Of course your resume conveys your career history, where you worked and for how long. Your resume shares your past job titles, plus your contact information and your education history.
For years a resume was a bland, boring recitation of the jobs you’d held, but now a resume is much more than that. Your resume doesn’t just tell an employer or a recruiter where you worked and what job titles you held. It showcases your personality, your point of view and your perspective on your own career — or at least it can, and should!
Consider this resume Summary (a short paragraph at the top of a resume, just under your name and contact information) written by Conrad, a Controller:
Financial Controller with experience in banking, manufacturing and professional services. Strong financial reporting skills and project management experience, plus ten years’ experience managing Finance teams including A/R, A/P and General Ledger functions.
Conrad’s resume Summary is so boring it nearly put me to sleep, and it will do the same thing to any recruiter or hiring manager who reads it! Let’s try Conrad’s resume Summary again:
I’m a Financial Controller looking to join a professional services firm and keep its financial engine running smoothly so the business can grow. I’m passionate about educating line managers on sound financial practices and coaching team members to grow as business people and understand Finance from a strategic perspective as well as a nuts-and-bolts one.
In two sentences Conrad let us know a tremendous amount of useful information. He tells us that he wants to work in the professional services arena. Who cares if he once worked in banking and manufacturing, if he doesn’t want to go back to those industries now?
They became irrelevant the minute Conrad decided that he really likes professional services like consulting, advertising and law. Why would Conrad waste valuable real estate in his resume telling you what he doesn’t want to do in his next job?
Conrad tells us that he sees himself as the guy who keeps his employer’s financial engine running smoothly. That’s a great analogy. Other leaders in his new company have other jobs to do and want to know that somebody with a steady hand and good instincts is keeping the financial engine running.
Conrad is a mentor to his employees, but you’d never know that by reading his original, sleep-inducing resume Summary. In the second version — Conrad’s Human-Voiced Resume Summary – Conrad comes alive on the page as a real person, and not just anybody with a Finance degree and ten years of experience.
By adding a human voice to his resume, Conrad made a choice. He decided not to fade into the wallpaper the way many or most job-seekers do. He decided to brand himself as a real person with a point of view and a personality. Not every CFO will like the way Conrad describes himself, and that’s good. Conrad doesn’t want to work with anyone who wouldn’t care for his warm and real personality, anyway.
Conrad has nothing to hide. He doesn’t have time to waste on companies who would turn up their noses at him because he isn’t as stiff and weenified as some Controllers are. Conrad knows that not every CFO or every employer deserves his talents. It’s exactly the same for you. Only the people who get you, deserve you!