Crafting a Resume for Your Career

10436891_s-2When most people think about writing their resume, their biggest concern is the format. While you do want to format your resume in a way that best highlights your experience, the most important part is the content.

Most people write their resumes, and bios for that matter, to get the job they already have, but not to get the job they want.

There are five essential things to consider about your career and where you want it go before you even begin to think about the format of your resume.  Any recruiter or HR professional will tell you that a resume is a poor indicator of a great employee.  One’s resume can only shed  light on their potential to be the right skill and cultural fit.

Here’s how to shout that you’re the right fit for an organization:

1- Be clear about the next step in your career

Decide if you want to change professions or industries.  Maybe you want more challenge or responsibility.   Think about what you want out of your next job and how it supports  your long-range career plans.

Randomly applying for jobs that sound good is a waste of your time. I can’t repeat that enough. Job hunting is a time and energy consuming process.

You need to make sure you’re targeting positions that will deliver what you’re looking for in your career.  If you don’t take time to think about what you want, you’ll probably end up with a job similar to the one you’re trying to leave.

Don’t just take a job to get away from a bad situation, choose a job that brings you closer to what you enjoy doing.

2 – Think about your ideal employer

Seth Godin has written a provocative manifesto, Stop Stealing Dreams, on how currently school trains us to be good employees. Being a good employee means keeping our head down, working hard, and hoping that someone notices us.  When we realize that doesn’t help us get fulfilling, well-paying work, we get discouraged and want a new employer.

However, we don’t stop to ask who we want to work for and why we want to work for them.  If you don’t know, it’s time to put aside the resume writing and do some research.

At this stage in your career, it’s important that you find a company that shares your values and gives you the opportunity to grow.  You can’t find the ideal employer if you don’t include your needs in the equation. Complete this sentence – If I am being honest, I most want to work with a company/firm that…

Once you’ve established your ideal employer, start thinking about how they’re challenged to find people like you.  Then consider what they need in relation to your skills and expertise.  What problems can you solve for them? ? Could you add innovation to their work process?  Find the answers to those questions and you’ll be more desirable

3 – Build your story

Now build a story that shows your passion about your targeted company and their work and how your experience intersects with their needs.  Your story is an integral part of your job search because it shows people who you are.   If you need help with this, download my free Story Building tool. Using your story as your resume’s foundation helps pinpoint your most relevant skills and experience.  It guides you in communicating the selling points necessary to obtain the job you want.

Remember that your resume alone won’t get you a job. You’ll need to leverage your network and have people refer and support you.  There is no better way to get their support than to share your compelling story.

4 - List your results

Now start thinking about your workplace success.  How does your history of accomplishment and service meet the needs of your ideal employer?  What specific skills and experience support your story?

Take time to list your former employers and write out the results you delivered for them.  Determine the relationship between your results and the type of job you want.  If you don’t see a correlation, continue to dig into your history.  You have certain experiences that can get you to the next step.

5 - Your resume will become the outline of your story.

Now you can start building your resume. You started at job A and built X skills and accomplished Y.  When you moved to job B, you enhanced those skills and found your passion by doing Z.  You followed your passion to job C, where you completed D and are proficient at skills X and Y.  These experiences prepare you for the challenge of your dream job.

Whatever your story and history, share the results that show your progression and why you’re ready for this new job or challenge. It might be tempting to simply list your accomplishments. Don’t. The accomplishments themselves should only help support your story.

You want to develop a resume that supports your compelling work history and clearly shows what you are ready to do next. This takes time and effort but the clarity will pay off in better interview opportunities.

Do you have any questions or thoughts about leveraging your resume?  Leave a comment and I’ll reply.  If you find crafting your resume truly daunting, reach out to me at and let’s schedule a free strategy session to get you started.


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