Once you’ve decided to make the transition from a permanent role to consulting, you’ll need a new resume. Consulting requires a different skill set than a traditional job, so you’ll need to adjust your resume accordingly. Check out these five tips to craft a resume that will help you stand out in the competitive consulting world.
Quantify your achievements.
On any resume, you should focus not just on what you did, but the outcomes you achieved. Consultants are very results-oriented. Rather than include a dry list of job responsibilities, use facts and figures to show just how effective you were. For example, if you lead a team, mention how many team members there were. If you implemented a process improvement project, include the hours saved or increased production that resulted from your work. This works for soft skills, too! Consulting roles typically place more emphasis on core skills like communication, positive attitude, ability to listen and ask questions, leadership, team building, conflict resolution, negotiation and collaboration. “Chaired process improvement committee of 12 and presented findings and recommendations to an audience of 100 stakeholders” sounds better than “Responsible for chairing process improvement committee.”
Being specific is part of a consultant’s job, so you can’t be vague in your resume. Let’s consider an example. If you want to demonstrate that you are a good teacher, you could say, “Responsible for training new employees.” But someone who’s been immersed in the recruiting culture for years would look at that statement and immediately have the following questions:
- What kind of training did you provide?
- How was the training conducted?
- How many people did you train?
- What was your specific role?
A better way to convey your ability to lead would be: “Created new-hire orientation program for the corporate accounting department. Over the course of one year, trained five new employees who all went on to become productive accounting team members.”
Target your resume.
Resumes are never one size fits all. You cannot create a single resume that works just as well for a healthcare provider as it does for a law firm. Target your resume to address the prospective client’s needs and business objectives, You can do this by listing accomplishments and tying them to the goals and challenges that are relevant to the client. If you’re not sure what these are, research trade magazines and professional association websites in the applicable industries. These should give you a good idea of the issues on the mind of your prospective client.
Keep it to one page.
One of the skills of a consultant is distilling complex information concisely, and your resume should reflect that. Brevity can be a challenge – especially when you’re trying to list all of your achievements and stand out from the crowd of other consultants vying for the same projects. They key is to select the right achievements and describe them in a way that makes it clear you’re the right consultant for the job.
Proofread it multiple times.
It should go without saying, but make sure your resume is free of spelling and grammatical errors. One of the crucial functions of a consultant is delivering reports and presentations to clients. If your resume is full of mistakes, that’s an indication your client deliverables will be, too. Proofread your resume multiple times before submitting it. Don’t let your laboriously crafted resume get rejected because it doesn’t speak to consulting people. Talk to your Parker + Lynch Consulting agent. They’ll give you the information you need to craft your resume in a way that highlights how you fit the role.