About two years ago, I completed a resume writing contract for a Bank Branch Manager.  After reviewing the finished product with the client and receiving his approval for completion, I assumed my job was complete.  About six weeks after project completion, that same client called me back to inform me he was not getting any return calls for interviews and that there must be something wrong with the resume.  After agreeing to look at the resume again, I found no errors, omissions or faulty content that would preclude him from getting interview opportunities for other Bank Branch Manager or “Next Step Up” positions.  After informing him of my findings, he insisted there must be a problem with the resume.  At this point I asked the question, “Please describe for me the positions to which you are applying.”  His response was the following, “I have only been applying for bank CEO, bank President and bank EVP positions.  I feel I am capable of handling these types of positions at this time.”  Mystery solved!  While I am all for clients trying to maximize their employment potential, expectations must meet reality.  In this case, the reality of his professional experience did not meet the employer’s wants or expectations.  The result was a frustrated client, not because the resume was faulty, but because his expectations did not match his current professional reality.  As such, the moral of this story is to make sure your own professional reality meets realistic expectations when writing a resume.

Whether you’re writing your own resume or having your resume completed by a professional resume writing service, one of the first orders of business is to match your experiences against the type of positions you desire.  By going through this process, you can determine what skill sets make you the most marketable across the widest variety of opportunities.  Additionally, it can provide you with a reality check that ensures you will not be wasting your valuable time applying for positions for which you have a very small likelihood of obtaining an interview.

It important to understand that professional advancement opportunities typically happen in one step increments.  In this client’s case, instead of going after a CEO or bank President position, the client would have been better served going after Divisional or General Managers positions with the hope of advancing again in a few years.  In this scenario, expectations are better aligned with the client’s professional reality.

The end result of this example was that after spending a few days discussing expectations and realities with the client, the client deciding to pursue “Next Step” opportunities.  Ultimately, the client secured a Regional Vice President position with a mid-Atlantic banking institution.

Again, I am all for “Reaching for the Stars” when it comes to professional resume writing and the subsequent job search.  We would never dissuade a client from optimizing their employment potential or for that matter, their professional dreams.  However, it is important to remember that professional dreams need to be tempered based upon your professional skill sets and experiences. If you take this cautionary tale to heart, you will most likely experience a prosperous job search that produces the desired results.

Action Resume Service is a 23 year old executive and professional resume writing and career development company serving a nationwide client base.  To learn more about professional and executive resume writing and career development services, visit www.actionresume.com or call us at 610-613-3907.