Résumés have long become extended business cards. Long gone are the days of the boilerplate résumé listing everything you have ever done, beginning with flipping burgers while in high school. Nobody these days expects a résumé to be a complete account of anything anymore.
With that said: business cards can be vibrant or dull, and the same is true for résumés. Relatively subtle features can cause a branding message to shine as they can cause the best intentions to go awry.
Is your résumé a dynamic showcase or a static inventory?
There once was that hardware store in my neighborhood that kept the same mundane commodity items on display in the storefront for weeks. Weeks turned into months, then months turned into years. The slow death that this store suffered was kind of painful to watch.
Had that hardware store paid more attention to varied promotions, with different merchandise emphasized at different times and speaking to a more targeted clientele—who knows…that store might have held on.
Like a storefront, a résumé needs to move its front-and-center display around. It needs some variation in what it emphasizes and what it promotes. It makes all the difference between a fresh and a stale brand message and between a glossy and a dusty portfolio.
Does your résumé invoke a bright future or enshrine your glory days?
Some ten years ago, Chevrolet ran a series of commercials for its Silverado trucks using the tune, and sung title, of Bob Seger’s hit song Like a Rock. But if you knew the complete lyrics of that song, you knew they could be interpreted as a nostalgic look back of an aging guy on his fading youth:
“My hands were steady, my eyes were clean and bright”—Oh…they no longer are, you mean?
“Twenty years now, where’d they go?”—Into the sunset, leaving once-proud run-down, rusty equipment behind.
Check your résumé for any stagnation or nostalgia, and change the lyrics where necessary.
Dust off that business card that is your résumé, and get over that which you hold near and dear. Although it is normal to be proud of everything you have ever done: the way to communicate your value is to take a fresh spotlight and zero in what your clientele likes to see in you.