Work Experience vs Professional Experience

In reviewing a bunch of resumes this week, I noticed quite a lot of resumes with a "Work Experience"  section. In each of those resumes, people had de-valuing some very valuable experience - and I write that with no exaggeration.

The problem is people were looking at their experience purely through the "Job Title/Relevancy" lens and had reduced their experience down to a list of discrete, random, disconnected jobs. No interconnectedness, no narrative thread weaving through it all.

As much as you may feel some jobs have no way of being connected, the reality is you are always the connection. To not connect them on your resume is to lose all that growth, knowledge, skills, impact, value, and trajectory. In other words - you lose the "You" in the resume.

I recommended they start with a small change. Reword "Work Experience" to "Professional Experience" because, ultimately, every single job they had was in service of building their professional selves.

The next step was to re-evaluate their experience through two lenses: Transferrable Skills (skills that are valuable in any role), and Value-Add Skills (skills that are mistakenly not a core-requirement for a given role and therefor undervalued).

The result: a more cohesive and clear career narrative and not just a list of jobs. 


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