It’s inevitable that when you look at your resume, it always needs something. No matter when it is pulled out and dusted off, some new keyword needs to be added or perhaps it needs different sections to emphasize key traits. Resumes should tell the story of the person whose name lives at the top. I think rather than try to engineer the wording, an applicant should simply consider what to call herself.
Let’s say, for instance, you have an MBA and your MBA focused in supply chain. You’ve been working in supply chain, but you want to take a job in marketing. If you sell yourself as a supply chain person for a marketing job, it might be tough to find interviews. Then again, your entire career has been in supply chain and it would be fully dishonest to sell yourself as a marketing guru. So, how do you go about positioning yourself for a marketing position?
Why do you have to peg yourself at all? Sure, your resume is going to have those pieces of your background. However, if you peg yourself to a particular job area, you aren’t really selling who you are. Instead, think about calling yourself something else. If you have solid leadership skills, why not make that the focus of the resume? Include the many successful projects where your leadership has emerged, references who can attest to your leadership skills, and opportunities where your leadership clearly affected the bottom line.
It is, in fact, how we sell the soft skills we possess that likely gets us the job more often. Reality is that if you are hard to work with, don’t have leadership skills, or don’t have other communications skills that are useful, you are likely a long shot for many jobs.
Instead of brooding about the situation you’re in, do something about it. Sell yourself as something besides your job category. Apply for those jobs in your passion that use your soft skills. Enjoy the conversations you get to have along the interview process. Toot your horn softly, but distinctly. Oh, and keep sending for those jobs you are passionate about. Call yourself what you are passionate about.