Experience

Experience is something you don’t get until just after you need it.

It sure feels that way sometimes doesn’t it? But anyone who has worked for a few years does have experience. In a very narrow field, perhaps not. The trick is how to relate the experience you have to the job you want.

That is what most people use a resume for. Unlike mine which reads like a fact sheet, examples of professional resumes focus on experience. Not I worked at XYZ for 10 years, but rather this is the experience I gained while working for XYZ. It’s all about how you look at it.

I’ve signed up for a resume workshop at the Career Center set for Monday. I have hopes this will provide some useful info. They also give you a form to fill in before you attend. I intend to go over some of the points it brings out on a resume page.

Two things on this form stand out to me because I hadn’t really addressed them before. The first would be objective. I’ve been reminded of this by people and interviewers, including Manpower personnel, where I worked over the summer. At the time however I hadn’t yet formed a coherent answer. I’m not sure if I have one now but at least I’m thinking about it.

Objective on can be the type of position you are interested in and/or your goals. Telling someone I just want to “Make money.” or “I just need a job.” doesn’t inspire them to hire you, even if that is the goal of hunting for a job. If you tell someone I want money, then they will assume as soon as a better job comes along you’ll quit. So why spend time and money training you? If you say I need work, it implies you are just going to show up but not really try. Now that may not be the case but that’s the way it sounds.

The other point was skills. Now when I think about skills, I think I can type pretty good, or I know how to drive. And those are skills, but you may be more skilled then you give yourself credit for. For example, things such as dependably or being organized, even energetic, can be skills too. When I started working at my first job, a boss told me I had a good work ethic, which he felt was rare in young people. Until now I didn’t realize I could put that on paper.

Now I’m not going to say I’m everything on the list, that would be a lie, but it’s good to have the list to think about. What you do have going for you but didn’t think it counted on paper? I’m going to go over my reviews that I got while working and see what points I can bring out on paper. Other ways to be truthful and objective about the process might be to ask your boss or your co-workers what they think your good points are. Even your friends and family.

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