My dream resume

For those who know me, you are aware that sometimes I am an over-planner.  Whether it is for an event at work, or planning out the weekend with my family… I am a big time planner.

One way to illustrate my over-planning was what I did as I sat in my apartment after a long day at my first job in the nonprofit sector.  Most “normal” people might have read a book after work, gone for a walk or even watched a movie.  But, not me…. I was playing around with my resume.  I was very happy with my current job and had no intention of leaving it, but I started to plan for the future and what I would want on my resume to help me secure that future job.

So, I started building my dream resume…the resume that I would use to land my dream job. It started with my current resume of experience in the nonprofit sector.  Then, I started adding in things I hoped to achieve… such as earning a masters degree, completing fundraising courses at Indiana University, earning my CFRE certification, more leadership roles in community organizations, and my dream job – executive director of a nonprofit organization.

I also started looking at job postings for future jobs I’d be interested in, to see what types of minimum requirements they were looking for to fill those roles.  I made sure all those minimum requirements were included on my dream resume. My dream resume served as a roadmap for me of things I hoped to achieve to advance my career.

I smile now, as I reflect back on my “dream resume” that I developed nearly 10 years ago… I’ve been blessed with more opportunities than I could have dreamed for at that time.  But, it wasn’t an accident… I was focused on setting goals and taking the steps necessary to achieve those goals and make them my reality.  I was intentional in knowing what I wanted to do, and knowing what I needed to do to make it happen.

I urge you to also think about where you are going with your career.  Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years?  What do you need to do now to start preparing yourself to be ready for those opportunities when they are available to you?  If your dream job requires a certification or advanced degree, what can you do to work towards that, so you are positioned as an ideal candidate for that job in the future?

The dream resume was a tool that worked for me, but whatever tool you use, enjoy dreaming about the future and then recognize the steps you need to take to make that dream a reality… just be sure to be flexible as new opportunities come your way that are even beyond what you planned for!

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About Dr. Sarah Wolin Mackey

Putting theory into practice at nonprofit organizations.
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3 Responses to My dream resume

  1. Love the post, and love the idea of a dream resume! Great way to envision your goals and where you’d like to be. But, I’d also like to urge young nonprofit professionals to keep an open mind. I thought I knew where I was going five years ago but my professional goals today are totally different. And I’m OK with that. I think there’s also value to tuning in to your feelings and going with the flow (as long as the flow is in the general direction of where you’d like to be)!

  2. Didier Aur says:

    Young or old professionals need to keep growing their resume by making it a point to continue their education. Never stop learning. I also feel it is important to diversify your resume so that you become more marketable. Don’t limit yourself or your options.

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