Thursday, June 2, 2011

Showcasing Your Skills Through Your Resume

Sometimes your title or position at your last job could hold you back from getting your dream job. In these situations, it's helpful to focus on the skills required to get the job you want, and showcase how you've demonstrated those skills in your previous positions.

I'll give an personal example. In my most recent job search, I knew I wanted to be in development (fundraising) for a non-profit. Although my main duties in my previous position all related to fundraising, my title was "Director of Media and Special Events". I would even attend conferences on development in that position and people would see my title on my name tag and ask me why I was there!

In order to showcase the skills a Development Director would need, I divided my work in my previous position into three categories: Development Experience, Management Experience, and Special Events Experience. Not only did it expand my resume to more accurately and positively depict my skills, it allowed me to specifically highlight certain criteria I fulfilled that I knew a hiring manager would be looking for.

This is also a good way to approach a career change. Since you'll need to find ways to show that your experience is transferable, you might as well start with crafting a resume that emphasizes those skills you know apply to your desired career. And don't forget to explain the reason for the career change in your cover letter!

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