If you’ve worked as a remote project manager, consultant or short-term subject matter expert, you’ve probably faced a classic conundrum. How do you organize your resume to keep it concise while ensuring hiring managers understand your experience? Use these strategies to write a resume that highlights your expertise and experience without extending into a novel-sized document.
Develop Two Resumes
Remote project managers and consultants often have two resumes. One is the resume they submit online, the other is the resume they present when invited to an interview. Resumes submitted to online applications should be as concise as possible. To achieve this, add a “Relevant Skills” section to the top of the page that leverages keywords directly from the job description.
Next, organize your job experience from most relevant to least relevant. Pare down each job and assignment to a concise set of bullet points that cover the most critical achievements. The resume you submit online should always include a link to your LinkedIn profile, so hiring managers can click through to get a broader picture of your experience. When you are called for an interview, send the hiring manager a longer, more detailed resume to review.
Organize Your Resume According to Relevancy
Your longer resume should also be organized differently than a traditional resume. If you’ve worked for a while on short-term projects and assignments, abandon everything you thought you know about resumes. A chronological resume may not be the most effective. Instead, focus on relevancy. As noted above, include a “relevant skills” section at the top of your resume. Remove outdated or unnecessary skills that cut into valuable space.
Next, create a “relevant experience” section and organize your past experiences by that criteria, rather than by date. Include a one-sentence summary of the job or project and add in your achievements on the project.
Help the Hiring Manager Understand Short-Term Experience
If you simply list the start and end date of temporary roles, hiring managers could mistake you for a terminal job-hopper rather than a professional subject matter expert. Be certain the words “contract” or “temporary” are listed somewhere obvious and include the length of your term. For example:
Project Manager, 6-Month Contract | ABC Corporation, Des Moines, Iowa, January 1 – June 30, 2016
This makes it clear you accepted a six-month contract with ABC Corporation and you didn’t just decide to jump ship. It’s always wise to address short-term assignments and projects in your cover letter, as well. This will prepare the hiring manager for your resume and eliminates confusion or miscommunication.
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