As a Career Coach, I know that many will believe this to be sacrilege: I low key hate resumes. I simply don’t think that they’re typically ‘enough’. We attempt to boil down our skills, experiences, and aspirations into 1 page (ok, maybe 2 pages) of 10-point font with minimal margins so someone else can skim to figure out if we are capable of adding value. Nah.
Look. I completely understand the need for something, some way of describing what we’ve been up to for the past few years… Where we went to school. Which organizations and societies offered membership. What accolades we’ve received. And most importantly, who has been giving us money regularly (and why).
Resumes are necessary but insufficient in my view. In short, resumes attempt to capture how we’re living in accordance with society’s most monochrome norms. I think that we’d all be better served if we figured out how to tell our authentic stories in the context of our talents as well.
Be honest. What do you do better than anyone else you know? What do your strengths look like in action? What happens when you shine? And how much fun do you have when you’re in your zone? Are the answers to those questions on your resume? My suggestions: Know your natural gifts. Show people how you can make a difference. Grow your abilities through continuous application, assessment and reflection.
Most of us have resumes – even if they are the most boring and basic of versions – mine is admittedly yawn-worthy. But can you also share your own story with soul? Can a listener walk away with an understanding of what makes you ‘tick’? Or makes your heart soar? Or makes your head explode with glee? Passion, expertise and confidence make for a powerful cocktail when you can articulate who you are and what you’re uniquely positioned to do.
So. Do you need a resume? Yes, probably (and I can absolutely recommend someone who can help you create an amazing document if that’s what you’re after). However, I think that you also need to be crystal clear about what you do well, what energizes you and what you can get paid for…
If you can tell your story with clarity, you’ll differentiate yourself and standout from the crowd – no matter what else you have tucked away in your padfolio.