You’re reading #8 of my Top Ten Tips for writing your resume. Read all the other tips by clicking on each link:
1. Be focused.—2. Be strategic and selective.— 3. Be succinct.— 4. Stand out from the crowd.— 5. Show results. — 6. Write it right.— 7. Make a great first impression.— 8. Be interesting. — 9. Be specific.— 10. Tell your story.
#8 BE INTERESTING
Often it’s the small, quirky details that you share on a resume that stick in readers’ minds.
Here are a few of my favorites from my own clients’ resumes:
- “Competitive blueberry picker.”
- “Global citizen, lived and worked in 9 countries on 3 continents.”
- “Started my career in the hospitality industry as a pastry-chef-in-training at the age of 16 and never looked back.”
- “Earned spot on NCAA Division 1 soccer team by outworking every other aspirant.”
I’m not suggesting that you load your resume with (relatively) unimportant, out-of-date, or personal information. But adding a line or two about something that sets you apart can create competitive distinction for you. Interviewers are likely to remember and ask you about that experience. The tidbit transforms you from a generic candidate to a unique human being. And that’s a good thing!
A good place to add these small details is at the end of the resume in a way that will quickly catch the eye of a reader skimming through the document.
Another effective location for injecting personality and character is at the top of the resume, in your summary section. Can you encapsulate what makes you special and valuable in a 1- or 2-line “branding statement”? I often create these for clients after quizzing them about their careers. My in-depth consultations give me great insights into what they do, how they do it, what drives them, and how they stand out from other candidates.
Note that the summary, the very first section of the resume, is not the place to include blueberry picking or college athletics. This vital top section of your resume should be focused on high-value professional information. But it can showcase something interesting and unique about you.
Remember that employers are looking to hire people who fit their culture, their mission, and their team. Revealing just a bit of interesting, personal, insightful information can humanize you and make a connection. Just don’t overdo it. Keep the primary focus on your achievements and your value.
SUMMING IT UP
- Interesting tidbits of information on your resume can humanize you, distinguish you from others, and be memorable.
- Be authentic in what you share.
- Don’t go overboard. Remember that your resume is not all about you but rather about how you can help your next employer.
BONUS TIP #11: GET HELP IF YOU NEED IT. Professional resume/profile writers are widely available for all professions, all levels, and in all fee ranges. Not only will we take an objective, employer-centric view of your career, we’re experts at uncovering the themes, threads, and success stories of your career that will sell your value.
Please email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’d like a complimentary review of your resume, a few specific suggestions, and a proposal for a rewrite.
Next: #9 Be Specific