Want Something Different? Then Stop Emphasizing The Past That You Don’t Want

I was talking to a friend the other day and they were extremely frustrated with their job.  The last couple of jobs have tended to end in this same situation and my friend was absolutely stumped as to how they got there and why it kept happening.


The major problem was each one of the positions comprised primarily of the part of the job that they honestly just hated.  They thought every job search and interview they had made it clear that they wanted to move beyond that but in the end they kept getting stuck right where they were.


We talked quite a bit about the interviewing and networking process and did not seem to discover an issue so I asked if I could take a look at their resume.




The entire resume was focused on the part of the job that they did not want to do.  When I pointed this out (in a kind and gentle way of course) their response was, “but that’s all I know.”


No, not exactly.


If you want to take on a new direction then you have to let go of the things that you have always done.  It’s like marrying the same person over and over and expecting them each time to be a different person.


If you don’t like where you have gone then stop writing your resume to where you have been: the key it to write to where you want to go.


There has sparked something within you that wants to try a different opportunity.  This did not come out of the blue.  There is something that you have done or experienced that has opened your eyes to this new desire.


Perhaps you worked on a project and were exposed to new duties or ideas.  Take  look back throughout your career to see when you have used these skills in the past.  Keep in mine it is not necessarily the technical act that is critical; rather all the abilities, attributes, skills that you employ to carry out the act.


It is very easy to be generic and state that you were part of a team.  Good for you, but that tells the reader nothing.  Take yourself out of the situation personally and try to look at it from an objective stand point.


What skills, abilities or skills did you utilize for the groups’ success?  Communication, organization, prioritization….  Think about it – you have to be able to communicate effectively with different types of people in different manners to make sure everyone is on the same page.  Not everyone communicates in the same way, some are listeners some are demonstrators.


Organization is also key, someone has to keep all the notes and records, ideas, thoughts, what’s working and what is not and the like in order and in mind for the project to continue to move forward.


You see, it is much more than just being on a team, much, much more.


The key is to stop being personally involved and look at your resume in a more optimistic and overall manner.


Then emphasize the skills, abilities and attributes which support where you want to go rather than bury yourself in your background.  If 80 percent of your resume is detailing the part you hate, well, how can you expect someone not to focus on that part?


You are in control of your resume, you direct the reader of your resume, chose the path carefully.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.



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