What's your goal? What do you want to do? First (and you’ll get the same advice from many others) figure out what it is you want to do.Write it down.
Sound like silly advice?Nope…..if you don’t start from this viewpoint, your resume will most likely become a catch-all of everything in the world about you that someone somewhere might eventually want to know.That won’t get you to your goal – to talk to people about job prospects doing something in which you’re interested. And, a catch-all approach will only muddy the waters. So.........what are you really? Who do you want to be?
For example, let’s say Keri wants a job as an electrical engineer at a power plant.OK….then, that’s what Keri’s resume should be all about…..what she knows about power plants, appropriate training and education, associations she belongs to, past jobs that have given her the right skills, certifications held, etc.Keri’s resume should not focus on her sports activities in college, her years in the Peace Corps digging ditches (unless that had something to do with building a power system) or her jobs flipping burgers to help pay her way through school.
You need to figure out what you want to do first so that you can filter everything about you down to a poignant resume designed to get you into a conversation with the right people. Everything you will do from here on out stems from this first exercise — figuring out what you want to do.
Assignment #1 (play along with my old work shop if you like!)
Write down what you want to do. What position are you seeking?We’re going to use this to make sure you stay on track with your efforts throughout the workshop.(BTW…..the only person you need to turn your assignment in to is yourself.I’m sorry, but if you want to turn it in to me, I’ll have to charge you for my time. If you want to review your work with someone, pick a good friend or someone else going through the same thing.)
Be as specific as possible.Include the job title you’d like to have (this can be generic), where you’d like to work, for what kind of employer (kind of business, kind of projects, size of business, social environment, etc.), for how many hours / week, etc.You're going to set this as the goal of all of your job seeking activities, not just writing your resume.
Is doing this going to guarantee you get 100% of everything you want?Probably not.But, you’ll get a lot closer to getting what you want if you have a clear picture of what that is.
Writing this information down may take you longer than expected.This may be the first time you’ve ever consciously thought through your “dream position.” If you’ll just take whatever job comes along, this may not be for you.But, if you’d like to have some control over your career, I encourage you to take this first vital step.Be good to yourself and really think this through.
And, if you have more than one possible goal?Maybe there are a couple of things you’d be interested in pursuing?Then, start this workshop on parallel paths, with the end result being resumes that reflect what those goals may be.But, please note!If a recruiter or hiring manager happens to stumble across all of your resumes, they may begin to wonder how serious you are about any of your directions.Be prepared to address that issue clearly if you get the chance to do so.
BTW: A side benefit to doing this will be your ability to interview better.A common interview question is, “What is your dream job?”Or, “What do you want to do in your next position?”Recruiters use this to help ferret out who’s truly interested and enthusiastic about the position they’re trying to fill.If you can’t articulate this, you most likely won’t be taken seriously.But, “interviewing skills” is another topic…….