Trying to be all things to all employers just doesn't work any more, if it ever did. The candidate whose resume says "Project Manager" AND "Engineer" must decide which she is. Otherwise, she comes across to potential employers as confused, unfocused and possibly desperate.
Think about those who specialize and how they become known for their specialty, their “one thing”. Examples: "Google" is synonymous with "search". "Mercedes" means "luxury and performance". "Hershey's" means chocolate. Because of this focus, those companies are considered experts in those areas – because they deal only with their one thing. The narrower your focus, the more you're looked to as knowledgeable, effective and successful, especially if you can prove it with your success stories. You are the expert. People hire experts!
This week a job hunter in her 50’s came in to speak with me, and her resume was headed by four wildly different titles:
Director of Sales – Director of Sales Operations – Project Manager – IT Management
I asked her about it. “I’m really good at all of those,” was her answer. I’m sure she is. Those who have been in their career for 20 or more years usually are good at many things.
But you cannot have an approach that says “Here, I do lots of great things, tell me what you want.” You are not a menu; your resume is not a menu someone else picks from. Instead, it should zero in on your favorite and best role. Your approach should be, “Here’s my favorite thing that I am superb at… I can help you and I can prove it.” You’re much more likely to be believed – and thus, get that interview phone call for a job you really want.
You can certainly add keywords that cover your other areas, further down your resume, as well as on your LinkedIn profile.
So before you list "Product Manager / Marketing Manager / Project Manager" on your resume, pick one. Focus on one goal, and work it: Cite your success stories in that single arena that includes your knowledge and enjoyment of it.
You'll see a difference in response.
This article was written in collaboration with our friend, career coach, and guest blogger Joanne Meehl. Learn more about Joanne's services at https://joannemeehlcareerservices.com/