Tone Down Your Resume To Improve Results

Dancing Resume

In the past, we have highlighted some of the crazy, over-the-top resumes that people have used to try to get attention, from candy bars to beer to odd videos to Legos to billboards to wandering around the streets with a sign. From the amount of media attention that sort of behavior gets, you would be forgiven for thinking that trying something equally creative is a must, if you want to make an impression.

But while that sort of thing may get you hired at Google or a media company (if you’re the first person, and not the second or third, to try it), where creativity is valued above all else, it might not get you anywhere if you’re trying to land an HR generalist role at a small construction company. It’s important to tailor your resume to your audience, if you want to stand out with the types of companies and hiring managers appropriate to your discipline. A recent blog article addressed this disconnect:

Unfortunately, the media’s need for sound bites and traffic-generation often supersedes providing pragmatic value to the job-seeking audience. While boots-on-the-ground resume strategists who have intimate experience working alongside job seekers sit quietly holding their tongues, the airtime often goes to reports touting sexy, outlandish resume methods under the guise of ingenuity.

If this confusing message has sent your blood pressure soaring and compelled you to seek the craftiest way to market yourself, calm down – creative resumes that tell a ‘value story’ still net the best results.

More than ever, in fact, doing the roll-up-your-sleeves work to research your target company, hiring manager and company culture is critical. By doing the arduous work in understanding your recipient’s needs and then vetting out your methods of fulfilling those requirements in your resume, cover letter, emails, elevator pitches, biographies and social media profiles you will ultimately stand apart and get the right person’s attention.

While the flash-in-the-pan resume infographics may dazzle a news reporter, the reader that matters is the one who will choose your resume from the stack of thousands and ask you for the interview. That person is silently waiting for the most qualified candidate, not the most innovative sound-bite resume.

So the bottom line is: know your audience. Stay away from the kooky and weird; even if they worked the first time, by the time you hear about them, they are already old hat and you definitely don’t want to be someone who is the second or third or even fourth person to send a no longer clever gimmick to a hiring manager.

The Perfect Resume

Instead of wacky and weird, think targeted and framed. Don’t spend a hundred years trying to think of the perfect, original idea to craft the perfect resume; focus on getting your individual value across as succinctly as possible to the people who make the hiring decisions. Regain control of the mess your resume has become and remember that, ultimately, it’s not about you and your resume… it’s about THEM.

Good luck!

How To Tone Down Your Resume For Better Results | Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter via Glassdoor

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