Resume Help/Resume question


Dear Ms. Parker,

I'm helping my husband prepare his resume.  He has been with the same company for 15 years.  

He was offered a job promotion with this company several years ago, but it was out of state.  He turned down the promotion because of family reasons.  (Our son has special needs and wouldn't receive the same services in that state).

Can we still list on the resume that he was offered a promotion?  Does he need to say he declined due to family reasons?    As far as we know, the jobs that he is applying for are in this area.  

Also, is a cover letter necessary for every resume, especially if you've targeted the resume for a particular job?

Thanks very much for your time.


Hi Missy,

Chances are that the staff has changed. The same hiring authority or HR personnel that made the original job offer may very well have moved on, moved up, or moved out of the company, so mentioning this 'old' fact will not serve to impress current leadership. Focus on the current employer needs, and the value your husband brings to the table. Additionally, 15 years may very well have brought about many changes in processes and technology. Try to convey working knowledge of subjects pertinent to company operations in the present. Depending upon the career field, this could include social media, new technology, lean management and quality control systems, etc.        

Note: Be sure to include the entire 15 years for the current position, then break down for progression if needed (see sample). Anything listed under a comprehensive time frame will generate credit for that many years of experience should he apply for opportunities through online application programs. List entries like this:      

Current Job Title, Name of Company, Location, Start Date-Present.
Include a comprehensive job description, then break down if job titles or responsibility changed over the years.

Previous Job title (Dates held): Job description and quantifiable contributions.  

Lastly, compare the data on your husband's resume to the actual job announcement. Highlight everything that matches on both documents. After your review, address anything not highlighted on the job announcement. If it matches the skill set, include the concept in your husbands data. The more the resume data matches the content of the job announcement (conveys the message), the better the chances of candidates making it through the initial screening process.

Hope this helps you develop his presentation! In the event you run into problems or do not seem to generate the desired results, consider contracting a certified specialist in your area. The competition can be tough and the right strategy can be priceless!    


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Lisa Parker, CPRW


As a Certified Executive Résumé Master (CERM), Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP), Disabled Veteran Outreach Program Specialist, Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Facilitator, and retired service member; I can answer your questions on a variety of subjects. Ask me about résumé and cover letter preparation, military transition, federal or government résumé resources and other career development topics.


28 years of combined experience in both Federal and State organizations. Extensive background in promoting personal and professional development, and providing career development guidance.

Career Directors International (CDI), National Résumé Writer's Association (NRWA), Professional Association of Résumé Writers and Career Coaches (PARW-CC), Career Thought Leaders (CTL), Disabled American Veterans - Life Member, Cambridge Who's Who-Life Member.

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Certified Executive Résumé Master (CERM), Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), Certified Employment Interview Professional (CEIP), Labor and Employment Specialist, Case Management, Instructor/Trainer, Transition Assistance Program (TAP) Facilitator.

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