Friday, March 02, 2007

Get that Promotion

I am a 25-year employee of a major corporation. I've only had two positions during that time, both within the same division and same career field.

A new position will be posted soon within my current workgroup that would provide not only a salary increase but the opportunity to be involved in new projects. I am a non-management professional with a broad range of analytical and technical skills related to financial and operational performance, some of which are specific to the corporation.

Corporate guidelines require the full application and interview process, even though both the hiring manager and his superiors are very familiar with my work product, skills, work history, etc.

What is the best approach to take on my resume? What is the best format to use? I don't want to write a resume that is either too specific or too generic, given that I am a known entity.

Your advice is appreciated. Thanks!
-- Carole

by Catherine Sutton, Professional Resume Writer

Carole, I hope you’re clear that a good resume needs to look very different from a posted “job description.” A good resume details crisp, specific, accountable accomplishments that prove your ability to perform in the new role.

If your company is advertising their position, your resume will end up next to those of other applicants who do not have the advantage of the inside track but whose resumes will spell out in detail all the reasons why they should be hired. Since your company goes through a standard application and interview process, you need to send a resume that is better than any of your competition's.

So even though it may seem superfluous, I advise you to write a really professional resume that spells out your achievements. Keeping your competitors in mind, be sure to include your company-specific skills and knowledge. Make mention of the fact that you thrive on new projects.

In your case it could work well to use the “combination” format, where you list your work experience in chronological order, and bullet your accomplishments with your current company under two or three subtitles that bring out the areas you are particularly strong in. You’ll find a number of sample combination resumes on Susan Ireland’s website.

Make it abundantly clear to the hiring manager and senior management that you are the one they need and that you deserve the promotion. Unfortunately it’s never safe to assume that people know or remember what you have done, even if you’ve been doing it for 25 years!

A final thought about avoiding gender discrimination: run your resume by some of your male friends and acquaintances, and ask how it looks to them. If they don’t react 100% positively, you may need to present yourself with a little more punch than you’re accustomed to. Remember it’s all about the competition!

I wish you the very best with your promotion.

Catherine Sutton has been a professional resume writer on Susan Ireland's team since 2002. She works with job seekers from all levels of employment in person or by phone and email.

Susan Ireland’s Two Cents
Carole, check out Resume Writing Tips for an Internal Promotion by Kim Isaacs. I hope this helps!

Job Lounger, do you have a question? Email ( it to me and I’ll post your question and an expert’s answer here in The Job Lounge.

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