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Before and After: How a Professional Writes Resumes

professional writes resume

We’re all painfully aware that when it comes to writing a resume, it’s not the header, footer, or education section that’s so difficult to write.

It’s everything in between. That’s right, the other 90% of the document outside of your education, name, and email address. Naturally, we stress over the work experience because it’s the bullet points in your resume that will ultimately generate interest.

Relaying your career story on paper is easier said than done. Anyone who has tried to either modify or re-write a resume from scratch can attest to that. Usually, it’s because we are too close to our work and can’t pick apart the high impact stories and details that make the resume pop. We write a bullet point that says “Generated $4mm in sales in 2016” and call it a day.

That’s why professional resume writers are like journalists. They go beyond the surface to uncover the fascinating information that makes the story front-page worthy before putting pen to paper.

To give you a few ideas for your resume, we asked Renita Kalhorn, one of Ivy Exec’s Resume Writers, to share four examples of re-written bullet points.

Sales Resume Example


  • Led sales team and increased new business revenue from $1M to $4m

Not bad for a start, but we can make this even better. This example shows a quantifiable achievement and even a before and after ($1M to $4M). But this is a case of ‘stats with no story’. The rewrite provides a story that a reader can visualize in their mind.


  • Restructured team of 25 account executives and implemented programmatic training, resulting in growing new business revenue from $1M to $4M in 24 months (100% CAGR)

Clinical Operations Resume Example


  • Responsible for generating informed consent forms and successfully obtaining product import and export licenses to support studies

We often struggle to quantify on our resumes, especially when the job can’t be tied to something simple like increasing sales. However, you can find ways to provide some form of scale and context to your resume. The re-write below demonstrates the scale of this person’s work.


  • Generated 48 country/20 site-specific versions of informed consent forms; obtained 6 investigational product import licenses and 7 biological sample export licenses across 5 studies

Finance Resume Example


  • Successfully initiated new relationships with asset managers and played key role in contributing to overall budget of $45M.

Many people wonder how to include work done within a team on their resume. They feel conflicted by the fact that they are not solely responsible for the result, but want to include the impressive achievement. The above example can go a step further by explaining to the reader what the individual’s impact was within the team and the result.


  • Initiated new relationships with 14+ asset managers, exceeding 12-month revenue target by $1M in first year – grew contribution to $9M of $45M production budget, achieving top-three ranking in sales coverage

Scientist/Ph.D. Resume Example


  • Oversaw blood/plasma collection procedures, handled equipment purchases for multiple sites and developed relationships with physicians to facilitate effective collection of blood samples.

This example features a list of a person’s day to day responsibilities. The problem is that it doesn’t differentiate them from others in their field. To fix this, a resume writer would speak with you to learn what the results were from your actions and find out how you do things differently. The example below makes a few improvements. It quantifies to provide scale, it demonstrates success in a challenging situation (“within 12 months under stringent SOPs”), and it adds more weight by replacing two nebulous verbs (‘Oversaw’ becomes ‘Re-designed,’ ‘handled’ becomes ‘negotiated’).


  • Re-designed blood/plasma collection procedures, negotiated equipment purchases ($400K) for 6 sites and developed relationships with 20+ physicians in 8 hospitals; resulted in collection of 7,000+ samples within 12 months under stringent SOPs.

We hope these examples give you ideas for your resume. For more information on ways to add power to your resume, watch out recent online class, “Does Your Resume Undersell You?“, or set up a free resume consultation to learn how Ivy Exec’s resume writers can help you improve your resume.

About the Author

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