When you’re good at what you do, you don’t typically spend a whole lot of time thinking about what your next job might be or the next company you might work for, let alone the need to construct a better resume. In our work lives, we challenge ourselves to succeed and excel, and make the sacrifices necessary to set ourselves apart. We focus our efforts on building a future; working hard, working smart, and making the right decisions. We see this as the key to our professional development plan. But sound decisions aren’t limited to what we do on the job. What we do beyond the workplace can have a real and vital impact on how our careers unfold.
Serving as the gateway to a professional development plan, crafting a quality resume can be one of the most important tasks in your professional career. Unfortunately, it also happens to be one of the most underrated and under-used aspects of professional growth for far too many of us.
This is a place where we summarize our experience, our abilities, and our accomplishments. But that alone isn’t enough. To best serve our needs, we have to recognize—and mobilize—the ultimate purpose of the resume. This isn’t intended to be a book report on what you’ve done or the positions you’ve held during your career. It’s not just a snapshot of who you are today. It also must serve as a beacon that leads the reader towards what you’re capable of doing in the future.
The job interviewer isn’t simply interested in what you’ve done or how much you’ve accomplished—other than how that applies to the position that they are looking to fill. What we’ve done in the past has to be seen as an indicator of future performance, and how that information is presented can make a tremendous difference in the way that we are perceived.
The resume has to be more than an accumulation of dates and facts. It has to tell a story. It has to grab attention. It has to send a message. But it also has to be honest and genuine. It should be dynamic and confident. It should be organized and concise. It should show the building blocks of your career. It should help you stand out, and stand tall. This document is intended to represent who you are as a professional. It is a point of first impression. As such, it demands your effort and attention to ensure that it fills that role.
Every job search is a competition. A company is trying to match their needs with an individual that will best meet all of the different aspects that a particular position entails. Those involved in hiring decisions typically begin the search process by narrowing down the field of potential candidates from among those that have applied. Various strategies may be used to assist decision makers in the process, but one common denominator almost always comes into play – the resume.
The resume is a visual and informational representation of the candidate throughout the hiring process. It is a gateway to a successful professional development plan. From entry level positions to the pyramid heads for some of our largest companies, this remains a constant. If we want to set ourselves apart from the pack, then our efforts should start here.
For more information on loss prevention careers, visit www.lpjobs.com.
This article was first published in 2016 and updated April 15, 2020.