Writing about yourself is hard. Like really hard. Ever have to write a bio for something and you just sit there - staring into the abyss with nothing to say? Yeah, us too. Luckily for you - writing a resume is not quite a bio so you don't need to talk about how you love long walks along the beach and have an obsession with all things Riverdale.
But where do you start?
For me, when I'm working with clients on re-writing their resume - whether it be me writing it or them - I start with a list. It's really that simple. I need to understand EVERYTHING and I mean everything that you do for your job - no detail left uncovered. Clients think its silly and love to skip over things like emails and answering phones but I always go back and dig deeper into all the small things (queue the Blink 182 rendition of All the Small Things).
So start there - start with an in-depth list of everything you've done at every job on your resume. From emails to phones to your participation in a committee on Women in Leadership. Whatever it is - don't leave it out. It may not all make it on your resume but it'll give you a foundation to build on!
Step 1: Make a list.
Once you've put your list together - and you look at it and say to yourself - well damn. I definitely wasn't get paid enough to do all this crap. It's time to actually mush it together and make it sound nice. Go through your list and highlight the items that are accomplishments - things you're proud of or things that demonstrate a significant skill or leadership capabilities. Pay particular attention to the items on your list that impacted the bottom line of the business by either saving money or making money. Those are always super important. Once you've identified those accomplishments - those are things you want to put in the descriptions of each job on your resume!
Step 2: Narrow Down the List
You've got your list of accomplishments, major skills and mad money moves all sorted. Now to make it sound nice! I'm a big fan of resumes with lists and brief paragraphs. Start with a general overview of your role and then use a bulleted list highlighting major accomplishments or skills! Keep the phrasing of the paragraph simple, to the point, and easy to follow. Always remember - hiring managers will spend less than a minute on that initial review of your resume. Make it easy to find the important details!
Step 3: Keep it simple and easy to follow.
But what about personality!? The wow factors!? Put it in your cover letter! That's the place to shine - and yes that means you are going to have to write a bit of a bio. Take a step outside of yourself and give yourself a performance review! What are your strengths at work, what are you passionate about, what do you want to improve upon? And look at your values - how do they correlate to the job you're applying to. Your cover letter is really where you want your personality to shine!
Step 4: Let your personality shine in your cover letter.
Do you want more help? Or maybe need some more specifics and templates on job hunting, resumes, and cover letters? Check out our E-Course Bold Career Moves! We go in-depth on the above and help you land a job you truly love!