Thursday, March 20, 2008

Personality A-Go-Go

I have been emailing back and forth with my personal board of directors to consult on my situation. I sent my resume to Penelope, and she honestly told me that it sucks--well, she didn't actually use the word "sucks" but that's what she meant. Here's a tip, kids, never be upset by criticism. My resume does suck, and the next step is to get help. So I peered through the Brazen Careerist archives, and found a reference to The Resume Group. I popped my resume into their inquiry form.

About an hour later, I got an email from Elaine Basham (excellent customer service, that). She gave me the number of her business partner Sue Sarkesian, and that very afternoon Sue and I had a chat.

Sue's most pointed advice was that my resume reads like a grocery shopping list. Which I can see: Job 1? Check. Job 2? Check. MS Office skills? Check. Very blah. So she said I need to create a "functional" section right at the top that explains, using the right buzzwords, who I am and what I do, followed by a few successful accomplishments.

So who am I, and what do I do?

One thing that cannot be encapsulated in a resume, not in the traditional form, is personality. And when it comes to personality, my cup runneth over. I love to laugh (long and loud and clear) and dance and sing, and this exuberance spills over into almost all areas of my life. I can be the Professional, but I'm still going to maintain my alpha-female stance. I'm a perfectionist, competitive and aggressive. It's no surprise that the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator says I'm an extrovert.

But how do I put this amazing enthusiasm, this XL personality into the resume? So far, I've tended to save that for my cover letter, trying to squeeze in something of the real me. But now, I want to take this new direction and splash myself on the front of my resume, so that in the 20 seconds that someone takes to read it, they'll get a taste of the tiger that can tackle their projects, the unique unicorn who stands out from the crowd.

2 responses:

m said...

Resumes are quite hard to come up with. I know I've had plenty of trouble with mine. It's hard to create something that's a good mixture of work experience, skills and character. Obviously the skills and experience part is the hardest when you don't have years of experience.

Elaine Basham / Sue Sarkesian, The Resume Group said...

Hello, Kate! Found this post by accident and I'm so glad I did! First I want to thank you for your kind words. I greatly appreciate the mention and hope this finds you well.

Next, I want to say that getting your personality across in your resume is paramount - for your sake in finding the right fit, and for the sake of your future employer, who wants the right fit, too. Your resume has to very quickly tell the reader WHO you are, WHAT you can do - and PROVE it. It has to differentiate you in the market - and make you the "must have" candidate. Recruiters, HR Executives, Hiring Managers see and scan thousands of resumes every week. If yours is going to make the cut, your personality has to come through.

Thanks again and if we can help, just let me know! All the Best - Elaine

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