Spotlight Resumes offers a full range of career planning, advancement, personal branding and career counseling services. Our holistic process relies on one primary goal: CLARITY. Once a client is clear on their professional goals, we use that as the foundation for the resume and the brand.
Depending on your experience level and the target role, we will ensure your resume is focused in the right way. For those with more years of experience, the right format may be about highlighting leadership skills. For recent grads, it may mean being creative about how you structure limited experience in a way that will be attractive to hiring managers. For those making a career change, it’s about showcasing the skills you’ve cultivated in a way that makes them adaptable to other fields and challenges.
We’ve seen it all – we’ve done it all. We also leverage close relationships with hiring managers, HR professionals and business owners, who provide direct feedback as to what they look for throughout the hiring process – from resume to interview.
Our goal is to guide you through uncertainty so you are in the driver's seat of your career path. Then, we craft a resume that shines a spotlight on what makes you THE match for the role.
For job seekers: Complete our contact form to get started. We'll respond asking for a copy of your current resume as well as 2-3 job descriptions for your target role. We’ll then move on to a phone consultation where we work through a series of strategic questions. We will discuss your:
An initial draft will be provided to you within 7 business days after initial consultation and through our collaborative process, we will ensure that the final documents are compelling and branded with your unique value.
Job seekers can easily complete our contact form to get started.
All professional resume writing packages include:
We don’t believe in templates. Each resume is unique and a collaboration to ensure your finalized documents are exclusively you.
Complete our contact form to get started and include a copy of your current resume (if you have one). We’ll then move on to a phone consultation where we can discuss a specific plan of action that's right for you. During career counseling sessions, we may recommend Self Assessment Exercises to help identify strengths and potential blind spots.
It is important to identify motivated skills, interests, work style, personality and financial goals in order to choose a path that is sustainable and rewarding. We can help!
Is it ok to have gaps? Yes, it is.
Many resumes will have gaps. It's a fact of modern life that at some point, millions of people will stop working to raise a family, care for a sick relative, make a career change, etc... Very capable people get laid off or fired, or their business fails, and they need to become an employee after being their own boss.
What matters more is your honesty and ownership of it. I've been on hiring committees where it was determined after a basic check that the interviewee was dishonest about their work history and they were immediately excluded. Rule of thumb is that you should expect to talk about it and just be straightforward. Hiring managers would rather hear that you were committed to caring for someone at the end of life, seized an opportunity to travel or had children if you speak about it with a sense of purpose or emphasize how it benefited you/your family.
If you're relying on applying to jobs online for your search, applicant tracking software is not as forgiving as a human in terms of ranking your resume. If the gap is 6 months or longer, there are a few strategies you can use, and they vary by situation. One strategy is to "cover" the gap with something like, "Operations Management Professional, 2018-Present. Senior Operations Management Professional looking to re-enter workforce after being primary caretaker for ill family member. During this period, I became certified in/volunteered as business mentor/etc.” Another strategy is to address this in your cover letter. The software is scanning your job titles, so you want to find a way to maintain continuity there without being dishonest.
As for chronology, you can highlight certain experiences and accomplishments from previous roles at the top but don't make it clunky and deviate too far from a chronological style. We used to call that a "functional resume" but hiring managers and software aren't happy when it goes too far off the preferred format. A good value proposition should do the trick.
Do I really need a resume? Yes.
Isn't it more about who you know? Also, yes.
Let me explain.
The resume is a networking document, not a chronology of your entire work experience. Its job is to help the reader understand the unique value you bring to a position or company. Whether you plan to upload your resume to various job search sites or just shop it around to people you know, it's still a necessary first (sometimes second) step in helping people decide if you're a good fit for an opportunity.
I've had clients who were approached on LinkedIn first, but then asked to send a resume before their interview. I've also spoken with hiring managers, recruiters and contacts in creative industries that only hire by word-of-mouth who say that the resume is particularly useful for narrowing down finalists. They want to see the contenders at-a-glance.
In short, the resume is here to stay. But it should not only be used when applying to open positions. It should be sent to friends, former colleagues, target companies and professional contacts to increase your chances of being spotted in the hidden job market it
Here's some context before I dig into this question. As someone who is presently a dancer and career counselor/resume writer, I've also earned income as a content writer, weekend pet sitter, early childhood educator and office manager over the years. This is what life looks like for a lot of adults I know. I don't need to share everything I've done but I do need to know what is relevant for my target audience/target job. The same applies to you.
Here's what I recommend to my clients with a hopscotch career history:
1. Focus on your skills: If you're clear on your target career goal, sift through your experience and see where you can draw parallels. If you were a caterer, you likely did a lot of client relationship management, anticipated needs in a fast-paced environment or may even have experience with bookkeeping for small business. Solid transferable skills are worth including.
2. Consider an "Early Career" section: You can list the basic details of previous roles to show prospective employers that you were, in fact, working before you entered your current field.
3. For LinkedIn and Interviews, learn how to tell your story and focus on the lessons learned: What are the a ha moments that led you to the next chapter. Own it. Don't apologize for it. For example: I often talk about how my work as a preschool teacher led me to pursue a Masters in Counseling. It was during those one-on-one moments with parents or children where I really thrived. I wanted to sink my teeth in to the work that helped people push through specific barriers and achieve a goal.
4. Know that you're not alone: People change careers on average three to seven times. We're not robots. We want to expand our skills sets, be challenged, get out of our comfort zones and contribute in meaningful ways as we get to know ourselves better. Rock that career diversity!
In short, yes.
LinkedIn is a highly visible platform that may help you grow your network by connecting with people at your target institutions or by being active in local/relevant groups. It also "feeds" Google by linking your name with your services offered (a boost to your SEO). But it's not generally a platform where people like to receive solicitations or sales messages, so you'll want to be very tactful in how you reach out to people that you don't know personally. Think of LinkedIn like a formal cocktail party, whereas Facebook is a bit more like a BBQ.
My advice is to ask for introductions from shared connections whenever possible and get to know the platform a bit before posting. Having a professional, high resolution profile photo/headshot and a well-written summary that clearly outlines your experience and program offerings is a great way to start.But it's not generally a platform where people like to receive solicitations or sales messages so you'll want to be very tactful in how you reach out to people that you don't know personally. Think of LinkedIn like a formal cocktail party, whereas Facebook is a bit more like a BBQ.
My advice is to ask for introductions from shared connections whenever possible and get to know the platform a bit before posting. Having a professional, high resolution profile photo/headshot and a well written summary that clearly outlines your experience and program offerings is a great way to start.