By: Leslee Lowe, CPRW
How can you market yourself effectively to get into the industry you want? We have our strengths as well as our professional and academic achievements under our belts- how big or small they may seem. What is important is knowing how to leverage our personal characteristics and real experiences on a resume document to say “I can” meet the requirements of the job.
As a new graduate, I remember feeling overwhelmed and unhopeful while searching the job markets. I wish I knew then how to highlight my transferable skills on a resume and bring attention to my achievements. You must be honest on a resume, but you must also impact the reader with the potential and skills you offer.
A recent resume I wrote was for a new graduate seeking a career in public relations and communications. This individual’s academics were focused in humanities as well as economic and social development. So, how could she get a job in PR? Well, the reason she was drawn to this type of work is because in her academic career she had been extremely involved in student government, student activities, and alumni relations. She realized these positions were tapping her innate abilities to drive the strategy and implementation of diverse projects as well as spearhead events and communications creating lucrative partnerships and organizational value.
Although all of my client’s achievements were for various academic groups, I refrained from continually mentioning words like “academic”, “education”, “college”, “university”, and committed to the facts. As you create your own document, think about how you too can let the reader know what you’re capable of without pigeonholing yourself into a specific arena. Employers want someone who can make significant contributions, and if you’ve done it in one industry, you can certainly use those transferable skills to do it again in any other industry.
I also considered this individual’s experiences and all the smaller parts of the projects she worked on. She was responsible for or educated in event planning, building/distributing newsletters, building alliances, delivering presentations, international relations, vendor sourcing, project leadership, research/survey tools, and spreadsheets/analysis. All of these terms were neatly organized into a sleek design in the “hot zone” of her resume. This will immediately spark the reader’s interest to look further down her resume at her focused achievements.
Too many new and old graduates alike make the mistake of stating what they want in the “hot zone” of their resume paper rather than showcasing what it is they offer. I know my first resume was a boring chronological obituary of my past. Such a document, I’m sure, hardly sparked any excitement. You can and should thoroughly analyze your past and realize how much you can immediately, positively affect a potential employer.
Thank you Leslee for your insight and no doubt many of our followers will benefit from your comments.
Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPCC, CPRW
Owner, Author, Publisher
Career Services International
Education Career Services
407-206-5883 (direct line)
866-794-3337 ext 110