Some of us have had the good fortune of knowing from an early age exactly where we wanted to go with our careers. However, many job seekers do not discover their professional calling until later in life. Others—even as the last few grains of sand seem to run out—are still trying to figure out “what they want to be when they grow up”. These candidates often feel insecure about their resumes, which frequently show a pattern of moving from job to job without any identifiable career plan in place. If you find yourself in this situation, what can you do to strengthen your resume?
The first thing you need to realize is that moving neatly up the corporate ladder is not the only respectable career path out there. While these types of employees have orderly, easy-to-follow resumes, they don’t necessarily jump off the page as the most compelling candidates to interview. In fact, workers whose careers have veered in several different directions along the way often have very interesting resumes—if their history is presented correctly.
I recently worked with a candidate who had worked at five different jobs in the last eight years—in industries ranging from insurance to entertainment. At first glance, her resume did not seem to present a very cohesive career. However, as we talked about her experience, two important points emerged. Firstly, this candidate had been promoted into management positions within six months of her hire date—by several of her former employers. Clearly, she was able to learn quickly and win the trust of her coworkers. Secondly, the majority of her experience involved managing others, even though the actual work varied from company to company. Currently, this candidate is in an M.B.A. program, learning operations management.
What started as a disjointed progression of jobs evolved into an interesting resume showing a very competent manager who was pursuing a graduate degree to back up her practical experience. Is there a similar way for you to tell your story? Maybe your jobs have included different types of positions—or involved numerous industries. Regardless, you have brought something unique into each and every one of those roles. Even if your professional history doesn’t read neatly, you can still present a compelling picture of yourself as the best candidate for the job.
It all involves making the right “connections”!
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About the author
Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast
Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.
What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.
You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!
I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!
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