I don’t know how many times in my career I have looked at a resume and thought to myself, “there is no story here”. A resume is a collection of work experiences that defines what you have done and what you potentially can do, but most importantly is a chance to let someone else know who you are. Yet, we still write resumes with no understanding of what the meta-message or what the overarching storyline is trying to say to a potential future employer.
If you can read your resume objectively, then sit down with it and ask yourself these questions:
- Does my resume lend to easily having someone boil me down to the five descriptive words that I would want to hear them say back to me?
- Based on what I have accomplished to date, what kind of upward potential will the reader think I have?
- Am I unique or do I stand out from the rest of my peers?
- How hard does it look like I work? And, how hard does it look like I worked on this resume?
- From the choice of my words and what I have listed as important, what is my personality and what is important to me?
- How does my resume apply to the job that I am applying for?
- Am I team player or an individual contributor? How big does my ego appear?
- How have I left jobs and companies better from me being there?
- Would my new boss think I can be loyal to him/her or am I all about my ambitions?
- Do I explain my reasons and motivation for change?
- Am I learner from my jobs, my successes and my mistakes?
- Do I care more about life than just my job?
- How will the ‘story of my career’ end on the resume and will the reader want to be a part of helping it end successfully?
If you can’t answer these objectively, then go find someone who cares about you who will. Remember, everyone likes a story and with your resume you are telling others the story of the character you know the best…you!