Words to the Wise

March 1, 2021

Applying Yourself: Writing Up a Job Description that Fits Your Resume – March 1, 2021

If you’re looking for work online, chances are you’ll see plenty of job descriptions that, more or less, fall into the general category of what you do. Should your background cover most of what’s listed, but not all, that gives you a shot, right?

Well, that’s where things have now gotten a little bit cloudy.

Perhaps just a little darker with the pandemic still overhead.

From our perspective, there is a silver lining. Yet, rather than look for it in terms of reworking your resume to fit any given job description, why not write-up a job description that fits your resume? Think of it as a way to put down on paper the qualities and capabilities you’ve learned to value and appreciate in yourself. Then, using it as a guide for identifying opportunities that match you instead of you trying to match them.

Here are a few things to consider on the front end:

  1. How much pressure are you willing to put up with? For anyone who has been at his or her profession for a while, the prospect of joining a new organization can be filled with uncertainty. If you’ve done your “probie-time” in the past, being a new hire shouldn’t mean you have to repeat it all over again. However, that’s precisely the kind of pressure many applicants face at the mid-career point.

    In your own job description, you might want to draw the line at any commitment that looks like it may push into the late-night hours on a routine basis, or that requires travel on the weekends. Most people are willing to go the extra mile or two. But, if the quota seems extreme for the timeframe, you might want to file that particular job posting away for “future” reference yourself.

  2. What kind of interactions do you want to have on the job? Even though the coronavirus has been with us for the better part of a year, not everyone has welcomed the chance to work from home. In fact, many really miss being among their co-workers and collaborating in person. If you’re among them, screen-out those jobs that seem unlikely to promise a return to normal working conditions.

    The friendships we make on the job have been proven to enhance our quality of life. Right now, just about everyone can relate to the way social distancing has isolated us from one another. That’s not healthy. Nor, is it good for productivity; as many know, sometimes the biggest breakthroughs come from discussions by the water cooler. Make a note of it before knocking on that particular door.

  3. What do you want to be appreciated for? Salary, benefits, and the like are important, but there’s always more to it than just the amount of the paycheck deposit. For example, most people in creative professions want to know their efforts are valued by their superiors and that their unique talents are held in esteem. If you’ve seen the same job posting pop-up on a regular basis, it’s a fair bet there’s churn going on.

    The sense an organization gives about accepting you as an authority, based on what you’ve brought to the table at the start, is a good sign. Being pushed to prove it just hours after clocking-in not as much. The challenge can light a fire, but it can also turn adversarial. If you’ve got to sell yourself too hard to get-in, it might be best to turn your energies in another direction.

The resume-preparation process is all about taking stock of what you do and where you’ve done it; then, conveying those details in the most favorable light. Rethinking your own resume in terms of how any posted opening measures up against it is simple—if you apply yourself.

At Resume Professors, we fit the job description.

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