You probably know what chronological and functional résumés are. Now imagine the two documents joined together as one. What you have is a résumé that demonstrates your areas of expertise as well as your accomplishment-rich work experience.
A while ago I wrote an article on how your LinkedIn About section can be similar to a functional résumé. Now I’ll take the concept a little further by explaining how your About and Experience sections can resemble a combination résumé if done properly.
The About section as the résumé Summary and functional area
You might have been told that the About section needs to tell a story, which it should. However, if you want to highlight your areas of expertise (the functional résumé), you need to make them blatantly clear.
I’ll give you an example of one of my clients who took my words to heart. Where his About section closely resembles the functional piece of a combination résumé is what follows under “Here are a few keys to our success” and “Here’s what I offer.”
New technologies have the power to transform a business, especially when brought to market in the form of new products and services. That is what I enjoy doing.
Advanced materials and processes can form the basis for a product portfolio that will generate repeat revenues for years to come – if a company is able to leverage those innovations. I have been fortunate to participate in several technology firms where we did exactly that. Here are a few keys to our success:
► BUILDING TALENTED TEAMS – of professionals who are leaders in their respective areas. Then, encouraging and rewarding them for their collective success.
► ENGINEERING CREATIVE SOLUTIONS – that solve the customer’s problem, but also create manufacturing differentiators that will lead to follow-on production.
► MAINTAINING AN UNWAVERING CUSTOMER FOCUS – pursuing high payoff applications that give customers a unique advantage in the marketplace. Then, delivering on what we promise.
Here’s what I offer:
► PROVEN TRACK RECORD – at growing engineering R&D firms into repeat manufacturing businesses with broad portfolios of products (including MSI, which was recently acquired for its manufacturing operations and product pipeline).
► TECHNICAL DEPTH – as an engineer, inventor, award-winning innovator and team member with more than 20 years of experience in product design; 8 years managing technical R&D programs; and 12 years overseeing prototyping and production operations.
► OPERATIONAL SKILL – to simplify designs, improve on-time delivery, reduce rework and enhance efficiency.
► BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT EXPERIENCE – with more than 15 years of experience in technical sales and marketing of engineered solutions.
Product development and commercialization; business strategy; operational planning; technical innovation; applications engineering; design for manufacturing; proposal writing; program management, sales & marketing; organizational development; continuous improvement.
Differences between the About section and functional résumé area
1. Your LinkedIn About section is more than a Summary. There’s probably a good reason why LinkedIn went from calling this section Summary to About and most likely it’s because your About section can/should include elements of a typical résumé Summary and functional area.
2. No introductory paragraphs. Your résumé should not include the opening two paragraphs of your LinkedIn’s About section. There’s no need, or space, to explain the challenges of your industry, your passion, or a mission statement, etc.
Golden rules: résumé Summary is three or four lines at most, must grab the reader’s attention, and should include an accomplishment or two in order to show value.
3. Your résumé’s functional area won’t be as long. The example above nearly reaches the 2,000 character limit. But the idea is the same. Under each area of expertise, you explain why they’re your strength in three or four lines.
The main reason why the About section is long is because your profile is a static document and therefore must cover more ground containing more information.
4. Tailor your resume’s functional area. Another difference is that your résumé will be tailored to each employer’s needs. Perhaps the employer is most interested in Team Building, Customer Relations, and Business Development. You simply highlight these areas on your résumé.
The Experience section as the chronological résumé
Now let’s see how a VP of an organization’s Experience section clearly shows what he’s accomplished. Before there are cries from the gallery, I understand it’s a bit long. But note how almost every statement is an accomplishment quantified with #s, $s, and %s.
Another nice touch is how he breaks down his accomplishments by types, e.g., PORTFOLIO DIVERSIFICATION, STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT, SALES GROWTH, etc.
Led the transformation of this start-up, engineering research firm into a mature, product-based manufacturing business; sold the company; then helped to integrate it with a new parent company.
► PORTFOLIO DIVERSIFICATION – Leveraged Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) programs and resulting intellectual property to build a diversified portfolio of manufactured products (commercial, industrial & military) through applications engineering.
► STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT – Used short-term commercial product development to build the company’s manufacturing credentials and infrastructure; then pursued long-term military applications with a 10-15 year product life.
► SALES GROWTH – Increased product sales by 800%; now 87% of MSI’s total business.
► PROFITABILITY – Improved key production lines 30% by investing in Lean / Six Sigma / Kaizen initiatives.
► PRODUCT QUALITY – Achieved scrap and rework levels below 2% on all core product lines.
► ON-TIME DELIVERY – Consistently achieved delivery commitments through tight-knit production teams, centralized reporting, targeted cross-training, and earned-value project tracking.
► CUSTOMER SATISFACTION – Surveyed and achieved high satisfaction ratings by creating a customer-focused culture.
► HARVEST & DIVESTMENT – Marketed and sold the business. Leadership role in all stages of the sale process: selecting investment banker, identifying potential acquirers, preparing marketing materials, and communicating with prospective buyers.
► BUSINESS INTEGRATION – Successfully integrated MSI with new parent company. Retained customers while relocating and re-starting core manufacturing operations on the west coast.
Differences between the About section and Experience section of your résumé
1. The value is clear. This position’s highlights clearly show value, as it is broken down into accomplishment types, e.g., SALES GROWTH, PROFITABILITY, ON-TIME DELIVERY, etc. More so, the all-caps format makes it easy for the reader to see the accomplishment types my client delivers.
There really isn’t a distinguishable difference between the LinkedIn About section and résumé Experience section. Both should highlight accomplishments.
2. The length of my client’s Experience section for this job alone brings his combination résumé to two pages. He has two other roles as director of business development and principal engineer. In all, his combination résumé could be three-pages long, which is acceptable within a 10-15 work history.
3. The résumé Experience section must be tailored. It must be a reflection of what each individual employer requires. Your LinkedIn profile Experience section is static, like most other sections, so it has to cover a large swatch of value statements. Choose the ones that are of most importance to the employer.
If you need to revert from a chronological to a combination résumé, it would be a good move. Think about how your LinkedIn profile’s About and Experience sections are an example of how the combination résumé should be crafted.