Let’s face it, resume writing is not a top priority on anyone’s lengthy ‘to do’ list. It is not something anyone looks forward to, enjoys, or gets excited about – but it is something that must be done – and done well if you want to land the best job possible.
Perhaps we can inspire you to revisit the topic by offering up an unfamiliar perspective, a new way for you to think about your resume and career without falling into the same old pattern. One way to overcome the resume blahs is by thinking less about the chronological history of your work experience, and more about a skills-based approach. By thinking less about the daily operational responsibilities of your job, and more about what unique skills you have (and want to improve) you can change the way you think about your work history in terms that are attractive to potential employers. Even if you are gainfully employed, it is always a very good idea to update your resume and begin thinking about potential career moves before you have to.
Here’s how to do it. Start by adding a section to the top of your resume. You can call it any number of things – transferable skills, highlights, personal experience, or just plain skills. Don’t get too cutesy, but also try to differentiate yourself in some unique way. Show that you are someone that has thought about yourself from a big picture perspective, someone who has a holistic view of the value you can bring to an employer.
What you want to do is very critically assess what you are good at, and where you have a basis for skills that can be improved upon. Don’t focus so much on the day to day operations of your job (processed payroll, for example) instead, concentrate on the nuances of the role (worked with QuickBooks and Microsoft Excel formulas) to develop a list of hard skills that are both unique and transferable to future employers.
Need some help? This article in the Muse, a well-respected career resource, provides a solid example of bringing the job of bartender to life. A role that can look rather bland on paper was transformed into a series of bullets that highlight the skills that differentiate that person from a sea of resumes that all look the same. Check it out. Hopefully, this example helps you to think about the nuances of your past and present job that can set you apart, or the skills and responsibilities you took upon yourself that made you successful in that role.
Now, build a list of your own skills and accomplishments from your career and then distill them into a few choice, powerful bullets to top off your new ‘skills’ section of your resume. Try to keep them as short and sweet as possible. Note that these bullets will also come in handy as a lead in to a cover letter to a potential employer.
Now, add them to your resume and be ready to distinguish yourself!
We hope this inspires you to update your resume and begin thinking about the skills you have and can develop as your career progresses. If you need any additional advice on resumes or career development, the team of Masiello Employment recruiters is here for you. As always, we are your local job resource for the Monadnock region, as we have been for over 30 years. If you are looking for a job actively, stay tuned to our blog for information about an upcoming job fair happening this Summer.