When It Comes to Your Resume, It’s Not Bragging If It’s Factual
Don’t cut yourself short by not knowing what you actually did
Four months ago, I was scouring an online freelance platform for a data analyst project. But the projects either involve data entry or something way beyond my abilities. So I stared at the screen, wondering what else I could offer. I thought, “Well, I’ve done writing work professionally before…”, so I entered “writing” into the search bar, and out of the blue, I saw posting after posting of clients looking for someone else to write their resumes for them.
That was the start of Sunbreak Resumes.
But that also got me curious.
What makes a resume so excruciating to write?
I assessed my own journey. For me, I always had a difficult time deciding what and how much information to include. Self-doubt aside, my challenge was about concise writing that fit everything I wanted in two pages while remaining readable.
I then googled to see what other job applicants’ pain points were when it came to their resumes.
It comforted to know that the first thing distressed others as well: concise writing.
It’s the second thing I noticed that surprised me a little, although it was easy to understand since I had — and still have— the same problem.
I and countless people hate to brag.
To me, bragging means sugarcoating, to make myself sound beyond better than everyone else as though I’m there center of the world. In fact the Oxford dictionary defines brag as “to say something in a boastful manner”and boastful means “showing excessive pride and self-satisfaction in one’s achievements possessions, and abilities”.
And for a lot of us humble and modest folks, it sure feels like having to exaggerate or overpromise, which can pressure us to make stuff up so that we sound valuable to recruiters and hitting managers.
But whoever said we need to brag on our resumes to make ourselves sound valuable?
To make ourselves sound valuable and important on our resumes means knowing our facts.
IT’S NOT BRAGGING OF WHAT YOU ARE TELLING ARE FACTS!
And what are considered facts?
- Characteristics about your companies, departments, or teams
- Characteristics about the achievements by your companies, departments, or teams
- Professional individual characteristics about you
- Characteristics about your projects or tasks
- Characteristics about your achievements and results
- Purpose/objectives of your projects or tasks
That last bullet is one that most people forget. It’s the purpose or objectives that tells you WHY your project or tasks exist, and it’s the WHY that shows the reason you are valuable. Otherwise, if there were no reason for your project or tasks, then why do they exist? Why does your role exist?
If your role has no reason to exist, then why does your boss keep paying you to stay there?!
So these are facts! Not fiction. Therefore, not bragging!
If you don’t know why your project or tasks exist, ask the person who assigned you the work. In fact, asking for the existing of the work shows that you care.
If nobody knows why, then this likely presents an opportunity question upper management, take initiative to create a better solution, and propose that solution that does have a reason to exist.
So when you walk into your office or write your resume, you can walk or write with purpose. And that’s not bragging.