Your resume is one of your best marketing tools. In addition to a great social media profile, your resume is the primary tool used to get you through the door for an interview, affording you valuable face-to-face time to ultimately sell yourself to a potential employer.
Candidates often ask how their resumes should differ if they are targeting permanent vs contract employment. In many cases there would be significant differences, and we strongly recommend having more than one CV if candidates are genuinely interested in both permanent and contract work.
For consulting opportunities, clients are generally focused on a candidate’s ability to come in, hit the ground running and successfully deliver on a very specific mandate. Consulting resumes are often longer and more detailed, particularly when consultants are bidding on public sector work. In these cases, clients require very detailed information to clearly show that a consultant’s experience fits their mandatory requirements. Clients are typically seeking someone who has ‘been there, done that’ as there is little ramp up and training time afforded in the contract world.
For permanent employment opportunities, clients are trying to gauge a candidate’s overall fit for not only the role, but the organization as well. It is, therefore, not only essential to focus on past achievements and quantifying details on how you have benefited your previous employers and added value to the organization, but also to provide some insight into your work ethic, leadership style and ultimately your personality.
To offer an example, a Project Manager’s consulting resume should always have details provided for key projects including budget, team size, initiative and the outcome (was the project completed on time, under budget). It’s also important to list specific dates as clients are particularly interested in frequency and duration of contracts. For a Project Manager’s permanent resume, it would be more important to keep the resume concise and to capture the reader’s interest — but also to show how you can provide value to the organization beyond just leading projects. It might make sense to provide more of an overall synopsis of achievements but offer an addendum of projects that can be provided on request.
There are many free tools and templates available today, so be sure to do ample research and ensure that your resume is keeping ‘up with the times’. Is it time for you to revamp your resume(s)?