Using Your Resume to Earn a Promotion

Using Your Resume to Earn a Promotion

At the beginning of the year, CareerBuilder released data from a survey that indicated that 21% of full-time employees would be looking to get a different job over the course of 2014.

For some, this goal could be securing a job promotion after working in their chosen field for a time. If that describes you, how is it going? Are you continuing to work toward that target, but frustrated with your lack of progress?

One thing that might be holding you back from making this happen is your résumé. Consider this quote from a post on the Lead Change Group blog:

“It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a new job or not, your resume is a powerful statement of who you are and where you see yourself going.”

Does your résumé do what the quote indicates — make a declaration of why you are a dynamic employee and where you plan to go in your career? Or does it simply rehash the skills and duties that you have been doing in your various positions for the past several years?

If an honest appraisal of your résumé indicates the latter, the sad news is that you don’t have anything there to justify why you should be considered for the promotion you want. You aren’t showing how you added value to your employer or took on an informal leadership role. You’re not putting your unique accomplishments that relate to the opening in question on display so that those making hiring decisions can see why you should be considered.

By only listing the skills and duties at every point in your career, you are putting yourself at a disadvantage. It is nearly impossible to “see” what you have done in the past to take advantage of opportunities that have put you in a situation to operate in a capacity higher than your job description.

HR won’t easily understand what lessons you may have learned from those previous experiences that will make you more effective at a higher level now. Rather, best case scenario is that you look like you meet the minimum requirements for the position; at worst, they may question why you applied at all and send your résumé to the circular file.

Really think about everything that has happened during your career. The fact that you feel you are now getting to the point of earning a promotion didn’t happen overnight. Go back to even some of your earliest positions. Are there any achievements you can recall that you are particularly proud of that relate to this promotion? Can you show a progression in terms of your responsibilities and your knowledge base that would allow decision makers to picture you in the opening they are trying to fill?

When you structure your résumé to show off your accomplishments and document the steady growth you have experienced in your career, folks will readily recognize why they should contact you for an interview.

What’s missing from your résumé that could be holding you back from getting an interview for a promotion?

Image courtesy of Patrick Breen

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