Ode to the Resume...
Updated: Feb 25
There's a myth that a resume makes all the difference. But, no matter how beautiful your template is, your resume captures your history -- so, if you have not found the cure, been the president of the world, or launched the thousand ships, what good is a resume to you? (Warning, there are Back to the Future references in here.)
1. A good resume will remind you of who you are. You are your first audience for your resume. A good resume writing process will force you to remember why you made the career decisions you did, and track your "why did I do this?" out into your career story. As with many things in life, the day-to-day may not be as glamorous as the picture you have had in your head. This can also make it harder for you to sometimes see the beauty and power of your strategic decisions. Sure, taking that part-time job felt just like a side-hustle for vacation money, but it also is an indicator of your work ethic, ambition, tenacity, and I have to assume that same person has probably shown up at your full-time job too.
You were there.
2. A resume gives you the opportunity to define what happened. Every side has a story; if a resume reminds you of who you are, part of your work is defining what you (that person) did. It can be hard to find or see yourself in moments when you felt diminished, sidelined, or inconsequential, but you must know that if you were in the room, you willed, participated, made, or allowed some good thing to happen. Remember who you are and how valuable you have been -- even in subtle moments. I'm sure -- despite the devil's best efforts -- your true (amazing) you has made at least a few guest appearances at your job. For the resume, those cameos count.
Find those good things girl.
3. Resumes position you for your next move. The resume is ironic because it uses your past to tell you about your future. Behavioral psychologists, and your recruiter, believe that your track record is predictive of future performance. Though the logic is sound, you have the opportunity to make a case for yourself -- your skills, experiences, knowledge -- in the future.
Your resume is your DeLorean. (Yep, there it goes.) Doc didn't just hop in the time machine -- baby he put in his destination. (You have got to watch the movie.) This requires more work on your part, including knowing where you want to go and what it will take to get there. The resume can show you are ready and able to make the leap into that future vision.
Rewrite your past in view of your future.
Look to "see" yourself...even if "you" seem blurry.