Education Career Services

April 10, 2009

Career Methods Have Changed, have you?

No doubt the world has changed dramatically in the last few months in every industry and sector.  Finance 101 is clear on change: modifications from one side of the equation must be offset by the opposing side.  In everyday terms: changes in our employment arena must be juxtaposed equally by those seeking career transitions.


Guided by the above premise, our blog welcomes input while offering hints, answers, and a dedicated medium for all our members trying to reach beyond status quo.  With unemployment at historic levels, how and where does one begin to keep up?  Bringing the words from my finance professor, “begin at the beginning,” and so shall we.


Ten, five, even three years ago the method in which one prepared and delivered career management documents (resume/cover letter) is radically different from today’s accepted format, tone, verbiage, and length.  Let’s take verbiage for a moment:


Verbiage is not just how words fit together; it also includes the implicit meanings behind each word and its placement.  The words you choose empowers the reader to uncover things about you such as personality, work ethic, desire, confidence, and priorities, just to name a few. 


Not too long ago the level of competition for a job posting was isolated to limited regions or communities.  With global electronic job postings, the pool of applicants has increased from double digits to triple digits.  The propensity to become lost in the crowd of applicants is now more than a fear, it is a reality; but as times have changed, so have successful candidate approaches.


For a moment, let’s look at the top third (sales zone) of a resume from a recent client of mine and follow with a revised version.


Michael’s original resume (notice there is no true focus, simply a bunch of words pieced together without discipline and without the reader in mind):



M. J. W. BSc ACA




  • A highly experienced insurance executive
  • Proven background in corporate start-up for insurers, Lloyd’s syndicates and insurance brokers
  • Excellent understanding and practical application in insurance regulation within the FSA, Lloyd’s and Qatar
  • Qualified finance director with IPO experience
  • Strong operational experience, accomplished in change management and BPO
  • Exposure to fund raising, M&A activities
  • Senior executive board experience over last 10 years including publicly quoted companies.


Michael’s revised resume (notice the level of confidence, direction, and power behind the words not only chosen but placed strategically):




Executive capturing high growth in complex market conditions through bottom-up strategy and analytical approach.  Fuses financial and insurance background with expertise in FSA, Lloyd’s, and Qatar markets to establish top-quality organizations and governance integrity.  Excels in operations leadership, business development, startup ventures, restructures, outsourcing, and M&A activity.


ù    Revitalized NNNNN Group, creating discontinued business unit to address $500M in outstanding liability products and facilitating structure change; transformed company into two trading platforms to manage European commercial lines as well as major international accounts.


In today’s aggressive and highly competitive market, choice of words can label you as a qualified candidate near the top or label you unfavorably.  Quickly returning to the words of my finance professor, “In any market, create a competitive advantage quickly by presenting credibility with numbers.”  Is your material wandering or weak?  Do you establish yourself with a competitive advantage?  Take a second look at your material and if you have any specific questions, send them to me and we can go over.


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