Is Your Boring Resume Holding You Back?



From World War II through the nineteen-eighties, when you got a job you could expect to be there for a while. If the company you worked for didn’t suffer a catastrophe for some reason, you could plan on staying in the job for five years or more.

The old generation worked for one company from the start of their careers straight through to retirement. That’s unheard-of, these days!

Most of the people these days are going to change jobs many times  during our working lives.

Years ago a professional resume had a military/governmental feeling to it. It was a strict recitation of the jobs you’d held together with a listing of the responsibilities you’d had at each job. The company names on your resume branded you. Most of the resumes had full of jargon like “Meets or exceeds expectations.” These days people don’t write resumes that way anymore.

The era of the boring resume is over!

Your resume isn’t a dry list of employers anymore — it’s a branding document! If you don’t treat your resume as your principal marketing vehicle, it’s going to hurt you. Other people know how to brand themselves in their resumes, so you know need to know how, yourself!

Here are the five things you don’t want to do in your resume:

  • Praise yourself using adjectives like “Savvy” or “strategic.” Confident people don’t praise themselves. They share their story and let other people decide which adjectives best apply.
  • Use zombie boilerplate language like “Results-oriented professional with a bottom-line orientation” to describe themselves. Instead, they tell the reader “Here’s what I’ve done and what I’m interested in.”
  • Give themselves made-up designations like “One of the top software salespeople in the midwest.”
  • Brand themselves by trumpeting their trophies: “I graduated from Harvard and have worked for Google, Apple and Microsoft.”
  • Branding yourself by listing the tasks you completed at other jobs: “I wrote press releases, created reports and tracked customer shipments.”

You have a story. Hiring managers and recruiters need to hear your story! You can use the word “I” in your resume. It’s 2015, and the crusty old resume rules flew out the window ages ago!

You can put a Summary at the top of your Human-Voiced Resume to tell readers who you are and where you’ve been:

Since I started writing business stories for my college newspaper, I’ve  been an evangelist for business story-telling and its power in shaping audience behavior. Now I’m a PR Manager whose employers have been profiled in USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and TIME Magazine. I’m looking for a small brand to bring to national prominence.

If you were the CEO of a company looking to get on the national PR map, wouldn’t you want to meet this job-seeker? I sure would!

Take a chance and tell your human story in your resume. It’s a new day, and the Human Workplace is already here!

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