Ever turned on the TV to catch just a few minutes of a show only to find yourself still watching it an hour later? That’s because the human brain is hardwired for stories. People love stories and can’t get enough of them! Neurologically, people want stories and your resume is no different. Listing out facts and accomplishments is necessary in a resume. In fact, that may even be the thing getting you through the AI resume sorting filter. Yet, once your paper hits the desk of the hiring manager, does it tell the right story?
Your resume should be a carefully curated, yet accurate reflection of your professional history. Overall, it should demonstrate how you’re the perfect person for the job. “Your resume should be about telling stories that register," writes Seth Godin in All Marketers Are Liars. So, how do you write a story in your resume?
1. Start with a career goal statement: This is like the synopsis of a TV show or a movie trailer, just a taste of what to expect. This written statement only needs to be about 50 to 100 words, just enough to get hiring manager’s attention to keep reading. Something like: “Recent graduate with a degree in X from X University or School with practical work experience as X. Looking to start my career in X in a role where I can build on the skills gained at university and through my practical work experience.”
2. Tailor the story: Each position deserves a unique resume. Let your resume tell the story of your skills for that specific job. That way as hiring managers read, they conclude you are perfect for this job. Focus your work experience and skills section on skills applicable to the specific job, providing results-based examples. For example, if the job description says, “oversee budget and increase profits” including something like, “Oversaw a budget of X and increased profits by X%,” as a skill shows the reader you have the ability to do this job.
3. Rethink your less relevant experience: You may have had a job that doesn’t really apply to this current job, but without writing it on the resume, your work story has holes that may look like gaps in employment. In this scenario, whittle the non-relevant work experience and skills to just a line or two. This show that you worked while keeping the reader’s focus on your applicable job skills.