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What to Include in a Consultant Resume

The contents of your consultant resume are directly affected by your previous work experience, education, skills, and future career aspirations. Owing to this, a perfect formula for writing a resume doesn't exist, but there are a few basics that should be included no matter what. As you can see from the consultant resume samples, these are the four elements that hiring managers will look for:
  • Summary Statement
  • Education
  • Work Experience
  • Skills

You'll also note from the consultant resume samples that your document should follow one of two formats. If you choose the chronological format, which is the most popular approach, list all information according to date in reverse chronological order. If you'd rather use the functional format, list all accomplishments by order of importance rather than by order of date. Usually, the chronological format is most ideal for those who received education and training with the hopes of gaining the job position they're applying for, while the functional format is best for those who are transitioning careers.

How to Write the Consultant Resume Summary Statement

Immediately pull employers in by crafting a summary statement that tells them why they need to hire you. Think of the summary statement like your introductory paragraph of a persuasive essay, and begin it by clearly stating the position you're applying for. Incorporate your most important strengths and abilities into this section in a manner that really packs a punch and entices employers to read on.

Not to mention, explain how your skills can help the company meet its goals. Also, highlight your knowledge and expertise to express why you should be trusted with a consultant position. These summary statements are examples of the type of content you'll find in consultant resume samples:

Experienced Customer Care Consultant who also has a strong background in marketing and sales. Adept at analyzing a problem and quickly developing a solution, negotiating with disgruntled customers, and developing ways to track customer satisfaction. Specializes in retail sales and the hospitality industry.

Experienced Call Center Consultant who is extremely adept at maintaining organization and productivity in any size call center. Passionate about one-on-one associate training, developing policy and procedures manuals, and maintaining the integrity of a call center staff. Specializes in large call centers and diverse call center configurations.

Technically proficient Computer Consultant who has extensive network installation and maintenance experience. Adept at networking and workstation troubleshooting, staying up to date on hardware and software upgrades, and offering excellent support to computer users. Specializes in client-server networks and desktop environments.

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How to Write the Consultant Education Section

The structure of your education section will vary depending on the industry for which you're consulting, but best practice is to start this area of your resume by listing your highest level of education first. Include the name of the degree, the year you received it, the name of the educational institution you received it from, and the city and state where the institution is based in each listing.

Because you don't necessarily have to possess a college degree to become a consultant, it is permissible for you to list your high school educationラbut only if you don't have a college degree. For instance, if you attended college, but didn't graduate with a degree, list the dates that you attended, and then list your high school education. Once you've received a college degree, though, it's time to stop listing high school credentials.

List any continuing education or elective courses pertaining to the industry you're seeking a career in only if they weren't necessarily required as part of your degree and show the employer any additional skills you have. For instance, if you took elective courses such as Business Consulting or Financial Consulting, you might want to mention them so the employer knows you have special knowledge in these areas. If you took vocational courses in high school that apply to the industry, list these courses in this section too (again, only if you didn't complete your college degree).

Any professional sales association programs you've taken should also be listed here as well as any certifications you've received, such as a Certified Management Consultant Certification. If you've completed many programs or possess numerous certifications, you can create another section dedicated solely to Training and Certifications if you wish.

How to Write the Consultant Work Experience Section

If you're writing in a chronological format, list any work experience you have by date in descending order. Include the job title you held, the employer you worked for, the date ranges you worked, and the accomplishments you achieved on the job.

If you're using the functional format, you'll want to detail your general on-the-job achievements and transferrable skills in a separate accomplishments section. Then, you can use your work experience to simply list your past jobs by title (there's no need to go into detail about duties as you would have covered this in the aforementioned section)..

If you don't have any paid work experience to write down, include other experiences that allowed you to gain or demonstrate consultant skills, such as volunteer work or fundraising activities. Make sure you highlight any consultation or leadership skills you possess as well as how they helped your employer.

Action Verbs to Include in Your Consultant Work Experience Section

Action verbs strengthen your resume, especially when you incorporate ones that are specific to your industry into the copy. These action verbs are examples of the kind you'll find in well-written consultant resume samples:
  • Sell
  • Consult
  • Advise
  • Mentor
  • Help
  • Steer
  • Guide
  • Inform
  • Discuss
  • Check
  • Refer
  • Ask
  • Counsel
  • Recommend
  • Direct
  • Tell
  • Notify

How to Write the Consultant Skills Section

List skills by order of importance and applicableness to a consultant position. List hard skills pertaining to consulting first followed by more general soft ones. Examples of hard skills found in consultant resume samples include experience with certain types of databases, data analysis, survey design and technical proposal writing while examples of soft skills include customer service and product knowledge as well as analytical and time-management skills.

Comb the company's hiring description to determine what particular skills it's looking for in applicants. If you possess any of the skills it requests, list them in your skills section. This shows the company what a good match you are.
TIP: Need a cover letter? Click here to view our Consultant cover letters.

Should I Include References in my Consultant Resume

Do not include references in your consultant resume unless your reference is an industry expert. While this is a highly debated issue, the general consensus in the industry nowadays is to provide references upon request. Of course, if the hiring description explicitly instructs you to include references, then include them. Otherwise, only list a reference if he or she is a well-known expert who will gain you much recognition by association, and then make sure that you obtain his or her permission beforehand.

Consultant Resume Fails: Mistakes to Avoid

Certain mistakes should never be made in your resume, which is why you won't see them on good consultant resume samples. Among the most common of these include the following:
  • Incorrect contact information. Your contact information is arguably the most important part of your resume since it provides employers with a way to get in touch with you if they decide they want to interview or hire you. Always double check your contact information for transposed telephone numbers, email addresses with typos, and so on since such simple mistakes can make a life-changing difference in the hiring process.
  • Personal information. While employers need contact information for you, they don't need links to your social media profiles or your personal websites unless they are dedicated to your profession and career growth.
  • Too busy. Making your resume stand out is important, but doing so in a negative way can be counterproductive to your cause. A resume that is too busy and utilizes too many fonts, uncommon font styles, different font sizes, and glaring graphics is distracting. Opt for commonly used fonts like Times New Roman and Arial in a 10- or 12-point font size, which is what is seen on most good consultant resume samples.
  • One-size-fits-all resume. Having a resume template that you like to follow is fine, but don't just create a general resume and use it for every job that you apply for. Employers notice when a resume is crafted specifically for them, and they note the extra effort to connect with their need specifically.
  • Outdated information. While your mom might have included a fax number on her resume back in the 90s, there's no need to include fax numbers nowadays. Fax numbers aren't a primary form of communication in the hiring process anymore, so don't list a fax number; it will only make your resume look dated, which is why you won't see any on good consultant resume samples.
  • False information. Of course, you should never falsify information on your resume, even unintentionally. Sometimes people can accidentally provide false information on their resumes simply because they don't remember the exact dates of events. If you're unsure of a date, only include the month and year or what you do know for sure rather than providing incorrect dates. When employers make calls to verify information and find out that some of your information is off, not only does your character come into question, but your professionalism does as well.

Job Prospects in the Consultant Industry

It's projected that consultant jobs will grow by 27% in the financial industry, which is much faster than the average for all occupations, while it's projected that they'll grow by 25% in the computer science industry. Basically, it's projected that job prospects for consultants will be growing faster than the average in all industries due to the rising increase in population and technology. Call center consultants and cost consultants can expect similar job growth since more and more companies will become cost-conscious and desire estimates, and more consumers will look for consultation services.

Bilingual and multilingual applicants will tend to have the best job opportunities in the field due to the increasing amount of diversity in the nation. Because of the rising Hispanic population, applicants who speak Spanish as well as English will have a significant edge over their competition. Technology skills will also help with job obtainment.