Friday, April 10, 2009

What Is Your “Job Heaven”?

To build a resume that gets you the perfect job, you first need to understand what a perfect job for you would look like. Just to be clear, I am not talking about the perfect job for a particular personality type, gender group, or economic group. Rather, I am addressing you, the “every snowflake is unique” individual. By “perfect job” I am specifically talking about the job that is specifically a perfect fit for you. Of course, I think the actual perfect job might be something without a clock and involves baiting a hook, but I like a roof over my head too. So let’s assume that your perfect job involves at bare minimum a clock and a paycheck.

The best starting point is to develop an understanding of yourself. We don’t often take the time to do this but this is one of those times. There are two things relating to your perfect job that you need to understand. The first thing you want to know about this job is; what do you want to do. These are the functions of the job you want to do in the performance of the job. If you love working with spreadsheets put that down on your list. Try to make a list of the top six functions that would make up your perfect job. As an experienced Accountant your list could look something like this:
  1. Building complex spreadsheets
  2. Consulting
  3. Financial analysis
  4. Data gathering
  5. Preparing presentations
  6. Budget planning

Be sure the list is made up of the functions you like to perform. If you hate balancing the company checkbook, don’t list it!

The second bit of information you need to understand about your perfect job is; what are the “must haves”, “nice to haves” and wants that will help make the perfect job. Be honest about your feelings because overlooking these will only give you a picture blurry picture of the desired job. I know for me, here are the things that I want:

  1. 10 to 20% travel
  2. Supportive staff and management
  3. An office with daylight
  4. Perceived as an expert
  5. Meaningful problems to solve
  6. Continuing education or training opportunities

There is really no reason to limit your list as long as the items are reasonable to your education, experience, and drive. Resist putting salary on this list. Money is not the point here.

The point of the two lists above is to help you home in on the job you will love to do. When you find a job with the majority of the items listed you will have less trouble hearing the alarm clock every morning. You will have pride in your work and your boss will notice. Do what you love and the money follow.

Now you want to know how these lists will help you write your resume. For one thing, since you hate balancing the company’s checkbook, you can avoid writing a statement touting your high power skills as a reconciler, even if you are world famous for your 10-key speed. Rather, the statements you make about yourself need to highlight those things that you want to do and how they will meet the bosses needs.

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