I am always asking my career-coaching clients to write a resuME. This is a way of looking at how we provide value in the workplace, by shifting away from solely looking at hard skills like financial modeling or web coding and instead focusing on the intersection of those hard skills and what you are passionate about.
This is counter to what most of us do with our traditional resumes, which is to shape our skill set to fit whatever the job at hand is. When we do this, it can feel as if you are trying to fit yourself into a mold that might be more of a round hole, while you might be more of a square peg.
A great example of this is my friend, let’s call her Sue. In her search for a new role, she found a job opportunity that would be a promotion at a competing bank. She crafted her resume to fit the details of the job description leaving out what she was passionate about and focusing on the skills required. She landed the role! The job required her to work independently under tight deadlines, make business case presentations in high-pressure situations, and to crunch numbers through accounting practices.
Within the first four months in her new role, Sue was miserable, having panic attacks, and looking for reasons to leave. The interesting thing was, she was excelling at work, getting great feedback, and even awarded an increase in pay at her 90-day review.
What was the problem here? The issue was Sue didn’t like working independently. She loved collaboration and worked well in more relaxed company cultures. She could do accounting, but she hated it. What Sue was passionate about and felt purposeful doing was bringing people together in collaboration to help clients achieve greater financial success. Sue was a square peg trying to fit into a round hole and it was making her miserable.
This is where crafting a resuME could have helped Sue land a job that better aligned with her skills and passions. Crafting a resuME is a great guide to help select jobs and companies that best align with your passion and the hard skills that you have.
How to craft your resuME:
Set aside the way you believe you need to portray yourself in your resume.
Start by writing down what you love doing, your best qualities, and what you have heard other people say they appreciate about you.
Once you have at least five things you love doing and five of your best qualities written down, pick one former job off of your existing resume and rewrite your skills with a new perspective, infusing what you love and what your best qualities are.
Tell a story and give a little more than “I did this and achieved that.”
Here is an example:
Sapphire Technologies, Organization Development Consultant (January 2012 – April 2013)
- Managed enterprise wide system implementation for 2 clients within a mid-sized financial institution, providing full lifecycle consulting services.
- Identified key stakeholders and subject matter experts to leverage during analysis and implementation.
- A would be artist who employs creativity to bring people together around large scale changes, by cultivating relationships, creating environments of trust and transparency, and thoughtfully managing implementations of change.
- Created trusting relationships and facilitated fun (yes fun!) meetings to co-create the best implementation process for the people who matter most, those affected by the change.
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This article originally appeared on Imperative. Imperative is building a network of bold and authentic people, helping them discover their purpose, and connecting them to their professional community and to city-based projects for local impact. The future of work is purpose and our vision is to catalyze an entire generation around it.