Now how does that title make sense? Not writing your resume is the best way to write your resume?
It does seems like Cheshire Cat logic – but don’t disappear on this idea just yet. Read on and hopefully the concept will be more clear than the cat in all his glory up in the tree.
(Oh that was terrible, I apologize, I seem to have some weird fixation on Alice in Wonderland theme going on. It probably will not get any better…)
You want to write a resume document, but not write the document as a resume.
More Cheshire Cat logic?
It is the approach, Alice – all in how you think about this document, and its purpose, that will make the difference between painstaking or productive. It will also have a significant impact on the content and if it will garner the attention that you really want.
But first, why should you not perceive or approach writing this document as a resume:
- Most everyone hates writing resumes (except professional resume writers, we are a unique sort) so you are already in a bad mood about it. When has anything turned out well when you start off all sour about it?
- Hardly anyone freely and easily speaks ‘resume’ (again, except us professional resume writers – we are the hit of the party with this one) so it is not a comfortable writing style.
- Most resumes templates are geared toward duty based documents. If you have not done this in a while or just doing research to help freshen it up, odds are you are going to come across a template or two.
- You might ask friends to take a look at their resume, just keep in mind most do-it-yourself resumes are duty based. This means that the bullet points under each position neatly and vaguely tell the reader what the person was hired to do. Meaningless. Just because you were hired for these things does not mean you did them or did them very well.
- It might be a natural inclination to assume. No need to tell the reader what something means, they should be ale to figure it out, right? Wrong. They know nothing more than what you tell them. They are not going to read further than what is presented to them. That is not their job. It is your job to tell them what they need to know in a clear and meaningful way.
The key to writing a resume without thinking about it as a resume is to think of it as a conversation.A conversation to tell your story, the way you want the reader to understand it.
Cheshire Cat again?
Vary rarely will a career have a straight and narrow path up, up, up. For most of us, it is a windy, twisty road full of the unexpected. To anyone else, it does not make sense why you went to this company or that, how this position came about and promoted into that one.
This is your story, you may be the only one who truly gets it.
So your job is to bridge the gap between all the twists and turns with the reason why the reader would want to talk to you: your value.
The common thread between all the positions you are listing is the value you provide by performing duties leveraging your strengths, skills and expertise.
So when writing your resume, sit down at that computer or pad of paper and have a conversation. Think about writing out your side of a conversation with the Cheshire Cat looming above asking:
- How did you get there?
- What were you originally hired to do?
- How did the job every change after you started?
- What did you like most about the job?
- What did you learn while you were there?
- Any other questions that get your mind thinking about the value you provided
Respond in full, write it all out as though you were having a conversation because that is where you will find the hidden nuggets of value to transform into a value-based document.
The fun part is going back and slashing and dashing to make sure each bullet point is now demonstrating value. Don’t forget the key words and let your old friend Mr. Thesaurus help you out to start making it sound more resume-ish.
Once you start getting the knack of storytelling for value purpose, you will soon have a resume that even the Red Queen would read!
(Oh yes, I had to finish it up in the Alice in Wonderland theme, it could have been worse – I am a huge X-Men fan, just think what I could have done with Wolverine references!)
As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career coaching and practice firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
I help people get from where they are in their jobs to where they want to be in their careers.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.
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