When experienced job seekers return to the job market, many have a limited perception of the type of job they should do. Often the thinking is, “I did this for 10 years, so obviously that’s the kind of job I’ll go for now.”
But did you know you have a lot of other options out there? Buried deep in your resume or in the recesses of your mind, there are skills that you’ve acquired along the way that you probably haven’t thought about in years and those skills could open doors to career opportunities you may never have thought of.
I’ll take an example of my friend. I’m helping her with her resume, and when we sat down and looked at her skills, I could see she was extremely marketable. Her resume was just a bit of a hot mess and wasn’t bringing all of those amazing skills to the forefront. When we deconstructed everything she had done, it was obvious that she could apply for five or six different types of jobs – which opened up her job search options tremendously.
Every experienced job seeker has a wealth of experience that could be applied to a lot of different jobs. By rediscovering your hidden skills, you’ll immediately recognize that you can expand your job search into different areas.
This week, I encourage you to try this exercise and uncover all of your hidden job skills:
- Look up job descriptions based on a general search term. For example, I looked up marketing jobs. Within that, I was able to get a list of tons of different types of marketing jobs where any number of my skills would be a fit. In some cases, I discovered new jobs that hadn’t existed when I was in the job market before, giving me new options for my career.
- De-construct your resume. Pull out all of your skills and put them into different categories, like sales, finance, events, or whatever makes sense for you.
- Go through each of those categories, one at a time, and visualize what you used to do on a daily basis within those categories and write those down. Over time we forget just how much we used to do in a day, and THAT is where those hidden skills lie.
- Create a separate resume for each of those types of job. It’s all about perception. If you’re shooting for an accounting job, you’ll highlight all of the accounting-related skills and accomplishments. If it’s a management position, you’ll highlight all of those skills. Each resume will reflect your best skills and experience in each category.
Here’s an example of an office manager job description from Monster.com:
Office Manager Job Duties:
- Maintains office services by organizing office operations and procedures; preparing payroll; controlling correspondence; designing filing systems; reviewing and approving supply requisitions; assigning and monitoring clerical functions.
- Provides historical reference by defining procedures for retention, protection, retrieval, transfer, and disposal of records.
- Maintains office efficiency by planning and implementing office systems, layouts, and equipment procurement.
- Designs and implements office policies by establishing standards and procedures; measuring results against standards; making necessary adjustments.
- Completes operational requirements by scheduling and assigning employees; following up on work results.
- Keeps management informed by reviewing and analyzing special reports; summarizing information; identifying trends.
- Maintains office staff by recruiting, selecting, orienting, and training employees.
- Maintains office staff job results by coaching, counseling, and disciplining employees; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results.
- Maintains professional and technical knowledge by attending educational workshops; reviewing professional publications; establishing personal networks; participating in professional societies.
- Achieves financial objectives by preparing an annual budget; scheduling expenditures; analyzing variances; initiating corrective actions.
- Contributes to team effort by accomplishing related results as needed.
That’s A LOT of skills! Within that one job description, I see that an office manager does payroll, reporting, employee coaching, scheduling, management, networking and budgeting. Think of all the different careers where those skills would fit: finance, HR, meeting planning, project management and more! A person with all those skills should have multiple resumes for different types of positions to give them more opportunities for finding a job. By expanding your search, you never know what kinds of new opportunities might come your way.
Experienced job seekers often struggle to navigate today’s market because it has become so competitive and so anonymous. But by showcasing your strongest skills in different areas and continually working to update and modernize your skills, you’ll stand a much better chance of catching the eye of a recruiter and landing a job.
Look for my next blog: De-fluffing Your Resume