Tell a story with your resume

One of the best parts of my job is to interview people. I love meeting them and understanding what motivates them and hearing about their experiences. I am a firm believer that employers need to  provide the top candidates a position where they can win as individuals. And then the team, agency and client can win.

Back to the resume. This is typically the first thing we as employers see from you. To be even more specific, in a large agency setting, it’s typically a recruiter that sees it. So what do they look for? Could be previous agencies and brands. Could be projects. Maybe even coming from a certain market gives you cred. All of that is great.

But what I will suggest is that you tell us a story. After all you are talking to me about a role on the social team. That whole effort is about telling stories. Use those skills. Too may times i get resumes that list out one’s skills that include Excel or Facebook or whatever. Those are table stakes in the world we live in. Really, they are. Use this super-short time you have my attention to wow me. Tell me something about a project or you that is cool. Excel is not cool.

Let me know what role you really played in the process. The younger you are the more right you have to be honest and say you were not the lead but had some great builds and were important in the ways you could be. Of course, the bigger the title, the more those stories should be about leading and innovating. But be honest. Nothing worse than a fake-ish resume that gets you in the door or on the phone and it’s a head shake and the “not qualified” email to the Recruiter.

As a former Creative Director, I would even suggest you create a portfolio of your work. Links or PDFs are great. Doesn’t mean you did it all. Same goes for an art director’s book. They had a writer, producer, account manager and a Creative Director, not to mention the clients, completely contribute to the effort. And not page after page. Less is more in the whole resume process for sure. If there is one takeaway from here it is show me how you are smart and will be an asset to the team.

Tell a story with your resume

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