Not you directly, but you in your resume. You’ve trapped it in a vicious politeness cycle. It all starts with not being able to take a compliment and ends in sabotaging yourself in your resume.
All because you are too polite.
This is a unique politeness. It is an extreme avoidance to bragging. This politeness is exhibited in many ways, such as:
- Using your job description as bullet points.
- Your opening tells the reader what you want.
- There is no substance to the information.
You are playing it safe and describing why you were hired. You are also being a bit admirable in not wanting to be a braggart.
Yet the problem with this avoidance behavior, this politeness is this:
No one cares what you were hired to do – they care what happens when you do it.
You’re right about bragging, it isn’t the way to go either. Here’s the problem with that: :
No one is going to believe what you say because you said so – you have to prove it.
If you can’t brag and you can’t be too polite, then what do you do?
Tell your story.
Learning to tell your story solves both problems – and it opens the door to interviews.
A Crash Course In Storytelling
Every good story has an arc. Good arcs have certain elements: set up, action, highlights, failures, corrections, resolution. A good story gives the reader something that intrigues them, piques their curiosity, excites them. It make them want to keep reading and find out how the story ends.
A good story resonates with the reader because something within the story resonates with them.
Your resume stories should align with what is important to your reader. Don’t write for you, write for them. To do this, you need to do a bit of research. What is important to the position, team, customers, industry, company, etc.? This is the THEM FACTOR.
Generate excitement and keep them hooked in the story with framing. Use the parameters of that ideal job as your framework. This further entrenches you in the mind of the reader.
What is the bottom-line purpose of the job? How is success in this measured? What actions do you take to achieve this bottom line? How do you prove excellence in those actions? What are the most important skills you must possess and be able to master? This is the DETAIL FACTOR.
Now you have the framework to write those stories. And all the components to get to an interviewer.
Story Building Steps
Remember the THEM FACTOR? That is how you will frame your story – starting with the most important part to the reader.
Step 1. Give a basic sketch of the situation.
Let’s say you were hired to increase the number of email subscribers for an online platform. Some of the things you did were:
– research what was working in the industry, what wasn’t
– analyze the current system
– work with Marketing to understand how the collected information would be used
– use a new software to redo the process
and you increased the subscriber base 15% in 30 days.
Step 2. Prioritize
Great, now you have good baseline story elements. When writing ot the sketch, lead with what is most important to your reader. What do they value the most?
- The software you used
- Your problem-solving ability
- Your teamwork (with Marketing)
- Your research and analyzing skills
- The number increased or the time
Depending on their priorities, this can start in many different ways:
- Increased subscribers 15% in 30 days…..
- Resolved longstanding problem….
- Modernized process integrating ABC software to…
- Coordinated with Marketing….
In the next step, the DETAIL FACTOR comes into play.
Step 3. Fill in the blanks
There are two parts to knowing what to fill in the blanks with: skills and attributes.
The details contain the hard and soft skills. These are the keywords you want to incorporate into your resume to pass the ATS system. ATS is Applicant Tracking Software, the scanner used by over 90% of Fortune 500 companies to parcel resumes. It eliminates nearly 75% of candidates because they don’t match the job.
Read the job description again after discerning the hard and soft skills desired. Read it this time just to get a feel. Research the company. In all your research, what is the feel you get for the company? Do they value community involvement? Do they encourage growth? Are they excited to do what they do? What’s their vibe? What kind of people are looking for? Does this jive with you?
Fill in your story using descriptor words that match both you and their energy, feel, or vibe. Done authentically and your resume will attract the human reader after it passes the ATS.
When a person reads a story that
– has meaning to them (aligns with job)
– captivates them (details the skills/attributes they want in a candidate) and
– delivers a satisfying conclusion (result)
They’ll call the hero of that story for an interview.
As excited as you get in getting the call, that’s how excited I am in telling your story. If you need help telling your story, reach out. I would love to help you tell your story the way you want it known to get you where you want to be.
As a triple certified as a Professional Resume Writer, Career Coach and Social Media Brand Analyst I help amazing professionals get career happy.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more.
Or click here – Consultation – to schedule your free 30 minute conversation.