We help many people with their career. And quite often we come across professionals who think that their resumes are just fine. However, in the vast majority of the cases, they are not. They got it wrong in the first place and they keep updating the originally wrong version, making small improvements along the way. And since most of their friends and colleagues have similar resumes, they think it’s the way to go.
We came to realize that the deepest reason for having a mediocre resume is one’s inability to articulate their career purpose; and that is because they never took the time to reflect and do the work that will allow them to really understand who they are, whom they want to be, where they want to go. HOWEVER, even with a clear career purpose, the art of crafting a well-written resume is still important, as this is what stands between you and the job interview (especially in places where you don’t have any contacts to leverage).
And what are the components of a successful resume? Attention, connection, and persuasion.
Attention. Connection. Persuasion.
Through the narrative you create on your resume, you need to get the attention of the recruiters, connect with them and persuade them you are their natural choice.
First, you need to get the reader’s attention. Layout & design, keywords, opening content and key resume areas (ie. achievements, role titles, prestigious companies) will help you do that.
Once you have the reader’s attention, you must do something with it. Here is where the content comes into play – especially your work experience content. Although bulleted content is the norm – and has been proven effective – we have come to realize that in many cases a well-crafted story-telling format is more engaging. The reader, without necessarily realizing it – wants to read more as they start seeing you in action. The trick: it has to be written appropriately. So, if you lack the skill to tell a compelling story in a few lines, use the traditional bulleted format.
The nature of your content – ie. your achievements, results, challenges you overcame, innovations you made, skills you acquired – is the final touch that will make the recruiter invite you for an interview.
And don’t forget: your resume must tell your story. It must have an overarching narrative of who you are and how you relate to the specific opportunity. A fragmented resume with partially relevant pieces will not go as far as a document that powerfully and gracefully illustrates why you are the recruiter’s natural choice.
Interested in more? Check out our Career Management section.