Utility vs. Role Players

There’s a challenge facing job seekers as to how to define oneself in the job market. You can be a specialist, using your resume as a canvas to paint all the ways you do one or two or a few skills really well. On the other hand, you can chose to portray yourself as a utility player on your resume, capable of doing a number of tasks, but maybe not being a wiz at any one skill. So in order to help you in crafting your resume, we’re presenting job seekers with some tips, plus pros and cons of being a utilityman versus a role player.

First, consider who would are. Job seekers get some input as to how they craft their own resume, but the truth is your past experience will still speak louder than the words you use to describe it. It’s no use trying to completely rework your resume to reflect something you aren’t.

Next, look at the individual job posting. Some job listings will have a callout for a specific type of job seeker. It may reference someone who is a star in one field, or that the company needs a jack-of-all-trades type to handle a number of different projects. Often smaller companies look for people with a well-rounded set of skills, while larger companies look to fill more unique and specific positions. Let the job posting help guide how you format your resume.

Finally, consider what you want to be. Being a utility player can help you get a foot in the door in a number of different positions, while being a role player limits you to a more narrow scope of work. On the other hand, you are better positioned to become essential if you can do one or two things better than anyone, versus a lot of things well. So the real question as a job seeker is who do you want to be. Once you answer that you can layout your resume to best highlight who you are: role player or utilityman.

Like in baseball, in the workplace there are utility men and role players. They are each equally valuable to a company. Make sure your resume highlights well who you are and who the company is looking for, it’ll not only help you find a job, but find one which fits you and who you want to be as well.

Would you rather be a utility or a role player? Weigh in below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by clovis1er

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About Jen Schiller

Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.