Recently my team and I have put together a quick checklist of questions that we think help in creating a resume for a person whose goal is an internal promotion or finding a job at the next level in another organization.
What is the next job?
Often clients can’t actually define that clearly. They just want to move up. Without knowing what the next job is, it is difficult to write a resume to target it.
What is the primary difference between the job you have now and the next job?
Often clients can’t clearly articulate that either. This information will guide the focus of the summary and or positioning section of the resume.
What are the key skills applicable to the next job?
This is the information that will guide resume creation in identifying those aspects of a client’s past experience to showcase.
How can you find and/or validate this information?
Ask the client to provide at least one job posting as an example of the “next job”. This acts as a surrogate for market research and provides relevant language to incorporate into the resume.
Interestingly, sometimes when a client goes through this process they find out that they are actually not qualified for the job. If they are not qualified, no resume can make them qualified. If they are qualified, the resume needs to present them as an “heir apparent” for the next role.