Conquent: Without Limits
Conquent: Without Limits
Kristen Fife's Blog

The Business

2009-04-15 14:29:37

I recently completed a resume review for a client. She commented “I’ve never been able to brag about myself.” That comment really caused me to think. I don’t see resumes as “brag sheets”, per se, but I guess in a certain light they can be. Many of us don’t “seek out” projects *just* to put then on our resumes; we are too busy doing our jobs. We may consciously seek out opportunities to further our careers, but by the same token, we neglect to put those very same accomplishments the one place they should be: our resumes. It’s erroneous to assume that the only time to update your resume is when you are looking for a new job. You should update your resume *every time you complete a new project or receive your annual review.*

I labeled my resume series “Saleskit”, which is true. If there is one thing I have learned in the last dozen plus years in business (not just in recruiting) it’s that *every* job has elements of project management and sales. Whether it’s pitching an idea for a new process to improve operations, or taking a customer order at a restaurant and then making sure it is served, understanding basic business concepts is a universal need. Knowing these things is what points to a person as someone that “gets it” and a person that doesn’t. It has nothing to do with age and everything to do with attitude and an openness to learning.

Over on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago, someone was asking the question about “when is someone a project manager”? She was trying to quantify the job and determine whether certain job titles could be considered “project managers”. In this instant, it was someone that is an event planner. The answer is, yes, this can be considered a project management related field.

Many people have trouble writing their resumes because they don’t know how to categorize what they do. Let’s take the restaurant example. You have been a server at a short order restaurant like Denny’s, and now you want to move onto a nicer venue with (hopefully) more money. You know you have been practicing customer service and cashiering, but how else to do take your experience and make it stand out?

Don’t forget the sales aspect of your job, including the marketing. As part of the “service” you provide, this includes product knowledge and expertise as well as upselling (”Can I interest you in any dessert?”) You may also be responsible as part of your job for monitoring supply levels of items like condiments and dressings. Any time you help train a new employee, that is worth mentioning on your resume.

A good way to look at some of the “buzz words” in your industry is to look at online job descriptions. Look for management jobs in your industry, even if you aren’t applying for them. Why? Because management jobs are geared for the person with *business knowledge* and will have phrases and concepts that should be applicable to multiple aspects of the business. For example, here is a job posting for a Restaurant Manager in Cleveland from Craigslist:

Under the guidance of the General Manager the qualified candidate will have the responsibility for aggressively driving store sales growth and profits through a thoroughly trained customer focused workforce; and ensure timely execution of company merchandising and operational programs. The trainee will set the pace by demonstrating a high sense of urgency, high energy level, attention to detail and hands-on management.

Preferred Qualifications:
**Two years of full service restaurant management experience
**Demonstrated success supervising and training 30 or more employees.
**Proven skills in analyzing P&L information and taking appropriate and decisive action to meet budget expectations
**Must be able to work a variety of shifts including nights and weekends and a minimum of 50 hours per week

Key word/phrases that a *server* can take away are: “sales growth, merchandising, training.” One of the terms that would apply more to someone with *business* knowledge is P & L, which stands for “profit and loss”. Think of the things you do as part of your job that have to do with “sales growth” and “merchandising”. How do you build the restaurant’s business? Do you have repeat customers that come in every week and always request your section? Do you help with ordering supplies or creating product displays? Have you come up with ideas to help promote the business like special coupons or “Senior Days”?

The reality is that you are responsible for learning about business; your industry, business principles, best practices, terminology and then learning how to apply them. Learning includes asking questions and researching. Application can and should include documentation such as…your resume.

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