Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Resumes - is yours telling your story or just the facts?

Your resume will be given about 30 seceonds of a hiring manager's time. Don't waste a bullet point. Every line should tell - or lead to - a story.

In the past week, I've helped with over a dozen resumes and they all did the same thing: listed a job title and then proceeded to list what duties that job required, most of which were table stakes. "Managed a team" "Delivered projects on time/on budget" "Met with clients".


If you hadn't done those basic activities - also known as "table stakes" - then I assume your manager would have fired you. The duties were implied by the job title.

The real question to answer on your resume is:What did YOU accomplish in that framework of duties? What story are you trying to convey? Did you rock the world with a new process? Save someone oodles of money? Gain a new skill? Hire a brilliant successor?

Are you applying for a new role where you'll have to help the hiring manager understand your skills are transferable? What accomplishments in previous roles would illustrate those skills you hope to highlight?

Too often we think we'll get the chance to explain the above in an interview. The real trick is getting the interview by intriguing the hiring manager with the stories on your resume.

Make it short. Make it skimmable. Make it about you and not the job duties.

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