Writing a Resume to Land Your First Management-level Position

I recall a client for whom I wrote a resume. She was working with a recruiter to land a supervisor's position with one of the best employers there is - a global player who has its choice of many eager applicants.

After interviewing this young woman, it was clear that she was a productive hard worker. We sourced great info and guess what? She landed an interview!

Although she'd not held a supervisor's position yet, the content of her new resume, selected with strategy, written strategically, conveyed the work ethic, characteristics, and skills this company demanded.

Did I use magic? Not at all! I'll let you in on a few trade secrets: here are a few methods to source info that aligns you with management level credentials:

  • identify your contributions as a team leader or interim supervisor - add context such as how often, for which projects, and share whether you volunteered or were asked (both are great!)
  • mention any self-study or formal study of management principles and skills related to scheduling, staff management (discipline, performance management, mentoring, encouraging), budgeting and so on
  • relate your contributions to committees, staff meetings, and other group activities. If you volunteered to lead a sub-group, all the better!
  • share your ideas for improving efficiency or productivity, ideas that saved time or money, or other revenue-saving or revenue-generating ideas that you contributed
  • don't rely on showing off your knowledge of the tasks, but do challenge yourself to show how your deep knowledge led to great problem solving!
  • demonstrate your leadership skills - negotiating, mediating, making tough decisions, championing, mentoring, learning, delegating - whatever fits your role, your working style, your industry

Woah, I got a bit carried away! That's a lot of info! A combo of two or three will kick your resume up a notch or two. If you don't have the above, might I suggest that your desire to enter management might be premature? You must earn your place. Even a great resume writer cannot spin gold out of nothing!

So what happened to the young lady's dreams of management? She totally flunked out of the interview. Apparently she used inappropriate language at the interview ... now that's a topic for another day!

- Working to YOUR career's success, Stephanie