New trends (real or perceived) fill the marketplace daily. An article that recently caught my eye shared the idea that the infamous RESUME was no longer in use or useful. Hmmm…as a professional writer who provides business consulting and resume writing services I had to pause for a moment and consider my recent experience…and ascertained this simply was not what I’ve been experiencing. And really…when you take time to think about it – what better method would one use to introduce themselves to appropriate, prospective employers (or negotiate contract agreements)? Maybe one could squat in person on random employer’s doorsteps; or possibly video oneself to share with a small business that may not have or use video; or maybe one could impose on the right friend or associate – in the right place, at the right time, in the right town…then viola – a resume might not be necessary? These possibilities, of course, seem a bit unstable – especially since most employers still want (and need) to see who you are, where you’ve come from, and what you plan to bring to their business – in a documented way.
While Resume format, structure, and delivery method have clearly morphed, I personally and professionally don’t see them going away anytime soon. What I have seen, however, is the need for candidates to present themselves in a practical way that is much more useful to employers.
For example, for several years now, I’ve been encouraging my clients to move away from providing a description based on the functions or duties of jobs or positions they’ve held. While it may often seem to us – based on the amount of time and hours we commit to our work lives – that “we are our jobs” – this is clearly not what today’s employers seek.
Employers want to know what YOU specifically will bring to the position and the company. They expect you to be able to align your experiences and skills with the particular functions of the position. However, what’s even more important to the employer is for you to define and describe what method YOU used to deliver on these functions, and to explain in what ways YOU out-performed and/or out-delivered on those specific job functions. For example, the job description for an Executive Assistant includes some very specific functions that anyone who performs that job is expected to delivery on – ie. researching and preparing reports, maintaining calendars, and preparing presentations. Any individual who is in that specific job must perform and deliver on those functions. However, the difference between one candidate who performs those functions and another is HOW the person performed and delivered on those functions. It is, therefore, critical when creating one’s FACE TO THE EMPLOYER (their Resume), one stops to reflect and think through the specific functions they have performed – and to take time to describe their INDIVIDUAL ability to demonstrate “success” and/or the way in which they’ve “out-performed” in that particular job function or role.
I distinctly remember several years ago when I was a Sr. Product Manager for a manufacturing company. The Department Administrator – who assisted me and reported to the same Vice President – appeared in my office in a very sad, unfulfilled and dejected state and shared, “I just finished my Performance Evaluation with Dick; he claims I’m not “creative” enough. This is confusing…as my particular job does not allow for me to be “creative.” After consoling her, I paused to consider what she had articulated…and wondered if it might be possible that Dick had simply selected an inaccurate word to describe the method by which she was expected to perform and deliver on the functions of her particular job. So, the next day, I met with her again and asked, “Do you think it might be possible that Dick just simply selected an inappropriate word to describe his expectations – might he have intended the word “resourceful”…instead of “creative”? Her eyes lit up; she nodded and left my office. The next day, she again appeared in my office and explained, “I thought about what you suggested – and realized I completely agreed with what you said yesterday. So, I met again with Dick to share my thoughts (and my concurrence)…and he agreed – resourceful was exactly what he meant. Now I truly have something to think about and work towards.”
Many things go into creating and presenting who one is and where one’s been. Choosing the right focus and words to match can empower and energize one to seek out opportunities that allow them to be who they are meant to be (more on this next week). In the meantime, I do hope you continue to seek out opportunities that enhance and enlarge your vision and dreams by using “words that move your readers to action.” Until next time…
© 2013 EMCarlock
The Write Resources, LLC™ – www.the-write-resources.com