Epic Resume Go! Part 1!

In general people don't like to do resumes.  I'm sure for a good 90% of my audience this is not a revelation, but a confirmation.  People just don't enjoy the whole resume thing – something I encounter all the time.

Part of this is because of the stress of the job search, I'm sure.  However, another factor is that I think people haven't really found a way to "get into" doing a resume.  The resume is a barrier, the resume is an annoyance, the resume is a chore.

I think that resumes can actually be fun.  If you enjoy them, you'll do better at them.

In this series of columns I'll explore how to do a good resume not just with technique, but how to actually enjoy doing it.  These are techniques and philosophies I really use – though as always I recommend you never use one source of information for job search knowledge – even me.

These are of course geeky ways of doing resumes.  What else would you expect?

I would also like to thank all the sources that helped me develop my resume philosophy.  From a simple jobs newsletter in Columbus Ohio that taught me how to do better resumes some eighteen years ago, to the modern writers on personal branding and job searches, to the psychology books I've read.  My philosophy comes not from myself, but from synthesizing all who helped me.  Thanks to all of you.

Now let's move forward to the secret of a good resume.  The secret stats when you know what a resume really is.

So What Is A Resume?
Why do you make a resume?

Well the answer to that is simple – you want to get a job, or have it around for use in your career.

So, a resume is there to help you get a job or some career opportunity.  How does it do this?  It helps show that you're the right person for the job.  Your resume is basically a marketing document, there to help people see you're the right fit for the job.

Not exactly an exciting idea, marketing yourself?

Think about what a marketing document does, what a brochure does, what a good website trying to sell you something does.  It convinces you my demonstrating the valuable traits of the product, but it also puts it in a bigger picture.  In short, a good marketing tool tells a story that draws you in – and makes you buy.

That is what your resume is about.  It's a story.  It's a tale.  It's an epic.  Come on, get excited about this!

A resume tells the story of you – up to the point you're looking for a job.  It tells how you learned, what you've done, and what you're capable of.    It tells these things in a way that will convince people to hire you.

Your goal in making a resume is to tell your career story in an appropriate way. When your story is targeted properly and told correctly, then your potential employer will see the value in hiring you  In hiring you, the employer or client decides to become part of your story.

The way to get excited about making a resume is to view it as finding and telling your story, and telling it in a way that gets you the job.  Indeed the entire job search is about telling stories through resumes, interviews, elevator pitches, and more.

It may not be a story that goes perfectly.  You may have to explain some ups and downs, the tragedies that you turned into triumphs, the mistakes you learned from.  But like any good story, a resume can blend those into a coherent, convincing, touching whole.

That's your goal.

So next time you decide you're sick of the whole resume business, think of it as telling your story.  It's the creation of a personal epic.

Next Part: The Story You Tell!

– Steven Savage