You are at the point in your career where you are ready to move on to bigger and better things. You next big move is to update your resume so you can get that interview. But, you encounter a major hurdle, or so you think. Your job titles and list of responsibilities seem ridiculous when compared to the requirements in the job advertisements. Maybe you are starting to think, “Good heavens, I wish I had not taken some of those jobs. Wait! Not so fast! No job is a waste. Those “silly little jobs” on your resume could turn out to be your brightest stars in landing you that bigger and better job. You just need to know how to make then shine.
Identify those Transferrable Skills and Experience
Rather than despairing, examine these ‘silly little jobs’ for the skills and experience gained that you can transfer to the new position to which you aspire. Do not just focus on the title and end product of a job. The process is also very important. If, for example, you managed a small coffee shop and you now aspire for a position as a marketing manager in a large corporate company, find the links. What did the process of managing that coffee shop involve? Which of those skills and experience can you transfer to the new job? Ask yourself these questions. Did I need to motivate people, or resolve conflicts? What type of customer service and networking skills and experience did I gain? Did I have sales targets to meet? What initiatives did I take to get customers to stay or to recruit new ones? The answers to these questions could transform these “silly little jobs” into skills and experience that make your resume shine.
Affirm those Skills and Experience
Now that you have made the link between these “silly little jobs” and the skills and experience you will need for that career move, highlight these with confidence. Choose a resume format that emphasizes these skills and experience, their contribution to the growth of the business and their relevance to the job you are seeking. A corporate interviewer may initially scoff at these seemingly mundane jobs but don’t ever let this intimidate you. Rather, be prepared to speak with confidence about how these ‘silly little jobs’ have helped to shape you into the best candidate for the position.
Let Your Cover Letter Finish the Job
You have done an excellent job of transforming those ‘silly little jobs’ into shining stars on your resume. But, the bulleted points can say so much and no more. Let your cover letter finish the Job. Use it to tell your story about the company and what you did. The cover letter can help the potential employer understand more about how these jobs have prepared you for the position for which you are applying.
As you seek to make that career leap, do not be deterred by what you consider to be a less than impressive job history. Find the skills and experience from those ‘silly little jobs’ and use them to make your resume shine and light your path to a bigger and better job.