Telling a Story With Your Resume

Telling a Story With Your Resume

For all the resume advice that exists, the one thing you rarely ever hear from hiring managers or employers is just how much they enjoyed reading your resume. Perhaps, this is because resume advice is so easy to find that after awhile all resumes may start to look the same. A good way to not have a boring resume is to have it tell a compelling story.

This does not mean “turn your resume into an adaptation of Moby Dick”. Instead, it means your resume should make the case for “why you should be hired”. Make the case with bullet points, keywords, and using the type of resume that appeals to companies in your industry in the following ways:

Summarize your skills

Start off your story with something that is highly relevant to the job. After all, a story being told out of place always leaves people wondering, “Why are you showing me this?”, a question that shows you are confusing the reader of your resume. It will help your story to mention some career highlights that resulted from implementing your skills, too.

Above all, keep your readers in mind. Mentioning irrelevant highlights and skills leads the reader to believe your story belongs in another pile of resumes for some other job.

Use unique sections

We love stories about people who bent the rules a little bit and managed to succeed. If you have a fascinating career past with several jobs and industries, you may want to give your resume some structure to help it make a little more sense.

Instead of using the typical styles of resume, add some unique sections based on your skills. For example, use sections like this:

  • Director of Marketing Experience
  • Investment Banking Experience
  • Director of Sales Experience

If you had such experience listed out in a chronological resume, your resume would make you look like you lack focus or direction. It will look like you jumped from job to job, never really sure of what you wanted to do in your career.

Never be afraid to break free of traditional methods, especially if you are a person who enjoys defying traditions.

3.  Rethink your lesser relevant experience

All stories start to make less and less sense the more you have gaps in the storyline. If you have gaps in your resume, try to use experience from irrelevant jobs to fill in the gaps. For example, if you were once a Customer Service Manager, but it’s no longer relevant because you are seeking a position in Operations, there are skills that can be used to fill in your resume. You can point out your teamwork, analytics, satisfaction-focus and management skills acquired in your CSM position.

Focus your bullet points on your ability to collaborate with other teams and departments. Focus your bullet points on your career experience in managing client satisfaction. You can use these bullet points as a lead-in to explain your career transition. Ideally, aim to make no part of your story resume just a filler.

At the end of this process, you should have a resume that spells out your skills and experiences. Meanwhile, your resume will be intriguing enough that the reader needs to reach out to you. They want to know more about the character in this story!

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