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What resumes can’t do and how to tell a better story!
What resumes can’t do
Let's face it, resumes are boring to write and worse to read. These days, most employers have software to read and prioritize resumes through the use of keywords. The goal of your resume is achieved if it brought you to an interview. But, there are many things you can’t express in your resume.
Resumes on their own have no personality, no energy, and no passion. Resumes don't do a very good job discussing which work you liked best and which work you hope you never have to do again. Resumes don't discuss how you fit in with others, what your career plans are and what you are most proud of. Resumes don't enable others to really get to know you, how you work, and the way you work. Resumes are impersonal, dry and in most cases not even accurate. We tend to place on resumes what we think others want to see. As a result, our true selves and what we want and are capable of are rarely visible on our resume. More important is to be ready for the next steps. So, what does a person need to do?
How to tell a better story
Learn from the resume experts how to best format your resume. Use industry key words. Learn how to structure your resume for the roles you are applying for. This all can be learned with a quick Google search. Realize, however, that people get hired based on their interviews, not on their resumes in most cases. It is important to have a great story to tell. Your story should contain the same parts and timelines from your resume. At the same time, it should have action, emotion, and a plot. Your story should end with a meaningful lesson, something to share with others. You should be prepared to explain to the person interviewing you what brought you to this place to interview for the role being discussed.
- What does your history look like and why? What roles have you done really well in the past? Which types of roles match your abilities, which you are motivated to do and your deep interests?
- What exactly do you want your work to be like at this point of your life and why? How will this role if you accept it align with both your short and long term goals and your deep passions? If you can't answer these questions or tell this story in less than 3 minutes, then you are not yet ready to interview and have more self-reflection to go through.
The age of no response
Sadly, we are in the era where it seems no one responds to voice mails, phone calls, and emails especially when inquiring about work. This leads many people to feel bad, broken, and in despair. This is a problem of a fast paced society; many people have forgotten how to have common empathy.
A better approach
The best way to tell your story is not through emails, voice mail, or social media. While the phone is good, face-to-face communication still remains the best way to tell your story to others. Figure out a way to network, make new friends, and get around others. We are social animals and prefer to be around other people. We gain energy and ideas. Too many people job hunt from behind the screen of their computer. If you are looking for new work opportunities, get out and be around people. Start to network with people who are doing the work you want to do most! This is the best way to find new opportunities. This takes work and time but it's worth it!
Evolve your story
As you get new ideas, experiences and learning, evolve your story. Don't be afraid to change your story, your goals, and your direction when needed. Unlike a resume, we learn and evolve daily and, as a result, we need to update our stories of where we are going and why.
Share your story with those who want to listen
Start to hang around people who want to hear your story. This will range from family to friends and people who are doing the work which you want to do. Don't waste your time telling your story to people who don't seem interested in what you want to do and those who seem superficial.
Resumes are just the ticket in the door
The real performance begins when you get the interview. The desired results will be positive if you can tell your story which is full of integrity, excitement and energy.
I'll be cheering you on as you go
Craig Nathanson is the author of "How to find the RIGHT work during challenging times: A new approach to your life and work after 40" and is a coaching expert who works with people over forty.
Visit Craig's online community where you can take a class, get more ideas through Craig Nathanson’s books and CD’s, get some private coaching overthe phone or skype using webcam or in Craig’s office, or read other stories of mid-life change and renewal.