Resumes: Make ‘Em Interesting

Fresh IdeasLast week we shared an article about why it’s so important to tailor your resume to the position you’re applying to. Now, let’s add a layer. Let’s not just ask ourselves, is this relevant? Let’s ask, is this interesting. At least, that’s what Alex Malley proposes we do in his LinkedIn post, Stop sending out boring resumes. And after reading it, I’m inclined to agree with him.

Approaching things creatively can feel dangerous. Whenever you try to sell yourself to someone you’ve maybe never met before as fun, interesting, or quirky, you run the risk of that coming across as “over-eager” or “insane.” But we (and by “we” I mean “I”) often underestimate the risk of approaching things too conservatively. Something different might illicit a negative reaction, but something that’s too safe might illicit no reaction at all, which can prove just as dull for your job prospects.

Wouldn’t you rather try and be a little creative and show your true self? Then if you don’t get the job, you can at least know that it wasn’t a good fit, not that your boilerplate resume didn’t catch anyone’s eye.

Now, with that being said, you might be wondering, what does a “creative” resume even look like? No, it’s not written as a series of haikus or a vampire novel. What Malley suggests is to tell your story (in two pages) as it really is rather than distilling it down so much that you come across as some sort of job robot without feelings or insights. Then, he says to have someone read what you’ve written in front of you so you can watch how they react, which sounds terribly awkward but also very helpful.

He also says that when you’re just starting out, it’s okay to keep things basic, but I’m not sure I agree with that. When you’re just out of school and have limited work experience, any company that chooses to consider you is taking a chance. A more creative approach to your resume will show you don’t mind putting it all out there and that you’re ready to try new things.

Of course, Malley has more to say, but you’ll have to read the article to find out what it is. So go ahead, give it a peek, and then read your resume and ask yourself, is this interesting? Or better yet, ask, is this me?

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