If you are looking to move on to a more responsible, higher paid, or more interesting career, then your resume has to reflect your preparedness for that new role. Just as employees are told to “dress for success,” your resume must dress your past experience for your future role. Here are five important steps to take when writing or revising your resume for the job you want:
- Be clear about your goal. Research job titles and responsibilities for the position. Do not assume that every industry and business awards titles in the same way. In one company, a Director might outrank a Vice President—in another company, the responsibilities and rankings are reversed. Check job postings and advertisements for job responsibilities so that you know exactly what to highlight on your resume.
- Put the emphasis in your resume on skills, education, and accomplishments that match the position you’re aiming for. It’s great that you were chosen to select the new copier at work; but if that accomplishment is not relevant to the management job you want, leave it out. Use the space instead to focus on your leadership, mentorship, budgeting, and other skills that are transferrable and important to a management position. Or show how your role in selecting the copier illustrates your leadership, analysis, and communication skills. Whatever direction you choose, always keep your goal in mind.
- Make sure you are prepared. Once you are clear about your goals and the expectations of future employers, do everything you can to meet those expectations before you apply for a job. If opportunities arise in your current position to take more responsibility, grab them. If you need certifications or educational credits in a certain area, earn them. Begin a brag book to list current accomplishments that fit your goal before you forget those accomplishments or begin to downplay them in your mind.
- Resist the urge to panic or backpedal. If this is truly the next step in your career, embrace it. You don’t need to make excuses on your resume for any gap in your skills and accomplishments. Skills can be acquired, and accomplishments will come naturally as you grow into the job. Your resume is not the place to defend yourself. However, if you want to emphasize your practical experience over educational, or your ability to learn new skills over your lack, there are ways to do that.
If you are struggling to clarify your career goals, reframe your resume for the job you want, and emphasize the positive in your resume, please contact Robin’s Resumes®. We are here to help.