25% Project Manager
Title: Program Manager
Situation: Kerry and her husband created an IT start-up and struggled for several years to make a go of it. When she came to me, she had been looking for 6 months, without much success. The family-owned business hadn’t been able to pay her a salary for more than 3 years.
Strategy: Kerry’s resume had job titles that were all over the map. We revised some of the titles to reflect what she was actually doing—Program Management. We also added a summary at the top, speaking to her project management achievements, and added Core Competencies that were program management specific. We also highlighted her new PMP designation and added information about Smartsheet, a project management tool in high demand.
In her words:"I searched for 6 months without much to show for it. After Catherine rewrote my resume, the recruiter calls came pouring in. I had a firm job offer in 43 days. Our family-owned online business wasn’t paying me a salary at all. Now, I’m making $100,000 with bonuses, 11 paid holidays, 3 weeks of vacation, and a 3% 401K match. It feels wonderful."
New Position: Program Manager (Consultant Position)
Days in Search: 45
Old Salary: $0 (Years before: $80K)
New Salary: $100K (25% increase)
Situation: Anthony’s career derailed when he was lured into a start-up consulting firm. He was acting as CFO to clients, while also teaching junior accountants on his team. He needed experienced staff, but his company refused to pay more than $15 per hour for new hires. He was caught on a 60-hour-a-week treadmill, with no hope in sight.
Strategy: We focused his work history on a prior consulting job where Anthony felt he had truly grown his clients. We crafted great STAR stories, proving his experience as a controller. He landed a new job as CFO with an investment firm, managing a staff of experienced accounting professionals.
New Position: Director of finance
Days in Search: 34
Old Salary: $85K
New Salary: $160K (88% Increase)
31% Interior Designer
Title: Interior Designer
Situation: Lindsey lost her job when her boss decided to retire and close his architectural business during Covid-19. She had been an interior designer in many settings, plus as a business owner. She was looking for a way to sail into retirement with a good, stable, salaried position.
Strategy: We branded Lindsey as an Interior Designer with substantial Construction Management experience. After discouraging interviews for retail and sales positions, I urged her to keep working the Construction Management angle. She was able to land a job, with her alma mater University, working a variety of construction and design jobs.
New Position: Project Manager, Construction
Days in Search: 95
Old Salary: $65K
New Salary: $85K (31% Increase)
Situation: Ted was in a very lucrative kind of law: personal injury. Instead of making big bucks, Ted was isolated, working 50-60-hour weeks for a demanding, unreasonable team of lawyers in another city. He not only prepared disclosures and support documents; he even wrote legal briefs– all for $20 per hour! When a big case came up, he worked non-stop, sometimes topping out at 18 hours a day!
Strategy: We investigated salaries and found he was well qualified for the job of Paralegal Manager. He even had a career history of teaching and coaching. His task was to successfully network into the right law firm.
New Position: Paralegal Manager
Days in Search: 112
Old Salary: $41K
New Salary: $91K (122% Increase)
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38% Learning Specialist
Title: Learning Specialist
Situation: Helen’s Program Management job was switched to Sales. Her task: building business in a distressed industry, with non-profit clients who were losing their funding. Her new, commission-only job not only was a bad fit, it felt like a demotion. She truly feared losing 30-60% of her income.
Strategy: Completely rebrand Helen, showcasing her Project Management skills in highly technical environments. Reconnect with colleagues who know her outstanding IT and customer success skills.
New Position: Program Manager for government clients, managing highly- complex software integration projects.
Days in Search: 54
Old Salary: $65K + 3K bonus
New Salary: $85 + $9K bonus (38% Increase)
25% Quality Engineer
Title: Quality Engineer
Situation: Brandon had been searching unsuccessfully on his own for 5 months. He was tired of doing a great job, then getting laid off because the company had no long-term commitment to quality.
Strategy: We rebranded Brandon from Quality Assurance to Operations—a job that is much more stable, and better paying. We reworked his resume, combining short-term jobs under the banner of “Contract Projects.” With coaching, his career story switched from “woe is me” to the positive changes he had created in former jobs. We even negotiated a $4,000 signing bonus to clear up the debt he incurred while out of work!
New Position: Plant Manager
Days in Search: 112
Old Salary: $67K
New Salary: $84K (25% Increase)
40% Medical Practice Manager
Title: Medical Practice Manager
Situation: Robin felt stuck after working 23 years for the same surgeon. She wanted to completely change careers, perhaps move abroad, and increase her income to pay for her daughter’s college education.
Strategy: We rebranded Robin as a Chief Operating Officer, emphasizing her financial, marketing, and HR experience with the current practice. We wrote new achievement statements for each facet of her all-encompassing job. We showcased her volunteer work as if it were all paid experience, calling her a Non-Profit Executive. She won a job in another state – with easy access to flights to see her daughter at college.
New Position: Executive Director
Days in Search: 90
Old Salary: $75K
New Salary: $105K (40% Increase)
86% Curriculum Designer
Title: Curriculum Designer
Situation: Jake finished his Master’s in Educational Technology and was eager for more pay. When he updated his LinkedIn profile his manager wondered if he wanted to leave. He loved the company and his coworkers, so he wanted to stay.
Strategy: Instead of launching a job search, we created a new position at a higher level within his current company. He sold it to his boss, explaining how new technology could save training dollars and pay for his job within the first year. It took a full month of negotiating, but the company eventually added a Director of eLearning position paying 86% more than his old salary.
New Position: Director eLearning
Days in Search: 35
Old Salary: $45K
New Salary: $84K (86% Increase)