions.

This magically made her career breaks look less obvious (She had taken several career breaks, meaning that she had periods of time when she didn’t work.)

5. Remove early jobs.

Most employers only look at a candidate’s past 5-7 years of work experience. So early jobs that aren’t relevant to one’s current job application can be removed.

After a few drafts, we managed to trim her resume down to a neat 3-pager. In her own words, “cleaning up” her resume was a “cathartic experience”. When Lynette looks at her new resume, she feels energized, confident of herself, and ready to kick-start her jobsearch!

Go on to:

Part 4 - Jobsearch (networking & interview)

Back to:

Part 1 - Grief is important in Job Loss

Part 2 – Career Clarity & Skills Analysis


About the Author

Peiling, Chan is a certified Career Coach with a background in media & theatre. In 2011, she founded Starlight & has been working closely with stakeholders in the creative industry since then. She helps:

- professionals & students build fulfilling careers through career exploration, resume & portfolio review, interview preparation & job matching.

- business owners acquire cost-effective insurance coverage for film shoots, stage performances, events & exhibitions, media equipment, drones & more.

In her free time, she indulges in gourmet coffee and catches up on the latest Iphone hacks :-)

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