Sunday, March 9, 2008

Your Resume: A Job By Any Other Name …

This weekend I saw the new movie “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day.” In the movie a destitute governess plays along as if she is the person sent to fill the position of social secretary to a young woman.

What’s interesting about the switch from governess to social secretary is that the skills Miss Pettigrew uses are basically the same in both jobs: applying common sense to the organization and behavior of someone else who – either due to a very young age or to a particular personality – is incapable of doing these things for herself/himself.

This re-direction of the same skills has much to do with your figuring out how skills you now have – from photocopying book manuscripts to entering expenditures in a computer program – can be applied in a new job or situation that you want to get.

For example, to be a good photocopier you must check that every page is actually copied. If you don’t check, you may later be reprimanded by a boss who unhappily discovered at midnight that the book was missing pages 420-423.

In a future interview for a job with more responsibility, you can stress how carefully you always checked such manuscripts, and that you never got a call from an enraged boss about missing pages.

While this skill may sound trivial to you, for a prospective employer this attention to detail can be very important.

Can you suggest other examples of what appear to be trivial skills are actually quite important skills?

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