A boring resume simply does not do your story justice. When reduced to down to simple bullet points, even the most epic tales transform into snooze fests!
Consider this: What would it sound like if you condensed some of the tales of our greatest literary heroes into a standard, one-page format?
- Dean’s List member at Hogwarts’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
- Integral member of Gryffindor’s Quidditch team as a first-year student
- Highly skilled in spell and potion platforms, both desktop and mobile
- Coordinated adventures with innovative Fellowship of the Ring organization
- Mentored underprivileged hobbits, including Sméagol
- Directed complete overhaul of Middle Earth’s One Ring program
Employers are looking to hire candidates that not only fit the necessary skill requirements, but also are on a career path that aligns with their team’s aspirations. Don’t let your application materials undersell your story; instead, use the tools available to you and share with employers the story of you! Your passions, your career and the lives you’ve impacted along the way are what define you, not a couple bullet points on a sheet of paper.
If reading through your resume is making you feel down, it’s time to rethink the story of your career! Here are a few tips for taking the pieces of your application materials and transforming them into a clearly defined explanation of your professional journey:
Every good story has a beginning, middle and an end; it just makes it easier to read and understand! Start thinking of how to best structure your career’s story in interviews and online responses so that it makes sense to an employer. Is the beginning of your story finding a spark in college? Or do you want to begin with the first truly impactful role you held in your industry of choice? Once you determine your beginning, highlight a few key moments along the way that helped you to develop your skills and prepare you to take on new opportunities. As for “the end?” Your story in the interview room should lead you to its logical end – a new beginning at a new job!
Find the Positive
Every good story needs a bit of drama; negativity, however, has no place in the interview room. Instead of highlighting the bad, keep a commitment to positivity when telling the story of your career. For example, if you were fired from a position, consider the lessons you learned from this experience instead of detailing all of the things that went wrong leading up to this point.
Tailor to Opportunities
You would be amazed at how different a story can sound when you rearrange a few words here and there! When applying to a new opportunity, consider the best ways to apply your professional examples to the opportunity at hand. The responsibilities in a role you held that you highlighted in one interview might not be appropriate in another. Use the job description as a guide and highlight the greatest hits from your career that fit the situation.
Taken together, your resume, cover letter and other application materials should tell a concise, cohesive story of your career up to this point and your aspirations for the future. Unfortunately, working on these materials day-in and day-in can make you blind to the big picture. Consider sharing your materials with friends and other trusted members of your network. If they read through the materials and cannot clearly define your story and career goals, it may be time for some rewrites.
In a world defined by one-page resumes and bulleted lists, it can be hard to remember that our stories are the most engaging things we have to offer. Break out of the boring and bring the chapters of your career to life!
Do you have any tips for transforming your resume into the story of you? Let’s talk in the comments below!