In What Direction Are You Looking?
Potential employers are more concerned with where you’re going
than where you’ve been
When most people sit down to write a resume, they begin with their past work experience. On the one hand, especially for the 50+ job seeker, that makes a lot of sense. After all, typically your strong suite is your experience. That’s one of the major strengths that you’re bringing to the table so there is a line of thinking that says lead with your strength.
Similarly, when job seekers begin developing their LinkedIn profiles they immediately resort to listing something on their most recent jobs – the industry, the company, the job title, etc.
While this all may sound logical and straightforward, as is often the case, reality has a way of telling a very different story.
In a nutshell, in today’s digital job search world, it’s more important to promote what you do and you’re looking for in the future as opposed to where you’ve been in the past. This is especially true on resumes and LinkedIn profiles. During the first reading, the person reviewing your documents – regardless of who that person tends to be – will spend slightly more than seven seconds scanning your background according to a study recently released by ladders.com.
Let’s face it, your next employer is far more interested in what you can do for them in the future than what you’ve done for someone else in the past. And since, you only have about seven seconds to grab their attention, you had better make a strong case for yourself, and a significant part of that self-promotion is what you’re capable of and where you see yourself landing – professionally.
Granted, that’s not the only thing employers are seeking – and it may not even be the most important thing for which they’re looking – but signaling to them what you can do and where want to go rather than where you’ve been, can be one more thing that will separate you from the pack of other candidates.