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How to Frame Your Experience to Suit Your Aspirations

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Summary: Find out how to use the experience you have to help you reach your dream job.

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Question: I just finished my master’s degree in project management, but I am having trouble finding a new job. I spent the last twelve years in desktop publishing, going from an apprentice to department manager. I stepped down to a labor position so I could focus on graduate school. I am overqualified for entry-level positions, and employers offering management positions seem hesitant because I recently took a step backward. How can I bridge the gap to find a rewarding position?

Answer: If your career goal is project management, work on framing your qualifications to emphasize your management experience, skills, and education. You aren’t overqualified for a project-management position, so consider such a role in graphic arts or a complementary field.

Favorably display your education by presenting it as part of your career path in its natural progression from apprentice to department chair to master’s program in project management, and eventually, project manager. If questioned about your work as a laborer, discuss it as secondary information. You left your job to return to college, and your work as a laborer financed your schooling, allowing you to pursue your true passion: project management. Make no apologies; instead, proudly explain that nothing could stop you once you made a commitment to complete your degree.

How to Frame Your Experience to Suit Your Aspirations by
Authored by: Andrew Ostler

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