Your Resume Should be Written as a Story

What does this mean, really, to write a story? Does it mean something like: ‘Once upon a time I was a receptionist at a telecom company before finding my breakthrough sales role that led to my rise to senior management?’

Well, yes, sort of.

But what really makes a story sing are the obstacles, winding roads, storms and even battles that you encounter along the way to success. So, while your career is comprised of many successes in the form of promotions and achievements, and the metrics (percentages, dollars and numbers) tied to those achievements must be a focal point of the story, that’s often not enough.

A seemingly good enough resume may make you feel complete, for now, but what about the opportunities you may be totally misaligned with, simply because the resume hasn’t reflected solutions to that target reader’s burning needs? Maybe there is a whole plethora of employers who are not able to see your value because you simply have not articulated a story – or series of little stories — that mimic the types of scenarios they have been experiencing?

Or, while your resume may be good enough to get attention, in the instances where someone has told a better story, yours may just not hold water. You could got overlooked simply because there was a more attractive, enticing candidate who slid their resume in behind or ahead of yours.

After all, a good story is one that we not only can be impressed by, but also is one that either inspires or makes us relate on some level to the characters’ challenges, pain and pleasure. Show undulating stories replete with situations that are difficult, actions you took to overcome the difficulties and then the results. Weave within those stories your traits and strengths in influence, risk taking, resolve, integrity and more.

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