Your Resume -> Your Story

When was the last time you looked at your resume? For most of us, it is something we look at less often than we probably go to the doctor.  You don’t really need your resume until you really, really do…very much like seeing a doctor.

Now is the best time to bring our resume out of hiding. Let’s take a look at it for what it is, and start thinking about what we can change about it.  We are going to interrogate the “resume reality”.

To start, let’s dig deep into what a resume is. Technically, a resume is a combination of data interlaced with historical facts and fiction about a person’s life. It includes work history and other tidbits like name, email address, profile link and an occasional home address.

What can a resume be? This is a much more interesting question.  A resume can a powerful storytelling tool, that allows the human being behind the words to come into fuller focus.  I love how Brene Brown describes stories as being data with soul. Let’s MindShift your resume to be a story of you – lots of data with soulful language and intention behind every word choice. Making this simple MindShift will help the real YOU to be seen.  And I’ll bet a trillion dollars that you think about your story way more often than you attend to your resume, just like you think about your body way more often than you go to the doctor.  

You may be wondering “how can I shift my resume into my story and give the data a soul?” Let me share with you 3 major ways, plus 1 add on bonus.

Shifting Your Resume Into Your Story

1: Create a compelling summary of YOU.  

At the very top, right under your name/email/phone – you have some of the most powerful real estate available on your resume.  This is your hook – this is your opportunity to use words that sound like you, language that fits who you are and how you want others to see you!  This is your WHO I AM arena.

2: Add impact to every job experience.  

Your story must have meaning.  Your story must describe impact.  With every job you have had in your career, at least one bullet point must clearly convey the impact of your presence.  Your opportunity to be 100% clear on why you mattered in that role, at that time and to that company is now. This is your time to brag about your successes. Take advantage of it and let yourself shine!

3: Conclude your resume with a personal touch.  

Insert a short section, and call it something like: Interests or More About Me. Something along those lines. Keep it to 2-3 bullet points, but pick some things to share that will allow the stranger on the other side to get a sense for your life and your world.

4: BONUS! Build a Resume-Add On.  

A resume-add on is your story board.  This add-on can be the most powerful tool you create for yourself.  It is your story that reveals your WHY, what matters most to you, why you make the decisions you do, and what brings you to this present moment in your professional journey.

Tell your story – from how you decided on the college you attended/didn’t attend/didn’t graduate from, the graduate program you selected, the first job experience, the choices along the way that led you to today. If you have any gaps, explain them. All short tenures (less than 14 months) need explained.  If you got fired or let go, own it and explain it. Include all the learnings you obtained along the way – mistakes made, lessons learned, relationships built, businesses grown. 

Now is also the time to address clearly how each job has come into being for you. Did you apply? Maybe you were referred? Did a former colleague provide a recommendation? Was a recruiting agency involved? In addition to sharing how you came to be at each job, communicate the WHY behind each move. Future employers will want to know. Proactively share what made you take a risk, make a change and go to a different company.

Your Resume Add-On is something you might simply keep for yourself, and never share with anyone. Or perhaps you build it into a beautiful 3 paragraph piece that can serve as a Cover Email to better introduce your full self when you decide to apply for a job. Perhaps you use it as a tool for interview preparation when it comes time to take those courageous steps as a candidate.

Truly, you may never share it with anyone, and that’s okay. As someone who has more than 20 years of experience interviewing, working with hiring managers and candidates alike, the time you invest to build this Resume Add On will reap major rewards for you. Your story will be clear, your resume will be powerful, your interviewing will be convincing, and your authentic self can be seen.

Quote card with Brene Brown Quote "Maybe Stories are just Data with a Soul"

We Want To Help You Tell Your Story

As PeopleGetters gets prepared to connect more people to more Winning Work, we’d like to offer FREE RESUME REVIEWS to the first 25 emails we receive. Folks who would like for our team of experts to give some constructive feedback, connect today  You can be well on your way to telling the story of YOU.

Cover Photo by MILKOVÍ on Unsplash