Turn Setbacks into Setups

How to Write a Resume: Unconventionally Successful

October 8, 2018

Resume Writing

Your application to that job you always wanted sits in a pile on a recruiter’s desk. One by one, the recruiter skims through the stack, giving each resume no more than a minute’s attention as the pile is narrowed down to the most interesting applicants. Halfway through the stack, she grabs your resume. In a sea of black and white, conventionally formatted letters, your resume struggles to stand out. Despite your qualifications, the recruiter’s attention by this point in the day is diminished and your resume is brushed off as “average.”


Before you ever get that first handshake, first interview, or first phone call, the only physical representation a prospective employer will see of you is your resume. Your resume is your “paper representative.” And just as with your real self, your paper self has to be sharply dressed and well groomed. How your resume looks, feels, and reads can have a substantial psychological influence on the reader. You have the qualifications. You are worthy of that job. Make sure your resume looks as attractive as the content within it. To get started, check out these unconventional tips on resume writing; a resume which, quite literally, stands out.


Move Beyond the Basics

Understanding the fundamentals of how to write a resume is priority number one. For information on resume writing format and basic resume examples, you can master the basics here. Once you are familiar with the essence of a resume, it’s time to inject it with boldness – a simple black and white, Times New Roman font, single page resume isn’t going to cut it these days.


Provide the Executive Summary

Chances are you have a lot of things you want to include on your resume.  The more content you include, the more qualified and experienced you appear, right? Well, not always. In fact, providing too much information runs the risk of appearing embellished (no one can be great at everything!), or worse yet, it simply goes unnoticed. The reality is, people have ridiculously short attention spans. Your reader might get bored or distracted before going through all you have written. Our suggestion: hit the major key points and facts, keeping content to a headline with 1 sentence subtext only. Capture attention now and deep dive on the details for the interview.


Use Icons and Visual Aids

Part of knowing how to write a resume is utilizing mediums other than written text. Instead of writing out everything, supplement key facts and accomplishments of your resume with icons, bar graphs, and infographics (see example photo below). Doing this provides two huge advantages. First, it makes reading your resume more interesting and thus more enjoyable. This keeps a reader with a short attention span engaged longer, and a positive reading experience increases the chances of an interview. Second, doing this demonstrates your ability to simplify complex topics and communicate them in an informative and easy to understand fashion; an invaluable skill.


Provide the Details Employers Want to Know But Cannot Ask

Offer personal information which shows you are a well-adjusted adult. For example, make it a point to say that you are a non-smoker, that you are in good health, that you are willing to relocate, and that you take physical care of yourself. We will even argue that providing a photo of yourself is advantageous. And here is why: employers ultimately want to know what you can do for them and how good you will be at doing it. The smoking and health issue for example, suggests that you are less likely to take a lot of sick days, and less likely to be out on a cigarette break rather than being productive. Employers cannot ask for such information, but you can certainty offer it. As for the photo, that’s just a friendly, proactive thing to do. Be proud of who you are and represent yourself accordingly.

Until then, happy resume writing and job hunting!  

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