January 22, 2013

One key attribute that separates a really terrific movie from, say IKEA furniture instructions, is a good narrative. Sure, there are plenty of disasters that could happen while using that little Allen wrench, but let's face it, hardly anything ever does.

Humans are naturally drawn to storytelling. Which is why our ancestors listened to them even when they were living in caves and eating Hot Buttered Mastodon.

So it should come as no surprise that the same applies to reading resumes. Even though hiring managers and recruiters scan through them with a greyhound-like pace (The Ladders puts that speed at six seconds), each reader is putting together a little story about the candidate while they’re scanning.

And that story can unfortunately sometimes like this: "Uh oh, here’s a typo. I bet this is a person who rushes through everything and never pays attention to details."

Which is why this U.S. News & World Report article is so helpful. Even though it was written with marketers in mind, the advice is just as applicable to anyone looking to impress hiring managers with their resume:

1. Get over yourself.
2. Answer the why.
3. Commit to a target audience.
4. Understand what it means to prove your value.
5. Connect the dots for the reader.

If you want everyone who reads your resume to think of you as more Jason Bourne than Clark Griswold, have a look.

Any advice to add? We’d love to hear your input!

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