Using Job Descriptions to Help With Resume Preparation

The first step toward securing your next job is finding the job description. Job descriptions are the currency of recruiting. You can't complete your resume preparation or apply for your dream job without a description in hand.

Throughout your career chapters and job changes, you will encounter hundreds if not thousands of job descriptions. Many will not lead to a job. A few will guide you toward the next step in your career.

While each one is a bit different, they can be useful in data collection for your job search - and not just for finding that next job. Job descriptions can also help with resume preparation and a deeper understanding of how your skills align with posted roles.

Resume Preparation: Repurposing Job Descriptions For Your Job Search

From this point forward, you'll approach job descriptions from both a historical and future-oriented lens. Instead of solely focusing on your next job when searching for jobs, you'll begin this process looking for the roles you've already had to build your job history file of descriptions.

Be sure to set aside about one hour per job to complete this assignment.

You'll begin by searching for job descriptions that reasonably match the roles you've had. Collect one or two job descriptions for each role. If you had different assignments within that company, collect two descriptions for that position as well.

Then, create your version of the job description. Be sure to include the following elements for each role.

  1. Job Title
  2. Reporting Relationships
  3. Job Purpose
  4. Job Duties And Responsibilities
  5. Day-To-Day Activities
  6. Relationship Of The Job To The Overall Business
  7. Hard And Soft Skills
  8. Required Education
  9. Working Conditions
  10. Salary
  11. Perks And Benefits

Take time to reflect and allow these documents to evolve. You may not remember every detail in your first iteration. Take your time to complete each section for each role thoroughly.

What's Next? Storing Your Job Descriptions For Resume Preparation

While this task may seem daunting, it's worthwhile. Often as we progress through our careers and promotions, the past gets blurry. It's not as easy to remember day-to-day activities when it's in the rearview.

From here forward, keep a copy of your formal job descriptions and add experiences to your post as your role broadens. Are you taking on a whole new task at work? Great. Write about it. Track your accomplishments and success metrics. Writing about your work as it happens will help you prepare to speak with ease about your achievements in different settings.

Think of this exercise as resume preparation and pre-work for when you want to write a cover letter or do an interview. Review this content before networking conversations, too. It will help you build confidence and practice being concise while highlighting your unique career story.

Read on for more ways to make your job search a success: Resume Preparation: Asking Other People for References

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