Q. I was a health care manager for years in Boston. Then I decided to work in international health and lived overseas for a number of years. I chose to return to Boston in time for Obama's stupendous win and a serious economic recession. I'm networking, applying, interviewing, checking websites, etc. While I'm waiting for a job offer, I need to make some money. But temp agencies see my resume and can't help me. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do to pay my bills?
A: Welcome back to Boston. Yes, that “R” word is frightening. The impact on the economic climate, particularly the labor market, is unnerving for sure. It sounds like you are being very active about your search – that's great! Looking for a job can certainly be a full-time job.
I do have one piece of advice – for you and maybe a few others. No one ever said that you should rely on one version of your resume for every opportunity. Yes, in the “old days” before we all had access to word processing, we all had “the resume.” Today, more and more savvy job seekers have several different versions.
To do this, first create your resume, and then look at it very from several different viewpoints (and have others take a peek too). Perhaps you should have one that is more targeted to medical devices, biotech, and pharma. Perhaps you should have one that is more targeted to the insurance industry. And yet another version for temping or consulting work.
I am not encouraging you to be dishonest, but rather highlight different areas of your professional experience and background that may be better suited to a certain opportunity.
I am still amazed at the job seekers who e-mail me resumes that are professional, well laid-out, and grammatically correct, but which could have been dramatically improved (as well as their shot at moving to the next step in the selection process) with less than 5-10 minutes of editing.
Because I do not know your professional work history, I can’t fully develop a strong summary for you, but here is a sample that may serve as a starting point for the temp/consulting version of your resume:
Seasoned health care manager with international experience. Open to temporary, contract or interim assignments. Willing to travel. Specific areas of expertise include extensive client and service provider relationship management, monitoring quality metrics and financial forecasting. PC proficient.
Good luck. Stick with it.
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Patricia Hunt Sinacole is president of First Beacon Group LLC, a human resources consulting firm in Hopkinton. She works with clients across many industries including technology, biotech and medical devices, financial services, and healthcare, and has over 20 years of human resources experience.
Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners, a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.
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Stu Coleman, a partner and general manager at WinterWyman, manages the firm's Financial Contracting division, and provides strategic staffing services to Boston-area organizations needing Accounting and Finance workforce solutions and contract talent.
Tracy Cashman is a partner and the general manager of the Information Technology search division at WinterWyman. She has 20 years of experience partnering with clients in the Boston area to conduct technology searches in a wide variety of industries and technology.
Paul Hellman is the founder of Express Potential, which specializes in executive communication skills. He consults and speaks internationally on how to capture attention & influence others. Email him directly here.