Wednesday, March 11, 2009

What to put on your resume.

One of my readers recently wrote to me about writing a resume for the wine industry. With permission, here's the email followed by my suggestions.

Hi Amy,I have recently come across your wine talent blog and I am hoping to get some advice from you on how to develop an effective resume. I am not currently in the wine industry but, I am hoping to enter into it. I am currently a product manager and have a lot of transferable skills. I'm not sure how to create a new career change resume. Do you have any tips that you can share? or sites to direct me to?Any advice you can give will be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much.

My suggestions:
  • Having transferable skills is the most important element, and the part I would promote on your resume.

  • Chronological resumes with your most recent position listed first are the best format.

  • Put an experience section first on your resume. This is where you can highlight what you have done, and what is easily transferred into the wine biz.

  • Use bullet points. Recruiters, HR managers and hiring managers get resume fatigue. We like to have your abilities pointed out to us--easily found and easily understood.

After the format of the resume, I would encourage you to highlight the areas which are easily transferred. Program management is a discipline that can be used within sales organizations, marketing departments, management and administration. Think about what areas could use your skills, and then write your resume addressing those areas. For other disciplines, look at them from a new perspective, and figure out new areas where you can capitalize on them.

Get involved. I say this from a wine perspective. I often see that people who successfully have made a transition steeped themselves in wine knowledge, news and started making contacts. This commitment shows potential employers that you are serious about your change. I recommend taking classes online, going to wine education courses and reading everything you can get your hands on.

Good Luck!


Bill Eyer said...

Amy, that's great advice. Thanks!

I've been following the advice for quite some time now and I was hoping you could expand upon this point further. How can I get my foot-in-the-door, when I may have "transferable" skills" but not the "required" experience skill set? I look forward to your sage advice!

Amy said...

thanks for the comment. Yes, transferable doesn't mean transferred. How to get in. That is a tough one. I encourage people to get entrenched in the wine industry. That can be volunteering at events, helping at a tasting room on the weekend, or doing a special project for a friend who is on the "inside". Without knowing your background, I can only give those generalities. But take a look at what wine network you can develop through your neighborhood, your wine retailers, or local wineries. You may also consider some online options, such as joining facebook wine groups, and following people in the wine industry on twitter. You can always follow me on either--just search for winetalent.