Three unconventional tips for writing a better resume

A lot has been written on what a resume should or shouldn’t be. Some of it good, a lot of it bad. We’ll save the list of do’s and don’ts for another time. What I want to dedicate this short post to is how to THINK about writing your resume. 

Alright, here’s my first tip and probably the most important: 1). Think of writing your resume as a FUN challenge. One that WILL lead to exciting OPPORTUNITIES. 

Before you roll your eyes, think about it…

Writing a resume DOES suck. At the least it’s time-consuming and hard to feel like you’ve ever really nailed it, especially once you send it into the application blackhole. 

BUT the problem with this thinking is that once you view writing a resume as a chore you’re likely to feel daunted, frustrated, and impatient with the task. This is no mindset in which to write your story. 

A little self-trickery can be a useful tool in getting things done. Many of the most successful people in the world use this trick and so should you: Change your mindset. 

In all earnestness, if you think of writing a resume as a chore, it will become one. If you think of it as a chance to write your story and unlock new opportunities, then writing a resume can be a powerful act of self-actualization. 

My second tip: 2). A resume shouldn’t be a compendium of everything you’ve done. Or everything you think a recruiter wants to hear. Or all the keywords you find in the job description. A resume should be a clear story. YOUR STORY. 

This brings me to our third tip: 3). Less is more. Seriously.. This can feel like you’re selling yourself short. But here’s the unfortunate truth. A traditional recruiter is going to spend less than 10 seconds “reviewing” your resume. Your goal at this stage isn’t to communicate everything about yourself. It’s to get sorted into the pile that deserves a second look. 

Take these two summary sections for example. Which one is easier to understand?

Which one of these is easier to read and understand? Now this might be an extreme example but you get the point. Sometimes just simply saying who you are and what you’re looking for is better than trying to explain the entirety of you experience. 

When you take these tips together what you end up with is a simple framework for writing a great resume.

  1. Have fun
  2. Tell your story
  3. Less is more

Like most things, it’s easier said than done which is why we’re creating some additional resources for you. In the meantime though, take this advice to heart and you might discover that writing a resume isn’t so bad after all. 

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