3 Tips to Improve Your Consultant Resume

A consultant resume is one of the most demanding, competitive resumes in the employment market. In any industry, consultants are the top of the tree in terms of professional experience, achievements, and income. 

That creates both opportunities and potential problems. Consultant resumes must pass an extremely rigorous competitive screening process. Information must be attention-getting, interesting, and match the criteria of the job or contract to the letter. For consultants, that means a custom-made resume for every job application and every contract bid. 

1. Resume format

The consultant resume is basically the same as a higher level professional job application resume, but the information content is quite different in some respects. A resume is required to give prospective clients and employers a detailed look at the consultant's professional achievements. This is a guide to the consultant's work, a track record and performance indicator.

The format is based on practical issues:

  • Name/contact details

  • Objectives: Optional in this field, the consultant may express professional motives or career aspirations.

  • Skills: Not usually included in professional consultant resumes, due to qualifications. 

  • Consultancy history and achievements: This is a synopsis of relevant materials, including achievements, often detailed. The consultant resume is as much an advertisement as a resume. 

  • Qualifications: Professional qualifications are standard requirements in consultancies, and must match any criteria stated by the employer or contract requirements.

  • References: Business references and former or current consultancy clients. These references are intended to provide first hand information from credible sources to prospective employers. Importantly, the references support the information provided. 

  • Attachments: More detailed information may be requested by the employer. This material must be professionally produced and present well. Index attached information if required. 

2. Content quality in resumes

A consultant's resume is a vital part of an extremely competitive recruitment process. Presentation of information must be excellent. Content must be persuasive, and show very high levels of achievement. Only the most competitive applications have a chance of being considered. 

Every part of the resume has to make an impact with employers:

Readability:

  1. Layout of information must make it easy for the reader to look for information.
  2. Using similar structures for each part of the consultancy history makes it easier to read.
  3. Each element in the resume should be in properly constructed paragraphs.
  4. Avoid fragmented elements or loose paragraphs in text. 

Choice of words and use of language:

The use of terms and phrases must be professional and appropriate:

  1. Never use obscure or vague expressions.
  2. Don't use unduly complex or convoluted sentences.
  3. Avoid excessive detail. 
  4. Use clear descriptions and terms in all content.
  5. Avoid buzzwords and cliches.
  6. Use a formal business writing style at all times.
  7. Don't use informal expressions or personal forms of address. 

3. Information standards

Choice of information is critical in a consultant resume:

  1. Choose the best possible matches of resume information to each element of the position criteria.

  2. All information provided must be strictly factual and directly relevant to the consultancy position.

  3. Matches for job criteria must be supported by references.

  4. All claims of performance as a consultant must be documented and verifiable.

  5. Unique selling points, like consultancy work with major industry clients should be included where possible. 

  6. Specialist services in the consultancy must be shown clearly to emphasize service quality.