Resume Consult: Larry wants to change careers from operations management to data analytics

One of my blog followers, Larry, came to me with the following challenge: “I am looking for two types of jobs. One type would be as a Director or Regional Manager of Operations. The second and the preferred one would be a job in the data analytics/data science field. I am currently enrolled in a Master’s Degree program to formalize the practical knowledge I have learned through the years.  My ultimate goal is to move on from the small business environment. Over the last 3 to 4 years, I have implemented a data-driven approach to running our business, particularly in the operational and sales & marketing segments of our business.  However I have not had much luck in getting calls for interviews after submitting my resume to different positions

I will tell you that one of the reasons I wanted to get in touch with you as opposed to hiring one of those ‘resume writing’ shops is that I like your approach, straight and to-the-point.”

>> Click here or below screenshot to view original resume << 

screensh Larry orig

Employers are looking for each resume to tell a coherent story.  In order for us to tell the story we want our readers to hear, it is our job to edit out extraneous experiences (such as an Etsy onesie-knits boutique you ran in between software design gigs…or the Verizon sales rep job  you had before you dedicated the rest of your career to product development consulting).

Plotting a drastic career change– wholly jumping to an entirely new field–  such as in Larry’s case, makes keeping the coherence of that story especially challenging but still doable.  I ended up creating two resume versions for Larry: one that, like his original resume, tells the story of operations management (not shown); and one below that tells a story about an ops management guy in data analytics.

>> Click here or below screenshot to view resume tailored for Data Analytics roles <<

screensh Larry data analy


Again, take one more look:  Original resume and data analytics resume version.


Hold up! Looks different, right?  Angela, you do anything hokey-pokey with the second version…like fabrica— dabra?  Resume writing isn’t story telling where you can pick fact or fiction (although we all know people everyday break that rule).  I simply teased out what Larry had in his repertoire of experience that would made sense in building a story for a data analytics career.  Luckily, Larry had already begun taking actionable steps towards this career change by enrolling in JHU’s data science/analytics certification and master courses.  (You go, Larry.)

A large portion of my consulting time boils down to asking questions over the phone, Google Hangout, or email.  I listen, probe, and help clients  take exploratory ‘look back’ walks, look at old ideas in new ways, connect the pieces of their story; reawaken to  forgotten pieces, and realize what these pieces mean as a whole.  Larry, tell me about some of your analytics projects in your courses.    What type of analytics tool did you use here….?  What type of analysis method(s) did you use there…?  What types of models did you create here?   Did you use any linear, regression, decision trees…?   What about SAS…MatLab…R…SQL…?   What was the size of this data set for this project?   What about that data-driven approach you mentioned implementing in your day job?  How did you…? What did you use to…?  Tell me more.  What kind of measurable impact did that approach…?   You said the approach was particularly useful in the operational and sales/marketing segments of the business. [Angela, what do you mean, measurable impact?] Well,  for example,  did it increase revenue…sales rates…ROI….?  Once Larry started talking, he realized just how much data analytics he was employing in his everyday responsibilities– from using data analytics for company delivery times to google ad spending and so forth.

Consulting is very much like therapy in that I help to facilitate client breakthroughs largely by asking questions and listening.  In the end, what that client learns or connects is his own achievement.  I’m just here to help drive the process, and capture and polish the end result.

Each person’s story, connectable pieces, and fodder for new stories will vary. Larry’s story is just one story.  I’m here to help you with yours.

To inquire on my resume services, email with the following:




What is the best strategy when a recruiter asks you your current salary before making an offer?

Originally from: my Quora . ( Quora is my crack. Or, more accurately, it’s an open-repository Q&A site.  Or, back to my un-PC verbage, it’s an amalgam of opinions: ranging from the the stupid and stock to the brilliant.  It’s like having Big Macs and Le Truffle Noire at the same buffet table.)

As a recruiter, from the money standpoint, I ask for two things: current/recent compensation and desired compensation range.  Reasons being:

  • I take a holistic viewpoint.  I’m not looking to see if your comp needs match what can be offered by one opening.  Day in and out, I’m looking at a plethora of openings offering different ranges and I need filters– filters in the geographic/work commute area, skillsets/role area, money area, etc.  Even if you say you are flexible, everyone has their own bottom line.  For example, some VIP/lead in big data architecture within the equities market is used to commanding anywhere from 180k base with 20% bonus; another is making 150k base and, then, an additional, 100k guaranteed bonus.  One person may need 100k bottom line to sustain his lifestyle; another much more or less.  Each individual professional has a different story and different subsequent needs. I need to understand the backdrop.
  •  I need to manage expectations on both ends– the candidate’s and the hiring manager’s.  If someone is expecting a bottom line of 115k but a hiring manager has only been allocated a budget of 90k for an opening, I need to know how wide the gap to figure out if I can even try asking for an exception in the rate, etc.
  •  Some clients DO ask for verification of current or most recent salary after making an offer.  If someone is at 50k and asking for an 80k raise, better for me to beforehand ask them how they arrived at this number.  Is it a lack of market knowledge, or can candidate back up this pay bump request?

Lest a candidate fear I’d use their current/recent comp to lowball them, I tell them honestly, it’s never my intention to lowball them.  Lowballing someone means you are creating a flight risk– someone who will easily leave your position for another that will pay what he/she is actually worth.  Why would I want that risk hanging over my head?  Happy wife, happy life.  Happy you, happy me.

Closing points: I’m not out to get you when I ask for your current comp. I’m not playing smoke screen games.  I want to understand where you are coming from and where you are looking next.  I am on your side and I look at myself as your partner.

Caveat: There ARE recruiter who will lowball, who will do a ‘bait and switch.’ My best advice is:  If, in your gut, you feel you can trust a recruiter, be candid.  If you feel like a recruiter for whatever reason reminds you of an oily salesman, you are free to refrain.