Can a Good Resume Help Me Find a Job I Love?

"I keep getting jobs I don't like. Is it my resume? Can a good resume help me find a job I love?" Yes, it can!

Here's how to make that happen: Think of your resume as a marketing piece for your next job — not a boring historical document about all the things you've done in the past. As a marketing piece, your resume can sell you as someone who's good at doing the things you love to do — the very things that will make you love your next job.

How Can a Good Resume Help Me Find a Job I love?

Imagine an employer reading your resume. When he sees that you've done such-and-such, he's going to think, "Ah huh, here's someone who's good at doing such-and-such." So just by putting such-and-such on your resume, you're asking to do it again — in your next job. That's marketing!

With that "marketing" concept in mind, here are tips for creating a resume that will bring you a new job you will love — or at least like.

  • Highlight what you want to repeat on your next job: skills you love using, projects you’re proud of, responsibilities you enjoy, and keywords that represent jobs you want.
  • Don’t include things you don’t want to repeat such as tasks you hate, skills you don’t like using, responsibilities you’d rather not have again, and keywords for jobs you don't want.

Do I Have to List an Old Job Title I Hated?

What if you held a job you hated and the job title itself is clearly about work you don’t want to do again? For example, let's say you were an accountant but you don’t want to work with numbers all day at your next job. Here are three options for creating a resume that doesn't market you for that type of work in the future:

Option 1. Don’t list the job you didn't like. This should be done only if you can do it without creating a gap in your work history. For example, if you held two jobs at the same time, you have the option of not listing one of those jobs. Or, if you did relevant volunteer work while working a paid job, you might list the volunteer work you loved and not list the paid job you hated.

Option 2. List the job you hated, but don’t put any bullet point statements under it. By giving less resume real estate to the job you hated, you downplay that job.

Option 3. List the hated job and write bullet point statements only about skills and projects you want to repeat. In fact, it might be helpful to group those bullet point statements under skill headings under the job title you hate, choosing skill headings that highlight the skills you like and want to repeat in your next job. To see what that would look like, check out my combination resume format.

If you keep getting jobs you don't like, your resume could very well be the problem. And that's something you can fix. Rework your resume so it markets the skills and projects you like. Then it's much more likely to help you find a job you love.