Career Ready Resume
Having your resume career ready is key! We’ve all had passion projects throughout or working history. Positions we’ve taken that are not always in line with our degree or with our chosen career path, but were certainly an important part of our journey. Whether it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, or simply a stop on the path to self-discovery, few of us have a linear career paths with no pit stops along the way – and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are plenty of instances where you need to veer off of your career path to gain valuable experience in a related topic. The trouble comes when you have so many different positions and industries on your resume that they begin to seem unrelated, and perhaps paint yourself as a bit of a career wanderer.
You see, a resume tells a story and should build a case for your experience and expertise on a subject matter. When a recruiter reads your resume, they must decide independently, whether your work experience equals competency, or chaos. Do you have a command of the skills required for the position, or simply, familiarity? A resume career ready is one that hits the high points of your skills effectively, yet doesn’t run on and on.
So how can you tailor your resume to showcase your strengths and competencies despite an eclectic work history?
First, create a list of desirable skill sets and competencies for your chosen career path.
This list should include a list of not just technical skills, but also the intangible stuff like project management, client interaction, creative processes, and so on. If you are not sure what skill sets or competencies are required for your chosen career, try searching for available positions and come up with a list based on common threads found amongst job posts and recruiting copy.
Then, make a list of your work history and look for ways to integrate these desirable attributes.
It sounds a bit more complicated than it is. Let’s say you worked as a customer service representative for online jewelry sales and also the front desk of an auto repair shop, yet your chosen career path is in marketing. If you simply listed your job description with your most frequent duties, it may appear incongruous. Try looking for similar experience in both positions that would support a better understanding of the marketing world. For instance, your positions may have required you to upsell or ask customers about taking a survey in order to gather marketing and performance intel. The key here is to point out some not so obvious correlations, not lie or embellish. Remember, if selected for an interview, they will ask you further questions.
Next, show progression.
As you list your responsibilities, keep in mind that your goal is to show mastery. In order to do so, there should be progression in the scope of your skillset, illustrated by increasing responsibilities. If your history is more lateral, then try to demonstrate mastery by your specialization in different areas of said skill set. This shows a firm grasp of the attribute at all levels. A good example of this would be a bar tender of 20 years attempting to gain a bar manager position. The work history may be a series of bartending positions at various places, ranging from night clubs to martini bars. The draw here could be a mastery of alcohol knowledge and an ability to thrive in both high volume and high end environments.
Proof your work.
A resume career ready is not just about the big items but the small details as well. When it’s all said and done, read over every bullet point of your resume. When you read it from beginning to end, you should have a clear and fluid story of where you started and how every experience you had has been in preparation for the position you are seeking. It should also be clear that the position for which you are applying is the next appropriate step in your career path. Is your contact information correct? You have no idea how often candidates can not be reached due to this simple mistake.
More interview and resume tips on our BLOG.