Other than the obvious fact that most resumes are boring and created in a similar fashion, they lack many important components that best highlight YOU, the job seeker.
I see resumes as a way for employers to dismiss potentially great employees, rather than seeing the great qualities that they truly have to offer.
Yes, it is important for employers to see your past work and educational experiences, but this could be done in a much different manner.
It today’s great technological age, why not STAND OUT from all the other applicants.
1. Produce a short online video of yourself to send along to employers, not only showing your quality work experience but visually expressing what makes you a step above the rest (this is a great way to make a “memorable” first impression, opposed to a dull 12-point font resume on its own).
2. Hand written letter: If the hiring manager has 99 similar resumes laying on her desk and sees 1 hand written letter along with a great resume, do you think she will check it out? Of course (she will at least take a look).
3. Create an awesome storyline of your work experience with pictures, infographs, or charts if you’re the creative type. Everyone loves stories and remembers them more vividly than plain text. Canva is great for this. It helps anyone be a designer (and it’s free).
Plain text resumes alone can initially box us into predefined classes. This can affect how likely we are of being hired. We all know that just because you went to XYZ school doesn’t make you any better of a candidate than the person next to you. He/she might bring more value to the table or have more applicable experience, people skills, and motivation.
I am not denying the fact that resumes can help you. What I’m saying is that they make many great individuals seem mediocre on paper because of the approach most of us take in preparing them.
This isn’t your fault. We’ve been brainwashed for over 50 years in resumes to:
-use bullet points
-show simple to and from work dates
-maybe even throw a few attributes in there: hard worker, show up on time, etc.
Does this sound familiar?
These attributes above DO NOT make you memorable, because they are expected.
Before writing this article, I wanted to get some hard data as well. I reached out to several CEO’s in varied industries to ask what they look for in potential employees. They agreed with my philosophies that a candidate needs to “wow” them quick with their first impression, whether it be in person or not. A few CEO’s said they rarely look at resumes, instead basing their decision on if they liked the person and their work. Check back to the blog here in a week or two because I will be writing a part 2 on this article with interviews from a few CEO’s.
What can you do to create a better resume that makes a lasting impression?
When you are creating the next resume for yourself, give it a personal touch in your own unique way while maintaining professionalism. It will pay off for you.
Remember: If the company you are seeking doesn’t like your creativity or approach, this probably isn’t a company you want to be a part of anyway.