Yes, You Have a Unique Career Story!

May 7, 2015

You may not believe it right now, but those cut-and-dry resumes you’ve been sending out could be a lot better if you just believed the one thing that resume writing professionals already know: you have a unique career story!

Too many job seekers craft their resumes in a way that reduces their experiences to mere bullet points on a page, neglecting the harder-to-quantify skills that their employers have cherished for years.

When you’re writing a professional resume, it’s important to consider these hard-to-measure aspects:

Finding Your Special Story

Zooming in on your uniqueness requires more than a quick moment of thinking. After all, you’re just doing what you think is normal from day-to-day. That’s why it’s great to have work friends, colleagues and others around you who can help you fill in those blanks. Ask your co-workers what sort of skills make you good at your job, especially those things that reach beyond the requirements for your position.

You might discover that they think you’re a great leader despite not being in a leadership position, perhaps you’ve been reminded that it was your idea to digitize all the records, which now means efficiency is 30% higher. They may say you have a gift for customer relationship management, because three times in the past year you saved accounts from walking away because the customers were angry. These are areas you can draw from when building your career narrative. Start with specific skills and think back to times when you were doing the very things that caught your co-workers’ attention in the first place.

Creating a More Narrative Resume

Instead of reducing your accomplishments to bullets and lists, use your narratives to demonstrate how you solved problems similar to the ones your future employer is facing right now. Don’t just declare that you improved the customer service experience 22%. Tell the story of how you did it. Maybe your goal was simply to help speed up retail shopping lines, but you happened to also win an award for your efforts — that’s the kind of achievement that matters to employers.

Guaranteed: you’ve done something at work that was worth noting – that’s why they kept you in that job. These are the elements of work that will make your resume stand out from others with similar training and experience — how you handle a challenge is likely different from anyone else’s approach.

Work narratives that tell your unique story capture your distinct personality and thought process, making it clear to your future employer exactly what you bring to the table. Everyone likes a good story, and these are stories that could illustrate so much more about you than a list of skills ever could.