Does Your Resume Have Personality?

As fate would have it, I met a young lady today who asked me to look over her resume. This, after she found my advice credible enough to warrant further intervention in her career planning. Well suffice to say, I was more than happy to assist her. She is determined to pursue a post- graduate program that will allow her to help others who have in her words “had the privileges she has been afforded.” The product of the archetypal family, this young lady was also interested in identifying a job that would allow her to pursue grad school. Armed with a ‘can- do’ attitude and an undergraduate degree plus a range of professional experiences, she was concerned that her resumes were not reaching the right sets of eyes.

Retrieved from Google Images, August 12, 2013

I sat back in my chair, listening to her share her vision of the future and wondered how many others of equal vim, vigor and vitality, were unable to snare the coveted interview slot that would lead to employment. The doors refused to open even after many resumes are sent out and nary a feedback.

She placed her resume gently before me and asked for my unadulterated feedback. It usually takes me at first scan, 15 seconds to get a feel for the candidate from the resume. It was the generic kind which did not spark interest. In other words, it lacked personality. On my second scan (a little longer than the first), I compared what she told me briefly about herself with what was recorded on the resume. There was a disconnect. The passion with which she spoke did not exist on the paper.

Writing your resume requires patience. It is an unhurried process as you want to capture relevant data that will catch the attention of the recruiter. If you are responding to an advertisement, there is a minefield of data that will provide you with clues as to the type of talent required. Without the benefit of an initial meeting, your resume should provide the reader with an opportunity to visualize the candidate. Your aim is to grab and hold that attention with the end results being an interview and a job offer.

Consider the fact that there are scores of candidates vying for an opportunity to land the job you have an interest in. What are you going to do to market your skills, qualifications, as well as the other elements that make up your personal brand? Your accomplishments, competencies, ability to work in shifting environments with a variety of team, are but a few of the phrases that will get you noticed. Identify what the company is really searching for and tailor your resume to fit the criteria described.

What if you are just exploring opportunities? A similar approach should be taken. Conduct research about the company. You want to know more than just information about their products and services. What is the culture and how is it manifested in the day to day transactions with their clients, internal as well as external.  Can the company be described as a good corporate citizen? Now, narrow your investigation to available opportunities for hire. Are the vacancies aligned to your career path?

With all the research done, begin to craft your resume using appropriate sight words that will spark interest. Your most powerful tool in this scenario is the ability to communicate clearly the advantage of making you part of the team. In advertising, the audience is wooed by words that speak to their needs. As you look to widen your professional experience, simple marketing gems can be applied. You do not want to have a resume three pages long which ends up providing no closer  truth to your abilities. Keep your resume fresh. Update with frequency. As you climb the professional ladder, strive to move from the resume to an enriched curriculum vitae.

Finally, your resume should speak to the company being targeted. If you are reaching out to a technology firm, the language adopted would be skewed towards that field. Do you get my drift?  So next time you begin to author your resume, think about your audience. Breathe personality into that resume!

Copyright 2013 SHC








  1. michelle joanne roache


    • Thank you for your kind remarks Michelle. I hope you will continue to visit my page and share your perspective as well. My simple goal is to offer useful tips learnt from my experiences.

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