Allergan Inc. Layoffs Mean Resume-Tweaking Time: Tips For Creating An Exceptional Resume

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Allergan Layoffs Mean Resume-Tweaking Time: Tips For Creating An Exceptional Resume
August 7, 2014
By Jeff Shane for

Allergan (AGN) announced plans to close their Goleta facility, laying off 1,500 employees worldwide to “refocus resources” according to a corporate spokesperson. The health care company will eliminate 13 percent of its global workforce and another 250 vacant positions this year, in large part to increase profits and make Allergan more appealing to investors as it attempts to fend off a $53-billion takeover attempt by Canadian rival Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX).

Clearly, those Allergan employees who will be adversely affected will be updating their resumes prior to seeking new employment. This will be a critical task: in an ever-challenging job market, it’s no secret that one’s resume will either be the tool to get them in the door or will ensure that their efforts fall by the wayside.

Sadly, countless applicants offer resumes that are best categorized as tired, lifeless, or boring. Such resumes are sure showstoppers in the eyes of corporate reviewers who are frequently inundated in resumes.

How, then, does a seasoned Allergan professional (or any job seeker in the medical products arena) craft a resume that stands out from the pack, reflecting their experience, energy and attributes to best advantage?

Here are some tips from recently-surveyed hiring managers:

1. Trim your employment history to reflect your past 10-15 years. If you have hard-hitting employment credentials beyond this period, summarize them in a section at the end of your employment history. But, don’t indicate specific dates for these earlier credentials.

2. Avoid leaving dates of education off your resume unless you have a strong strategic reason to do so. Leaving dates off may suggest to the employer that you are hiding your age and are older than your work experience might indicate. A rule of thumb is to omit college-graduation or other educational dates that are over 20 years old.

3. Ensure that your resume showcases valuable age-related attributes most likely to be valued by prospective employers—e.g. your judgment and decision-making abilities, your range of expertise, your reliability and dependable work ethic, and your commitment to corporate goals.

4. Highlight achievements that reflect strong technical or professional expertise, a high energy level, and the ability to be flexible and adaptable.

5. Employment accomplishments need to be concise, but detailed. Employers want to know as specifically as possible what you will “bring to their party.” One benefit of (your) being a seasoned professional is that you will be more likely to bring a more specific level of expertise to any new assignment. However, be sure to articulate your accomplishments as concisely as possible—you want to keep your overall resume length to two pages if at all possible.

6. Leave off “references upon request”— this is a “given.” Instead, have your reference list available (using the same font/format as your resume) upon employer request. Similarly, omit reference to hobbies or other ancillary items.

7. Most importantly, have your resume critiqued. Hiring managers repeatedly emphasize the need for a second (professional) set of eyes to review your resume. Many companies (like offer this service. Considering the possible stakes – namely, your gainful new employment sooner, than later – an investment in a world-class resume will surely be money well spent.

In summary, it behooves any job candidate to ensure that their resume isn’t their “weakest link”. Heeding the tips above may ensure your resume receives the careful consideration that your background doubtless deserves.

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