You’ve just gotten word about a great job at a company you admire and, from everything you’ve seen so far, it’s perfect for you. Next step: submit your application, resume and cover letter. Next step after that: sink into a state of fear and paralysis. Why? Because, not long ago, your career hit an ugly little speed bump. You were demoted. And while the personal pain of that event has started to subside, you worry that it has put a permanent stain on your resume – and your career aspirations. As an executive recruiter, I am often struck by how highly competent professionals can remain haunted by a past demotion. While no one can whip out a magic eraser and undo what has happened, I can offer you something better. I can tell you what works. Here is a realistic strategy for dealing with a demotion on your resume, in five simple steps.