November 21, 2018
Resumé Pro Tips – Part 1
Part 1: Determining the Experience You Want
Getting started in a new industry can be a challenge, but
the reward for your self-promotion can be a fulfilling career on our beautiful
island. Here are some steps to help you
identify the skills you already have as well as those you should consider
developing to get the resume for your dream job.
What Do I Want?
Identifying your skill set is easier when you have a
target. This is why resumes should
always be refined to reflect the particular job application. To develop a basic template that you can
retool on a job-by-job basis, research the requirements of the role you want
and dedicate a week looking for instances where you are already meeting them or
have met them past roles. (We’ll have
more on this in Part 2). If you don’t
yet have a clear goal, you should spend time online collecting job descriptions
of positions that sound like interesting future employment and make a note of
any recurring qualifications. You might
come up with a list of four or five skills you want to develop. Pursuing these might be the path to your
How Do I Get It?
Once you highlight the skills and experiences you want to
develop, there are a few options for getting them off of your wish-list and onto
Direct Your Work Experience
Having a clear goal helps you be alert to opportunities in
your current job to work toward your next job.
Are there events or training days you could attend? Are there groups or committees you could
join? Is this the reason to take the
otherwise unglamorous team lead role?
If you are currently unemployed or considering a job that
seems nowhere near your “dream job”, ask yourself if the lower-level job could
help you develop any of the skills of your list. Sometimes a short-term job can be a
stepping-stone to your next big opportunity.
There are two ways to choose a volunteer opportunity, and
both are worthwhile. If you have the
chance, choose a passion-project. Doing
something with meaning to you usually translates into you doing great work and
feeling fulfilled. How do people spend 20
hours a week at a theatre on top of their day jobs, or stay connected to a
non-profit for over a decade?
Passion. There is nothing more
rewarding than this kind of volunteering.
However, an equally good reason to volunteer is to build
experience. If you can find a role that
develops the skills you want for your resume, seize it! Experience gained volunteering is viable for
your resume and can be referenced in job interviews. Supervisors from volunteering can be powerful
references and everyone you work with through interviewing expands your
The right volunteer role can make you look like a go-getter,
someone who is willing to go the extra mile for their community. These traits are hard to write convincingly
on a resume because they tend to emerge based on the jobs and roles listed and
influence the profile the employer is building about you. And no matter what your dream role is, all
employers want to know they are hiring hard-workers.
One final note of encouragement: to those starting out on
career paths, there can be so many unknowns that it is difficult just to
start. Often, the real struggle is for
confidence: how do you believe you are right for the job when you have little
concrete experience in the workforce?
Understanding the language job posts use can help with this, and this
will be addressed in our next post.
Equally important, however, is just getting started. Take the minimum wage job, the part-time job,
the out-of-your-comfort-zone job, if it means you will be out of the house and
succeeding in some small way in the workforce.
And find a volunteer opportunity to dig-into. It’s tough to start volunteering when you are
unemployed, uncertain, or unfulfilled, but it can be a real chance to gain some
experiences and the confidence that comes with them.
And then put that experience on your resume!