Showing Off Career Progression

Alesia Benedict, from GetInterviews.com, writes in her newest post titled, Four Ways Your Resume Should Show Off a Career Progression, “Whether you’ve worked for the same employer your entire career or lost count of the number of resignation letters you’ve signed, demonstrating how you evolved as a professional is key to a winning resume presentation.  Prospective employers find career progression very important.”

I’ve written before that I am a big believer in not judging those who may have worked in a number of different companies rather than just stuck with one place.  You never know what the situations have been, so to think the person who jumps from job to job may not be stable is silly. In order for you as a potential employee to stand out you should follow the following steps in order to show your career progression:

1. Emphasize Titles. If you’ve spent considerable time at one company but held multiple titles, do not make the mistake of lumping everything under one heading for that company. Unfortunately, by mixing and matching duties of different titles in one master description, the progression gets muddled.

Be sure to let those promotions work for you! After all, you worked hard to get them, so they certainly deserve to draw attention. Instead of organizing your experience by company, do so by title.

2. Focus on New Responsibilities. Even if you leave a company for another in what would be considered a lateral move, you can demonstrate the progression in your career by showing how you increased task ownership in the subsequent capacity.

Rather than repeating duties used to describe your previous role, be sure your resume description for each progressive role clearly shows new tasks taken on when you advanced.

3. Recount Accomplishments. No matter what your title was, reach back into your memory and pull out at least three of your most valuable achievements for each role. It’s great to have old performance evaluations handy, but even if you don’t, a little brainstorming can help jog even the worst memory. Consider the following:

  • In what successful projects did you play a key role?
  • What were the main objectives you set out to achieve?
  • Are there metrics you can cite to show measurable accomplishments?
  • Did you form any strategic relationships that proved valuable to the organization?
  • What awards did you win?
  • Were you selected to serve on any special committees or to head any teams?
  • How did you contribute to supporting the goals of the department or organization as a whole?

4. Highlight Newly Acquired Skills. The next step in your career journey will build upon the skills and knowledge you possess today. With this in mind, think about how each past position expanded upon your abilities. What new skills did you use? What new knowledge did you apply? If you completed any specialized training, be sure to include it as well.

Your resume isn’t doing its job if it doesn’t tell an employer the story of your professional journey, so be sure to optimize your presentation to make your career progression shine.

What did you do today?

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