Tips for Creating a Unique and Compelling Resume

Recently I was invited to speak at AARP’s Online Career Fair on “Conveying Your Experience & Passion Through Your Resume.”  Everyone wants a resume that speaks to what makes them unique and showcases their talents.  You can watch the webinar here or read below for  highlights of the tips I shared…

  • Get rid of distractions – typos, age indicators, experience older than 10 yrs (unless that experience is relevant to the job you’re going after).
  • Highlight your genius and the results you’ve achieved because of it.  Your genius is the set of unique skills, abilities, talents, interests, experiences and values you bring to your work that no one else can offer in the same way.  To get to your genius on your resume:

Ask yourself:-What on your resume excites you to talk about?  Examples could be the positive professional attributes about yourself that you’re most proud.  For some this is integrity for others it’s relationship building and still for others is analytical thinking.  Make sure those positive qualities are listed/highlighted in your summary, core skills and under your work experiences.

Highlight the kudos, the bottom-line results and the happy client outcomes that you’ve achieved. It’s not bragging if it’s true.  Ask those you’ve worked for to write specific endorsements and recommendations about your stellar abilities (genius) & the contributions you’ve made b/c of them.

Embrace the fact that no one else has lived your life and therefore no one else can make the same contribution that you can with as much passion, enthusiasm and genius.  Highlight what you love to do. Your resume needs to focus on the activities and responsibilities you LOVE to do. Not just the ones you CAN do.

  • Resumes get 10-15 seconds of a recruiters attention.  Put your resume in front of a colleague, a friend, a career coach. Give each 10-15 seconds to look at it and then ask what stood out for them.

People respond to formatting, set up and content. You can bullet point info, create a summary and core skills section and even get a graphic designer to work on your resume.

  • Other questions to ask yourself- What are you afraid you’ll get asked about? – Gaps?  Then you’ll want to focus on what you learned during that time away from work that now benefits your career and perspective.  See your resume is an opportunity to tell your career story and it’s naturally a compelling one.  Highlight your best and the you’ll find the best opportunities will find you.

If you’re looking to update your resume or LinkedIn profile, contact me. I’ll be able to be of service and also have a talented resume writers I can refer you to.  Contact me.

For more on making your career story compelling, check out my blog post on writing an elevator pitch with the personal touch.

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