Many people think its your resume that gets you a job. It’s not. A resume is not meant to get you a job, it’s meant to get your foot in the door. The interview gets you the job.
So before sending resumes, if you’re looking to switch companies, get to know a little about the company you want to work for. Go to their website and check out the tab on careers and while you’re at it, read their annual report and see who are the major players are in the company. Then Google your potential manager and then tailor your resume to fit the position you seek. Or better yet get to know them on LinkedIn.
And if you truly want to stand out, don’t just write a resume, tell them a story.
If I asked you what is your favorite movie, you could tell me without blinking. Why? Because you obviously loved the s-t-o-r-y that was told.
Since the beginning of time, humans have enjoyed stories. Stories help us make sense of the world. A good story is both compelling and memorable.
So when you write your resume, don’t just list the skills and abilities you have, tell a story of what you did that helped make a difference to your organization. To get started, ask yourself: what problems did I solve for my employer and /or what did I do to help make improvements. Your answers will form the basis of the stories you write about on your resume.
Tip: Keep a little journal and every day write down what you accomplished for your employer. By keeping a running track of what you did daily, when it comes time to write, you won’t be stuck and you’ll be able to write your resume with relative ease.
A good book that highlights the power of stories is, Whoever Tells the Best Story Wins: How to Use Your Own Stories to Communicate with Power and Impact.
In it, she writes how story telling is a powerful communications tool. How stories influence others to trust the storyteller and shape decisions and actions that are important to both individuals and organizations.
So write your own story and use stories to an advantage when you write your resume. An example of this can be seen below:
In one of my first jobs, I worked as an ice cream scooper. I was so excited to get this job. It was even a fluke when I applied. I was leaving the store and I saw another young girl apply, so I did too. I was called back and hired. But I didn’t just scoop ice cream, I made that department run like I owned the place.
I always made sure we had enough ice cream in the section where I worked but also in the frozen section, I made sure all the shelves were stocked with potato chips and gum, I made sure the popcorn was popped. I made sure our floors shined after I mopped. In short, I did everything I could to make that department run like butter.
So on my resume, my story said this:
Instrumental in turning around customer service department by taking the initiative to reorganize, stock and cater to customer’s needs. Result: Sales in our department increased by 50 percent. (Always show what you did and the specific result.)