Posted: April 5, 2014
By: Clay Cerny

When describing your work history on a resume, be sure that you show how your level of responsibility fits what prospective employers need. Review the samples below and note how it is possible to describe “scope” or “weight” depending on your career level. Demonstrate how your previous experience will let you fill the role you are applying for.

Early Career:

Worked as lead and assistant analyst for several projects. (Marketing, Project Management)

Prepared journal entries and government reporting as well as annual, quarterly, and monthly consolidated financial statements. (Accounting)

Contacted college instructors to promote books and materials from an academic publisher. (Sales)

Researched clients’ businesses and determined what events/awards would raise their profile and brand. (Marketing)

Mid-level and Managerial:

Oversaw facilities and service along with supervising 150 employees.

Supervised a team of 20 in delivering services to seniors, homeless, and victims of child abuse. Oversaw a $1.5 million budget for department operations and program costs.

Oversee radiology and MRI operations at an orthopedic practice that has had as many as 14 physicians.

Executive Experience:

Quickly took on increased leadership roles over 15+ years at 3 large corporations, moving from a positions as Process Engineer to Brand Manager to COO and President.

Directed operations at three casual dining American restaurants located in Wheeling, Illinois (Chicago), San Diego, California, and Naples, Florida. Managed annual revenue of $10 million and a staff of 100-120, including three Executive Chefs.

Direct finance and operations for a $500 million portfolio of student housing that generates $50 million in annual revenue. Collaborated with the CEO in establishing policies for acquisition, pricing, and sales.

Hired to turn around regional accounting operations in Russia and former territories of the U.S.S.R. ($175 million annual revenue) for a global leader that provides technical support to the energy industry. Reported to the European CFO headquartered in Zurich and a Regional Sales VP in Russia.

Posted: March 20, 2013
By: Clay Cerny

A client called me about a job interview that didn’t go well.  The employer asked my client to explain how he would support one of the company’s programs.  My client answered in general terms that he knew sounded terrible.  What was the problem?  He didn’t know what the program was.  It’s a new program, and there is no information posted about it online.

What should he have done?  Ask a clarifying question.  If an employer asks a question that is not clear, it is perfectly acceptable for a job candidate to ask for clarification.  My client should have asked, “Can you tell me more about the program?”

In other interviews, clients have been asked questions that involve being overqualified or underqualified.  On the surface, these questions make no sense, since such an applicant would not get an interview.  In this situation, an applicant should ask, “Why do you say I am overqualified (or underqualified)?”  Once that question is clarified, it will be easier to give a good answer and speak to the interviewer’s real concern.

Some clients are afraid to ask such questions.  They think it is rude to question the person who is supposed to ask the question.  That’s a bad way to think about interviews.  A good interview is a conversation and dialogue, not a test with right and wrong answers.  In any normal conversation, you would ask for clarification.  Do the same thing during a job interview.  You can’t answer a question unless you know what it means.