As an overachiever, you have a variety of accomplishments, experiences, skills and other information that can be included in a resume. What to incorporate? What should be omitted and filed away for a future job search? With your outstanding and interesting background, rich in many examples to illustrate your qualifications, the dilemma is selecting the best and most relevant information.
Keep in mind that first and foremost, a resume is your most important marketing tool. The primary purpose of a resume is providing your credibility as the most qualified candidate to accomplish the job, thus enabling you to make the cut for the first round of interviews. Furthermore, your professional story needs to truly reflects your authenticity, individuality and style – that you feel ownership of the resume. The objective is to have the reader come to know you as a real, multidimensional, and highly competent person.
Creating Your Professional Niche
A professional niche is a customized bundling of selective skills, knowledge, experiences and accomplishments – in essence – the summary of your professional story. Its purpose is to engage the reader from the first sentence of your resume and sustain it so that the details are read.
How do you create a focused and targeted summary statement? How do you choose from the array of your qualifications? Putting it all together into a professional niche or package requires first thinking of the position or consulting assignment that you desire. Then match the strongest parts of your background to the requirements of the position or consulting assignment and the organization’s needs.
The steps to pinpointing and assessing strengths for a particular work opportunity are listing the following items:
1. Your work content competencies- skills and knowledge related to a specific profession, field, or industry. They incorporate a specialized vocabulary and subject matter required for working in a particular occupation.
2. Your transferable skills – set in a broad range of work functions. The most widely used are: administration/management, communications, design/planning, human relations, information management, operations, and research/analysis.
3. Your work and personal experiences and achievements from within the last five years – brief concise statements of successes gained through paid and volunteer work. This information establishes credibility and demonstrates competencies and expertise.
4. Review and select no more than five work content skills and five transferable skills listed in priority order.
5. Chose seven to ten achievements that support the information listed in #4. An achievement can illustrate more than one skill or competency. Describe in no more than five bulleted sentences.
6. Write your professional niche descriptive statement. Integrate information generated in steps #4 & #5, selecting items that most clearly markets you and says you are the best match.
7. Ask some people to read the paragraph. How does it sound? Does it convey the present professional story that you want to tell? Will it engage a prospective employer? Edit as necessary.
A professional niche statement is the summary of a resume – the intro to your professional story. All the information that follows, illustrates that you can do what you said you are capable of doing.
Annabelle Reitman Ed.D. Career Management Consultant & Writer - Specializes in a) resume development targeting clients’ individualized professional stories, and b) short-term coaching for clients in career/professional transitions and changes. In addition to online and print publications, books authored include Career Moves: Take Charge of Your Training Career Now! (ASTD Press 2006) and High Level Resumes (Career Press 2005). She can be reached @ email@example.com