You know you’re ready for a promotion, to take on more respectabilities and advance your career. You’re doing the work already! However, your job title doesn’t reflect your responsibilities or your capabilities. As a result, you feel like you’re being overlooked when applying for jobs of the next level. You’re feeling frustrated that no one is giving you a chance to show what you can do. You’re also feeling discontent towards your current job, which is making you feel unfulfilled.
How can you write your resume when your job title doesn’t reflect your responsibilities? What can you do to convince the employers that you’re ready for an upwards move? We have put together a few tips that can help you do just that.
Structure your resume by skill set as opposed to by chronological order of roles held. This structure will take the focus away from your employment ‘history’ and put the focus on the skills that you possess. For example, you may want to create a section of ‘key skills’ in your resume, which lists the skills that are relevant to the role, supported with examples where you have demonstrated these skills in your previous roles. To do this, you will need to have a solid understanding of your strengths and how to leverage them in your new position.
Bring in other ‘advertising campaigns’ for yourself. A resume is only one of the ways to give the employers an understanding of who you are and what you can do. Like financial accounting, it’s a very historical view of what you’ve done. What it doesn’t demonstrate is your potential and drive for future career development. To do that, you need to be creative and adventurous. Try putting together a presentation with you being the subject, or a character profile sheet, or a photo slideshow, or even a video, to accompany your application. Make the content of these documents relevant to the employer and the role in question.
Seek sponsorship, i.e. call on referees and recommendations. If you stand in the shoes of an employer, who doesn’t know you, they’re running the risk of hiring someone with no proven track record of being able to perform the job. Help them overcome this lack of credibility by enlisting the help of people who can attest to your abilities. One of the easiest ways you can do this through LinkedIn recommendations (see our article on ‘how to get LinkedIn recommendations and get them’ for tips on getting LinkedIn recommendations).
Understand your limitations and where you need development, prepare a plan to bridge these; demonstrate how these could be bridged effectively in the new role. Some employers would prefer a candidate with room to stretch and grow, as opposed to someone who has been there and done that. Room to stretch and grow ensures engagement from the new hire because they could see how the role is helping them develop. Be sure to state this important fact when you’re going for the job. Articulate the skills that you need development in, demonstrate why and how this role will help you do that; by doing this, it also shows your self-awareness.
Your current job title shouldn’t limit where you could go next, especially when your actual responsibilities exceed your job title. Persistence and a little outside-the-box thinking will help you overcome this perceived limitation.