Genius Resume Hacks That Convert
In late 2006, when I first heard about Twitter, I was enamored with the simplicity of the idea of public text message with few characters. The world agreed. The tweets caught on like wild fire. In this day and age of social media, circa 2021, resumes are still around — people still ask for them. What happens if you bring some of the tenets of Twitter into a traditional resume? Can we bridge the gap between attention span of hiring mangers and the candidates wanting to stand out with their resume? This fun yet key urge is the genesis of the pictures below that shaped my success.
Compare and Contrast: Traditional Resume
Below is the most common template within Microsoft Word. Scan it and then close your eyes, assume you are a hiring manager and think through what sections your eye looks for in the first few seconds.
Now think about Twitter — what is the structure of the string of characters that make it powerful. As Twitter matured, here is the trend of characters I have seen in a tweet. First comes a context/thought with hash tags and then a link to the source for more details. When it comes to the link, there are tools like bitly that can condense the string. Can this eye-catching idea catch on in a traditional resume? Here is a template with my explanation.
Does it work?
- If you think Google front page works, there is more white space in this new format beyond the top and bottom margin.
- It is still closer to the traditional resume on the right side. Yet, it covers two types of audience — one type who wants to know what you bring to the table at a high level and the other who is drawn to the crisp details on the right side. Yet, both types are contextually connected from left to right, like a tweet. Instead of a laundry list of accomplishments, this resume only picks the all-time hits — from verbs to outcomes.
- The one line tweet at the top forces the resume writer to focus on the essence and yet gives a one line take-away to the hiring manager without the overused adjectives at the top!
Resume Design in Context
Content and conversation are kings, resume design is positively a crown that embellishes the King’s persona. On design, I drew inspiration from elements of Twitter’s phenomenal success: Simplicity, Constraints and Craftsmanship (Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter’s three words).
Think simplicity with context, think resume design.
On content: Feel free to share people reactions as outcomes not just numbers
When it comes to resume content: majority of expert advice talks about sharing results in quantifiable terms, my advice is different. For some examples, Think about it — for every person in a bottom-line role at a company, many are in support roles.
If you are in a support role, the emotions and reactions of others to your achievements is more natural to communicate.
Even for folks in commercial roles (say a top salesman) — the numbers are verifiable facts. Yet, the words “the company president personally came down to my floor to thank me on the way I handled a large customer’s sticky issue” makes a memorable impression.
It is one thing to know “we buy on emotion and rationalize with logic.” It is quite another to tactically apply it where our personal stakes are high — resumes and interviews.
Through Time: Make Your Resume Obsolete To Convert Better
Designing a resume is useful, but needing a resume is a early career problem. As time progresses, your body of work and reputation creates a richer network than a polished resume ever will.
Best resume advice through the years: make your contact list STRONG: If you don’t get a new gig within 4 weeks of when you need it; you have a weak contact list. Keep an eye on the long game.
Here is my favorite small talk.
I don’t ask people what they do for a living. Instead, I ask what they enjoy doing, who they enjoyed working for and why.
Two magical transformations happen: the conversational vibe becomes positive and I became a collector of great boss names. One surprising thing is like food — many of them like the same people. The common words I have found for these great folks (bosses) — “believes in me” ,“trusts me” and many different shades of motivation.
When I see a spark with what motivates me — I jot down those names.
You are one contact away to a great gig. That starts with knowing who the great bosses are. As years roll by — network for bosses, not jobs.
Wishing you a wonderful stages of career ahead.