You worked for your company 10+ years. You have a resume somewhere, but you haven’t looked at it since the first day you joined the company. You really never needed one as you were promoted up the ranks of the organization. Since you’ve been doing the same kind of work in your profession for so long, you do it as naturally and as easily as breathing. Your company knowledge is engrained in your bone marrow. Now you’re a casualty of a major reduction in force and you lose your job.

Your head is spinning with worry about so many things; income, benefits, mortgage payments, college tuition, etc. You may also be feeling that you have nothing to offer the world outside of your former company. Well, you may not have thought about it much until now, but the long-term experience you’ve gained does have significant value elsewhere.

Many American businesses, large, medium, and small, are using and sometimes developing the most up-to-date high tech software and hardware, and you were there to learn it. Many major corporations have merged to stay viable in today’s economy, and you and your new fellow employees adjust to new software applications and ways of doing business. You were there.


• All the training programs, seminars, and workshops in which you participated? Each program taught you to adapt to a different working environment, management style, culture, and work tools, as well as developed your personal growth.
• All those new employees that you trained? Each time you trained someone new, your experience, skills, and talents deepened to a level of unconscious competence.
• All those promotions you achieved? Each time you moved up the ladder you acquired new skills and competencies and learned to adapt to change.
• The work processes that you developed to make work easier? Other employees are following along and their jobs are easier—thanks to you.

So how can you resurrect those amazing skills, talents, and experience for your next employee adventure, as well as for your resume and interviewing?

You can start by making a list of all the tasks you performed at your former job—no matter how simple or mundane they seem to you. Start with a list of job responsibilities for all of your company’s positions. Use your job description or a generic job description for your profession.

For example, you’re a marketing director or manager. Use your Internet search vehicle to find “marketing director job description.” You’ll get pages and pages of job descriptions. Fortunately, you’ll only need the first one or two. Next identify your skills from the list of job requirements. Also search for “marketing director resume.” Again, you will get dozens of sample resumes that can help you reconnect with your capabilities. You can even borrow some of the language from the job descriptions and resume samples to develop your own resume. Here is an example of one bullet item from a sample marketing director’s resume:

Original Resume Bullet

Developed marketing strategies and managed the marketing department.

Actual Responsibilities

Developed marketing strategies and managed the marketing department.
Planned, developed and executed marketing programs, campaigns, events, and collateral to promote the company and meet sales objectives.
Worked in conjunction with other members of the marketing and product management department in a detail-oriented, organized fashion.
Juggled multiple projects and activities and thrive in a fast-paced environment.
Managed marketing personnel, including leadership, training plans, performance management, staffing requirements, counseling and mentoring of staff.
Directed third party vendors.
Wrote and edited sales/marketing collateral and corporate communications, corporate brochures, press releases, direct mail pieces, trade journal contributions and articles, and advertisement copy.
Oversaw third party design and production of collateral and promotional material.
Directed and controlled quality of graphics, photography, text, and other elements impacting the company's image.
Developed, implemented, and enforced corporate identification standards.
Ensured corporate quality standards are met throughout the organization.
Coordinated content for website and newsletters.
Assisted in coordinating and executing client events.
Met with sales and/or marketing representatives to discuss communications needs
Interacted with specific working organizations to support organizational objectives.


Product Management
Team management

This marketing resume item shows a number of competencies and transferable skills. The specific words in the details bullets correlate to the job description requirements. Notice too how extensive the responsibilities are. Check to see how your responsibilities compare to the ones above. You can probably add to more to the list!

Here is an example of a bullet item from a sample restaurant manager’s resume:

Original Resume Bullet

•Managed a restaurant.

Actual Responsibilities
Managed a restaurant.
Oversaw the day-to-day restaurant operations including decor, floor plan, table settings, and cleaning.
Hired, trained, supervised, promoted and fired staff.
Collaborated with chef to create daily, event, group and party menu plans.
Determined need for and purchase of all restaurant items including food, beverages, equipment and supplies.
Managed all accounts payable and receivable, handle payroll and hire accountants or bookkeepers if necessary.
Met, greeted and obtained feedback from customers.
Advertised and marketed restaurant within local and county communities.


Human Resources
Vendor Hiring
Customer Service
Community/Public Relations

Notice how much more there is to managing a restaurant than just “managed a restaurant.” You can also see where these skills and competencies surface once you fully examine all of the tasks you perform in your particular job.

The expansion doesn’t end there. Once you’ve identified the tasks, skills, and competencies, you can determine which of them will help you be successful in other positions. Look at the restaurant manager’s transferable skills. They include, but aren’t limited to, all of the competencies you see in the chart. These skills can be used in virtually any managerial environment.

Take a look at a sample administrative assistant’s resume.

Original Resume Bullet

Supported corporate executives in a major corporation

Actual Responsibilities

Supported corporate executives in a major corporation
Organized office information for quick and easy retrieval
Planned and scheduled all travel appointments and monthly regional, division, and departmental meetings
Ordered and managed necessary office supplies
Received and disseminated all telephone communications for three high-level executives
Received and directed office guests
Combined software skills with office equipment, end-user knowledge, and excellent oral and written communication skills
Managed office and staff of six
Completed office tasks with the utmost efficiency
Prepared and sent correspondence
Wrote and prepared reports, documents, and spreadsheets


Event Planning
Telephone Skills
Customer Service
Computer/Office Equipment Skills
Document Preparation

Notice again that this administrative assistant did so much more than run around keeping his/her bosses happy! Also notice that there are a number of competencies that would be welcome in virtual any organization.

Today hiring managers want to know more than you did at your last job. They will want to know what your accomplishments were. They will also want statistics (if available) indicating the impact that you made in your previous job. What were the obstacles you faced? How did you overcome them and what were the results? Bottom line: they will want to know what you can do for their company.

You can resurrect your skills, experience, and talents and show a potential employer all that you bring to the position. Believe it: you were really good at your former job, an expert in fact. Everything that you need is there; you just have to bring it back to life.

Author's Bio: 

Peggy Titus-Hall is President of PeopleGrowth, LLC, and a certified professional co-active coach with a varied background in guiding individuals and groups in career transition and communications coaching and training. She has worked closely with individuals making life transitions. Peg received her coaching training and coaching certification through the Coaches Training Institute (CTI) in 2005, and she is accredited through the International Coach Federation (ICF) as an Associate Certified Coach. You can reach Peg at her website: She hosts The Career Coach, an web radio program focusing on the all facets of career transition. The Career Coach airs on Thursdays at 9:30 a.m. at