In the last week, I have reviewed several of my friends’ résumés. And, I find myself repeating the same suggestions. I don’t speak from a position of authority on the subject. My opinions come from having incrementally improved my own résumé since 2002.
Let’s explore Scott’s simple rules. What’s yet another guide between friends?
Write an advertisement. Your résumé sells you. There are rules and guidelines.
Be short. An ad does not tell a life’s story. It conveys the highlights leaving the reader wanting more.
Be readable. A flashy ad is an attack. A clean ad is inviting and guiding.
Be clear. Every sentence is simple and meaningful. Don’t exaggerate; instead, focus on your success.
Tell a story
You’re in a cafe. That attractive somebody you’ve been exchanging glances with stands up. They’re walking up to you! “Hi.” “Hi,” you respond with your best smile. “What brought you here?”
People respond to stories. People remember stories. People do neither with a list of facts.
Every description in your résumé should be a plot arc. What did you do? Why did you do it? What were the results?
Led a team to build a widget. Gained experience with skills X, Y, and Z.
Led a team of professionals in X, Y, and Z. We built a widget that put the company back in the black.
What would you say to that attractive somebody? Be interesting and positive - you have one shot.
Experience, Education, and Ego
Your experience is your accomplishments. Your education is other’s expectations. Your ego is whatever remains.
Those are ranked in order of importance. Emphasize experience over education and education over ego. Anything else is an obvious mark against you.
Finally, the strict requirement of a single page is an artifice. Use the space you need. But, every inch dilutes your message.