Career Directions: Where are You Heading?
Whilst driving the other day Sean, in his lilting Irish tones said to me, “In two hundred metres, turn left”. Sean wasn’t my passenger but the electronic voice on my GPS. Anyway, it got me thinking about directions of another kind – career directions.
I speak with a lot of people that want to alter their career course, only to find that the tool they are using to navigate their way – their resume – lacks the information needed to take them to their desired destination.
Resumes can be a purely historic document, telling the reader where you have been (this applies to 80-90% of the resumes that land in my inbox) or they can be future-orientated, outlining where you want to go, with supporting evidence to show that you have what it takes to make the transition into a new role or industry. Have a close look at your resume. Is it likely to navigate you to the right destination?
A lot of people say, “Yeah, but I put that information in my cover letter”. Believe me, if you want to say something, say it in your resume. Cover letters don’t always stay attached and that means you could be seriously reducing your chance of the right message getting to the right person.
Ensure you have a profile – a “Great Overarching Statement” – on your resume. This briefly outlines who you are, what you do and where you want to go.
In the body of your resume highlight your transferable skills. These are the ones that can support your desired change – the evidence. If you are responding to a specific job advertisement or position description, use reflective language. Make sure you have the same words or phrases in your resume that the advertiser used in their position description. That way, the potential employer is more likely to think, “This candidate is perfect” because they will be reading the same words in your resume that they wrote in their ad.
Resume writing can be a challenge and a chore but getting it right is critical. You may know where you want to go. Make sure your future employer does too. Happy job hunting!