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Proposal Writing Strategies: Should Resumes Have Photos?

Are you aware of the importance of resumes in proposal writing? In some cases, the experience of your team figures heavily into the determination of the contract award.

The complexities of proposal writing can potentially confuse even the savviest business owner. But surprisingly, resumes can be one of the biggest challenges to overcome.

The reason for this lies with the many misconceptions you may have about what a resume is supposed to look like. Should you include photos of your key personnel when including their resumes in a proposal?

The Role of Resumes in Proposal Writing

For contractors who provide a service (rather than a product), the agency or contracting entity will closely scrutinize the education, experience, training and certification of the key members of your team — the individuals who will be responsible for delivering on the obligations of the contract.

In the proposal-writing process, the only means of communicating your firm’s qualifications is through the submission of resumes.

This means that the resumes you submit must convey the information that is most important to the contracting entity and they must accomplish this goal in a format that complies with the RFP guidelines.

Writing Resumes for Federal Proposals

What belongs in a resume designed for inclusion in a formal proposal bears little resemblance to what you might typically include in a personal resume.

To craft resumes that will help you win the contract award, you must first look to the guidelines established in the RFP. If the RFP specifies a particular format, you must use it or risk having your submission disregarded.

If the RFP does not dictate a specific format in presenting team’s qualifications , it’s time to turn to proposal writing standards for professional resumes. We advise clients that, when writing resumes to include with a proposal, every piece of information should relate directly to the criteria the client will use for evaluating your qualifications.

As for formatting resumes, you should apply the same format template to each key personnel resume. In most cases, you should use a concise, bulleted format rather than a narrative approach. You must include precise information and statistics with accurate, verified data.

Let your team’s resumes focus on those accomplishments that qualify each member of your team for the role you propose.

Do Resumes with Photos Help or Hurt in Proposal Writing?

Conventional wisdom tells us that, whatever you can do to set your proposal apart from your competition, you should do — within reason. Although resumes included with proposals must present a professional image, you typically have some leeway to highlight or bold some text and even add a photo.

If you do plan to include photos in your team’s resumes, remember the rules of consistency. If one or two of your team members have professional headshots but everyone else submits a selfie taken with their smartphone, consider forgoing the use of photos. For many clients, having professional headshots taken for key team members is a worthwhile investment.

Meridian West Consultants helps take the mystery out of the proposal management process and can guide you through the proposal process when creating your key personnel resumes. Our experienced team has a winning track record that spans more than 1,000 proposals with an aggregate value in excess of $20 billion. Our full suite of business development services includes opportunity tracking, bid/no-bid analysis and content management.

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