By Amanda Frank
Monster Contributing Writer
Leaving the job you held for years? Time to update your resume?
Here’s the scenario. You know your job inside and out. It’s etched into your being. Almost robotic. You can do it with your eyes closed and your hands tied behind your back. You can do it drunk on sherry with Streisand blaring in the background.
The problem is you can’t explain much less glamorize it in writing. You’re caught in the eye of the storm. You need to step back and analyze the whirlwind of work you’ve accomplished during your tenure. How? Use reverse search. What is that you ask?
Reverse Search Method
If you find yourself at a loss for words to adequately describe what it is you do exactly, an online job board can be your best friend. Tap into the giant online repository of job related information compiled by the people whose job is to know all about jobs, including your job and how it fits into the larger organizational whole. All you really need to know is your job title. You can use the reverse search method to find job descriptions of relevant job postings.
What are you supposed to do with job descriptions? Remember paraphrasing in your research papers back in the day when you were a student? It’s a little reminiscent of that, minus the citations. This is not a forum for plagiarism. You can’t outright copy. You’re gleaning from the best practices of those who’ve paved the way. I’m a huge proponent of best practices. Something instilled in me by my most formidable managers and esteemed mentors. Your topic is your career. The facts you’re pooling are the tasks that pertain to your job.
Input descriptive terms and keywords in the search box at the top of the Monster job search page to narrow down to the most relevant results. Spend a bit of time surfing around, and stay on the lookout for anything that could apply to you. Pluck the content you want. At the end of the exercise you’ll have the basics to draft your work experience. Then you’ll need to personalize.
Exercise in Editing
The best part of working backwards like this is avoiding the dreaded blank page, or screen as it is nowadays. Editing is easier than writing from scratch. Use the statements you’ve collected and extract the key phrases. Rewrite your sentences but don’t worry about not being a profound or prolific writer. If you know what you’re going to communicate, bullet points are easy to bang out. Start your sentences with action words to add octane and up the cadence of your bullet point sentences. Good business writing is clear, concise and logical.
Quantify your Work Experience
Tack on your personal accomplishments. How much revenue did the company earn thanks to your efforts? What’s the percentage of growth to your customer base? How much did you increase company response time and customer satisfaction from the customer service plan you implemented? How did the company benefit from the business intelligence you contributed thanks to your weekly reports?
Use One Voice
Not the one you use to speak to your pets. Your business voice. Not sure you have one? It’s the professionally conservative version of your writing. You’re not role-playing. Keep your words authentic to you. You’re pooling a bunch of sentences authored by a multiple of people. Unless you want to be mistaken for someone with a multiple personality disorder, you need to convert it to a singular voice.
Double Duty Job Search
Since it stands to reason that your entire motivation is to look for a new job, this particular practice is doubly efficient. You’ll see lots of jobs waiting to be filled. While you’re in the midst of searching for inspiration for your resume, jot down the posts you would like to apply for and come back to them to submit your resume once you’ve completed your masterpiece.
So? Ready to update your resume yet? Pop in a little Streisand, launch your favorite browser and get to work! No reason to feel daunted by the fact that you haven’t updated your work experience in years. The reverse search method is a foolproof workaround for resume writing.