The reason I find most people really struggle with writing their resume is because they haven’t yet learned what makes them unique.
Most people treat their resume like a list of tasks that they’ve completed, rather than a representation of their unique value that only they can bring to an organization. It’s about digging into their past to mine out competencies they’ve demonstrated that can and will apply to a future business need.
This is the reason writing and rewriting and crafting a resume is so powerful and so difficult. It requires you to really know yourself and to be able to tell the story of who you are. This is one of the most difficult things to do.
So where do you start?
You start by taking an assessment of what you’ve done, what you've worked on, and what you've achieved.
Unfortunately, this is where most people end with their resume — making a long and mind-numbing list of what all they’ve been tasked with — but it’s just the beginning.
Once you take stock of your accomplishments, you can identify common themes to highlight and also competencies that have revealed themselves that play to what a hiring manager needs.
After all, remember that the resume isn’t about you, it’s about what problem a hiring manager has that you can solve. The clearer you are in your ability to solve that problem, as well as how you’ve demonstrated the ability to solve that, or a similar, problem before, the more likely you are to get an interview.
By highlighting common themes, you can start to understand how and why you flourish in certain environments and roles. You can also begin to articulate why you are uniquely positioned to step into a certain role and solve a pressing problem.
You may also be surprised of the competencies (leadership, development, sales, project management) that emerge when you force yourself to think about what all you’ve taken on and accomplished.
Often times, competencies that we’ve developed weren’t part of the job we were hired for, or were outside of our standard job duties. These are the ones that emerge naturally, and help tell the story of what makes you who you are.
And although the resume isn’t about you, you are the solution to the problem the hiring manager has, and you need to stand out among the rest.
Bonus: we, the world, need you to be the most authentic version of yourself. Writing a resume leads to self-awareness and self-discovery. It’s a powerful exercise in helping you discover what makes you tick, what brings you joy, and what work you want to spend yourself on. The great side benefit is that when done well, helps you land the gig you want.