Does your resume tell the complete story of who you are as a candidate? This is the question every job seeker should ask himself when developing his resume. There’s a big difference between a resume that simply lists skills and accomplishments and one that tells a story. A standard resume can be static and non-memorable, whereas a resume that tells a story has the power to grab a prospective employer’s attention and evoke emotion. These benefits are why you want to create a resume that tells the whole story.
Know Who Your Audience Is
The first step to writing any good story is to know who your audience is. The best way to get insight into who your audience is to do a little research. Review the original job posting and then look at the company website. This step will help you learn more about the job you are applying for, as well as the company as a whole. Use this information to get a better idea of what the company is looking for in a new employee. This information will help you create content that is geared specifically to this company.
Determine Your Theme (Goal)
Every good story has a theme. When it comes to writing a resume, your theme will be your goal. Not just the goal of landing the job, but how this job fits into your overall career goals. Determining your theme (goal) prior to writing your resume will help you determine what elements of your past experience and education, as well as your unique skills and attributes, are important to achieve your goal. This step will help keep your resume relevant and consistent with what you are trying to achieve professionally.
Create a Sequence
Every story must follow a well-organized sequence from start to finish. Otherwise, you risk losing readers along the way. Your resume is no different. You want to create a structured resume that is easy-to-read and easy-to-scan. Your headings should be bold and let the reader know what’s to come – much like chapter headings in a story. Using a resume template can help you with this step. A template is already formatted to make sure your resume follows a sequential order that is easy for prospective employers to scan quickly.
Use a Strong Introduction
If you want to keep the reader’s attention, you must hook them right from the start. This requires a strong introduction – or objective section. Your objective statement should never be about telling the employer what you want out of the job. Instead, this section should be used to tell the potential employer what you can offer the company. This is your greatest opportunity to grab the reader’s attention, so take your time to develop a strong objective statement that’s engaging and memorable.
The Story Is in the Details
One of the most common mistakes job seekers make is creating a standardized resume. You can’t stand out in the crowd if your resume looks just like every other candidate. Your resume (your story) must be about you and share details of who you are. It’s important to be specific about your accomplishments and experiences. For example, instead of listing “top sales representative,” include specifics. Give them the numbers for how well you did. These are the details that will grab the reader’s attention.
Don’t Just Tell Your Story – Sell Your Story
Telling the story about who you are as a candidate is one thing, but selling your story is an entirely different concept altogether. Just telling your story will help you create a nice resume but selling your story will get you hired. You must find a way to use your story to show potential employers why you are the best candidate for the job. There are several things you can do to accomplish this, such as focus on achievements versus skills, explaining who you are professionally, and detailing what specific attributes you have that the company needs.
Use Action Word
One of the best ways to tell a story is to use plenty of action words. Using words like develop, design, build, create, improve, and elevate all show that you don’t just have the right skills, but that you know how to put these skills into action. Even when making a bullet list, incorporating action words into the list can help to establish your capabilities. The use of action words puts relevant information in the hands of the hiring manager and shows them the full potential of what you have to offer.
Once you use these tips to transform your resume from a standard resume to an engaging story, be sure to review it to make sure that it shares the precise story you want to tell. Understanding your audience and using the right words can help you connect with prospective employers in a way that a standard resume cannot. Learn more about how to incorporate storytelling into your resume by checking out GoResumes.