Use Your Resume as a Career Compass
By Gary Kanter
After his position was eliminated, the territory manager of a regional company was unsure of which direction to steer his career. The “safest” choice was to seek a similar position with a competitor. As the economy continued to tank and reduce opportunities in his field, he decided it was a good time to see what else could try. When preparing his resume, he decided to write detailed “job sketches” of previous positions. He listed everything he could think of—duties, responsibilities, tasks, projects, successes, results, accomplishments and so on, regardless of how mundane or unimportant they seemed at the time. In the process, he tried to relate emotionally to these entries…to relive them and recall how he’d felt doing them.
He quickly realized that his greatest satisfaction came from helping people solve logistical problems and his record of client satisfaction and increased sales proved it. He created a resume that emphasized these skills and related accomplishments, then set about researching organizations that he felt would value them. The more he researched, the more he realized his self-analysis had been right on target. He eventually accepted a position coordinating the regional efforts of a network of social service providers. He also enrolled in a master’s program he’d long been putting off.
Many people wonder which way to go after becoming unemployed. As the territory manager discovered, the resume can be the compass that points them in the right direction.