Resume writing is about the hardest thing anyone will ever do. Whether you’re a new grad or you’ve been in the workforce longer than you’d like to admit, resume writing is the one task that daunts even the bravest of souls. Why do we fear this task? Why do we shrink from doing the proper job at writing it?
Well for starters, just about everyone you speak to will have a different take on what makes a good resume, so we’re aiming at a moving target, that would scare anyone. Then think about how many things hinge on getting this right: your job, your career, your livelihood, and possibly the rest of your life. Imagine one of those movie dream sequences with you sitting at your desk daydreaming about your whole future life being changed, or even a complete failure because you just weren’t able to express yourself properly in a resume.
Wake up! It’s time to take control of this unwieldy task. Do not let it beat you! You can do this. Liz Ryan from The Human Workplace (www.humanworkplace.com) has a very entertaining take on the resumes we used to write, she calls the language “Corporate speak Zombie Language Mode”. Liz is right, how many resumes do you need to fall asleep at night, just one if they are written in that language. A lackluster list of skills and accomplishments is no way to sum up your life story. And that is the point, you are the best author of your resume, no matter how much you would like to leave it to a professional resume writer, this one’s on you. Who else will be able to create the perfect bullet that will lead an interviewer to ask about it during an interview, prompting you to give the true but crazy story of how you came to be in marketing?
Pencils sharpened yet? Coffee, background music, I Pad, Mac or PC: get cracking. I recently read about putting your life in PowerPoint. It’s not a bad idea because a presentation forces you to condense the material, but please not so diminished that it’s a Morse-code like stretch of bullets and unintelligible meaningless phrases. The formatting and technology are supposed to work for you, not vice versa.
What do you really want? You want a resume that will get you some job interviews. Those interviews will end up being meaningful, interesting conversations where you deftly illustrate how the twists and turns of your job moves, education and experiences have led you to this point where you have exactly the personality, skills, abilities and knowledge they are looking for. Ok, who’s daydreaming now, no it’s true. That’s what you want to happen and a resume that doesn’t show those things is not going to get you what you want. Along the way, it should also show that you were able to help a company just by being there, making them more profitable or successful-but you can work out those details. I just want you to make sure it expresses what makes you the unique individual you are, in short: create your personal brand.