When you are applying for a particular role in your chosen field, does your resume show roles that are significantly different to your career path? Does your resume have the hiring manager scratching their head and wondering “is this person a librarian, admin assistant or barista?”
At some point many of us have made decisions to take on work that suited our needs at the time. For instance, doing bar work whilst backpacking overseas, working in a café whilst studying, or labouring for a mate when you’ve just moved to a new town. Maybe opportunities in our field are not presenting themselves and we just need to pay the bills.
I helped someone recently who needed a bank loan to build his dream home and he was having trouble securing permanent work as a teacher. He decided to take a permanent part time job in a factory so his consistent income met the criteria for his bank loan. Consequently, we have worked on putting together two resumes – one for manual labour work and one for when he decides to return to his teaching career.
What can you do when your resume is telling all sorts of stories that may be unclear to the reader about your career objectives. Keep in mind that your resume is a flexible document that is best tailored to the roles you’re applying for. You need to decide what to include and what to leave off so that you demonstrate how you are an ideal match for the role.
Here’s some tips to streamline your resume and send a clear message to the hiring managers:
This paragraph outlines the job you do and the industry you have experience in. Write some points that address or highlight your relevant knowledge, skills and attributes and tailor these to the criteria set out in the job ad.
How you outline your work history can make a difference. Accentuate the roles that are related to the one you’re applying for. This means including jobs on your resume where you have worked in the same industry or the roles where you have used the skills needed for the work you’re applying for. For example, a teacher could include the following work experience:
- Primary school teaching
- Facilitating gardening workshops
- Training staff in a cafe
- Assisting in an office, lab or classroom in a university or training facility.
As we build up our work experience and strengthen our skills we can demonstrate on the resume how these skills can be applied to other jobs. Some key attributes that you often see on job advertisements include:
- Customer service
- Problem solving
- Attention to detail
- Organisational skills
- Works well under pressure
How many roles can you think of that need these skills? To make these skills stand out on your resume you can highlight them in the following ways:
- Mention how you’ve used these skills in the Career Summary section;
- Write achievement statements that detail how you added value to the organisation;
- Include a section called “Skills, Knowledge and Attributes” with a couple of sentences talking about how you demonstrated each skill or competency.
We talk about making a good first impression at interview. The same applies with your resume as you are setting the agenda for further discussion. Make sure your resume captures the reader’s attention by showing you’re a good fit for the job and this will improve your chances in being selected for interview.
Get in touch with Gen to help you develop a resume that markets your strengths.