Job Seekers – Did Your Education Stop When Your Formal Education Ended?
Education Is Not Something That Stops With Formal Schooling
Education is a continuing process. It does not stop with your formal schooling, so why are you not including it in your resume or your LinkedIn profile? Is there a belief that it is not as important? I would say just the opposite; it is probably more important for several reasons:
It is more current information.
It is most likely more relevant to what you are doing today.
It shows that you have not stopped learning.
It is a competitive advantage over other job seekers with whom you are competing.
It shows initiative on your part.
It tells people that you value yourself and your skills.
It tells prospective employers that you realize that you do not know it all.
It shows prospective employers that you are still willing and able to learn.
It broadens your horizons and helps you look at and for things that you may not have considered.
What Education Should Appear on Resumes and Profiles?
First of all your resume and profiles will be different. Your resume should include your formal education and some of your more recent seminars and conferences to show that you are continuing to learn. Probably not more than four or five of these references however. On the other hand your profile is much more open; you have much more latitude. I like to go back 8 to 10 years in the classes I have taken and if they are relevant I may even go back further. Whatever you do you must keep your resume consistent to the expectations of Recruiters and Hiring Managers.
We Are Experiencing a Paradigm Shift in Employment
With the current economy we have seen jobs disappear that will never reappear. They have moved off-shore because they can be done less expensively. They are gone because they did not contribute to the overall operations or profitability of the business. They are gone because they have been replaced by technology. Whatever the reason they are gone and to lament the loss is a wasted effort.
The paradigm shift the fact that we are becoming a less and less labor intensive work force. The jobs that comprised the labor force for the last 60 years are rapidly eroding; they are going to those countries with less skilled workers that are still evolving. The United States labor force must adjust; we have no choice. On a dollar for dollar basis we simply cannot compete – there is no harm in that – just reality.
I recently finished the book “What the Dog Saw” by Malcolm Gladwell. As usual Mr. Gladwell makes me THINK. I like the title of this book; although, when I first heard it I said: “WHAT?”
“What the Dog Saw” causes you to look at things from a different, no the opposite is a better description, perspective of things that happen and life in general and that is what we must be doing; looking at things from the opposite perspective. “What the Dog Saw” is the opposite of what the trainer saw; we know why the trainer thought the dog did something, but what was the dog thinking when the choice was made? Obviously we cannot figure this one out, but the other stories in the book do gives us the necessary perspective to understand.
Furthering your education by reading is one thing you can do that can give you the necessary perspective to look from the opposite side. Reading books and articles that take you outside of your comfort zone and broaden your horizons: can accomplish that. Expanding your knowledge base is key to your growth and, I believe, key to appealing to prospective employers, business partners, and even customers.
More than ever before your continuing education is a critical process that must be communicated to your prospective employer and cannot be omitted from your story.