Want a remarkable resume?
Find Your Life’s Script
Recently at Creative Morning’s Field trip to Telus’s Storyhive, surrounded by community gardens and inspiring local artwork which filled each hallway, we joined Storyhive’s writer Rudy Thuaberger, for a storytelling workshop. And while the subject was scriptwriting, it lent itself to a fresh way of approaching the resume, one of our most personal stories.
Generic words generate a generic story. Unremarkable. Boring. Bland. Imagine you’re sifting through hundreds of scripts (or resumes in a hiring manager’s case). What grabs and holds your attention? It’s certainly not the classic cliches. When there is no soul, no real sounding person in that, we can’t relate. Give yourself a fighting chance to be memorable by showing up as YOU. You, a specific character that is relatable, personable, vulnerable who holds a personal truth makes or breaks the story. Notice we didn’t say bold, or accomplished, or experienced. No matter where you are in your career, you have had experiences that have shaped you. Use them as your fuel to be memorable. Or end up on the cutting room floor, where the rest of the average resumes and scripts end up.
Be courageous in your confidence.
Perhaps you associate confidence with charm — that extroverted charisma that can be only surface deep, but that pulls you in and makes you want to listen. But confidence can also speak up when we are thoughtful and quiet. It comes out when we believe in ourselves, when we are proud of our stories that are filled with failures, flaws and imperfections. Because you know what? Everyone has flaws. Some are just braver to admit them and share the learning that have helped them grow than being ashamed of them.
Wrong lead to right.
You can’t discover the right things without getting stuck or stalled along the way. Remember that dead-end job you once had? What if you dug deeper? Could find something valuable in that experience? A different perspective? A skill you’ve taken with you? Deeper industry knowledge in a category you didn’t previously have? It’s a hard thing to look, analyze and interpret your own work data. It requires a little time down wrong paths, exploring behind some doors, and opening windows. You may call it a “waste of time.” But “wrong paths” you’ve taken through your career, when embraced, have the possibility of leading you to the right.
Last, but not least…
Tire out your inner critic.
I gave my inner critic a vacation while writing this post: For the past five minutes, I wrote with my eyes closed and stopped my obsessive tidying up spelling and word foibles. Perhaps this is why actors and singers do vocal warmups. Why professional writers write page after page of crap. Burn out the critic and eventually magic happens. You can bring that little critic back on shift when it’s time for revisions. Every resume rewrite usually happens in a transitioning time — new role, project, responsibility, experience. You look back and there is something you see that you could have done better. Don’t let that stop you from charging ahead.
After all, 50% of the work is done in the revisions. But 100% of the magic is the story you’re sharing.