Some of us know from an early age exactly where we want to go in our careers. However, many job seekers don’t discover their professional calling until later in life. They always feel they’re trying to figure out “what they want to be when they grow up”.
And their resumes often reflect what, on the surface, may look like a scattered career that lacks focus.
Fact is that moving neatly up the corporate ladder is not the only respectable career path out there. True: 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. The reality is, however, that those whose early careers have veered in several different directions often have very interesting resumes—if their personal “story” is presented correctly.
I recently worked with a candidate who had worked at five different internships and jobs in their recent past—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:
- Several of her former employers had promoted this candidate into management positions within six months of her hire date (clearly, she was able to learn quickly and win the trust of her coworkers)
- The majority of her experience involved self-learning and personal growth, 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 with seemingly nothing in common evolved into an interesting resume showing a very competent manager who was pursuing a graduate degree to back up her practical experience and undeniable leadership ability. Sure, her resume didn’t follow a traditional path… yet her unique value proposition became clear:
A leader not afraid to self-learn and grow.
Is there a similar way for you to tell your story?
Maybe your early work history includes different types of positions in numerous companies and 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.
What is your unique value proposition? What compelling story do you tell?
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Great Resumes Fast!
About the Author: A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter. With more than ten years’ experience directing hiring practices for Fortune 500 companies, she has developed innovative and proven resume development, and personal branding strategies to generate powerful results for clients.
As a global resume authority and trusted media source, Jessica has been featured and quoted on CNN.com, Monster.com, Job Talk America radio, SmartBrief, International Business Times, and more. Jessica has her Bachelor of Science degree in Communications/Public Relations from the University of North Florida. Contact Jessica on Twitter!
Image courtesy of govloop.com. Thank you!