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Does Your Resume Tell a Compelling Story?

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The first person to review your resume, likely a recruiter or HR administrator is going to spend about 6 seconds looking at it before deciding whether to take a closer look at it, or move on to the next one. They have to be able to sell your resume to their hiring manager, and to do so they can tell a compelling story about your resume and why you should be considered for an interview and for the position.


Who are you?

When you look at your resume, read it through the eyes of an employer who’s thinking “Who is this person?”. You can use the objective section to give an example of who you are and where you’re looking to go in your career. This section is especially important if you are changing your career path. Help the person reading your resume understand where you’re coming from, why you’re making the change and relevant skills and experience you’re bringing to the new role that makes you a good fit.


Previous Work Experience

When discussing your previous work experience, don’t just list your job responsibilities. If you were a Network Administrator, hiring for another IT position, the hiring manager will already have a good understanding of what a Network Administrator does. Write about what you accomplished within your job role. For ex: “reduced downtime by 20%”, “successfully implemented new security program 2 weeks ahead of schedule and reduced security breaches by 15%”. If a job activity can’t be portrayed as an accomplishment, you may want to consider not including it at all. Start with the result, and then the challenge or situation after.


Transferable Skills

If you have roles on your resume that aren’t completely relevant to the job you’re applying for, you’ll want to rethink how you present them. Use the first bullet point to summarize the position. Then include a few bullet points that illustrate transferrable skills. There shouldn’t be any fillers or unexplained gaps in your resume, so spend a little time to tailor everything to the position you’re applying for.


Career Theme

Review your work history to see if there’s a common theme you can highlight. Do you have a record of expanding sales territories, or reducing expenses? Add details such as numbers and percentages to your examples to engage the reader and help sell your story. Help the recruiter understand your achievements and accomplishments and how they will benefit their organization. By understanding the position you are applying for, telling a story to illustrate why you’re a good fit, you’ll be more likely to make it to an interview.


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