What Your Resume Really Says About You

DSC_3300What does your resume say about you? Go ahead. Take a quick peek.

Would you give yourself a first impression rose or send yourself off to obscurity in a sleek limo with a box of tissues and an intrusive cameraman?

If the stretch wins out, then it might be helpful to analyze why so you can move forward with the necessary revisions, land a gig on Dancing with the Stars, make millions and live happily ever after or at least until the next big thing happens in your life.

In the process of such scrutiny, you might be surprised to learn that the real revisions need to take place in your mind first before you ever make a change on the resume itself.

For example, let’s pretend that the most recent work narrative on your chronological resume runs over half a page. It details every little thing you did, sometimes twice. You clearly worked very hard to make your case for how fabulous you were on the job.

There are a several potential problems here, some of a technical nature and others of a potential mental or emotional variety.

Technically speaking, size matters. Your resume isn’t supposed to be novella length.  If the rest of the resume follows the same pattern, you could be in trouble. Generally speaking, two pages is enough. Bonus points to you if the sections of your resume are aesthetically balanced and contain information relevant to the job you seek.

Specificity is another issue here. Unless you are applying for a federal job, you don’t need to state that you breathe in and out through your nose. The painfully obvious is, well, obvious enough.

Lack of clarity could be the culprit. You just may not be clear on what is important to be mentioned here. Re-examine the qualifications for the job you seek and try to connect the dots between what you’ve done to isolate the relevant skill set.

The underlying problem with this situation could have deeper roots, too.  Don’t rule out the possibility that you have unresolved issues connected to that particular job.

You can’t concisely express your experience and accomplishments for that job because you are still conflicted over them. You overwrite the narrative because in your mind you are defending how you did your job. Maybe you left that job under duress and you haven’t come to terms with the situation in your mind or in your heart.

That kind of conflict can and does often reflect on your resume in subtle ways. The details may not be clear to the reader, of course, unless he is a psychic but the verbosity and inability to communicate the relevant points can indicate an issue of sorts.

What do we do when the problem with our resume is ourself?

[Start background track of Disney hit, “Let It Go”. Pause a moment for full effect.]

Time to go all Elsa on the situation and just let it go. To do that, you may have to revisit the finer points of that job. Can you change anything about it to make yourself feel better here? Do you need to right some perceived wrong or at least make an attempt to do so?

If you can change whatever ails you on some level, do it. If you can’t, figure out a way to accept it. Learn from it and move on.

Once that bigger issue is addressed, you can easily revise the resume.

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