Storytelling and the Job Hunter

I review many resumes. From new grad to "C" suite executives, many resumes have precisely the same issue: they don't tell a good story. (And I've written about this before, I know, but examples help and repetition does too!)

Now, I certainly don't mean that your resume needs to spin a "yarn," as in an embellished, over-the-top story that is meant for the cinema. Not at all. But stories, even truth-based and entirely factual stories, hold a reader's attention.

Just today I was reviewing an IT Director's resume. She is aiming for "C" level now, and I explained it this way:

Without context, the resume doesn't "sell" you at all. Imagine if McDonalds simply claimed to "broil burgers and deep fry french-fries"? So what!? So do all the other hamburger joints. No, this famous brand found a way to distinguish its service. Your resume claims you've tested emergency procedures and migrated networks and managed infrastructure growth. So what? So have all the other applicants.

I went on to explain how context can build a compelling story, one that sells her abilities by building credibility, showcasing problem solving, sharing relationship building, demonstrating leadership.

Mmmhmm. Story telling belongs in your resume, sure as McDonalds sells fries. Pass the ketchup!