Tell Your Story In The Resume!

The Fates At Work

The Fates At Work

On Tuesday, July 21, I celebrated existing one more year on earth. Now, that isn’t news. People do that when they meet the anniversary of their birth every year. However, as you know, I consider birthdays–or whatever day you want it to be–a “personal new year”. This is prime time for stepping back and examining the progress of the grand tapestry of a lifetime. Right now, the pattern of “personal story” is on the loom.

Many of the tales I tell in “Victoree’s Blog” apply directly to the workplace–even the ones thought to be for children. There are several places in the hiring process where telling a personal tale wells can truly make the “personal brand” outstanding to a potential employer.

For example, look at how another of my favorite blogs, “The Human Workplace”, puts an interesting spin on the ancient (moldy) resume using personal story:

There is an author and speaker I met at my job club, Lorn Epstein, who takes the personal story into the interview with flag flying excellence. One of his books is “You’re Hired!” on

I hated it when Lorn Epstein came to CNM (Career Network Ministries) in my neighborhood, Tysons, VA because good speaker/seminar leader Mr. Epstein invariably led a storytelling exercise. He would direct participants to create S.O.A.R. stories, or S.T.A.R. stories (Situation, Opportunity, Action, Result). These are non-fiction stories about accomplishments at work. Mine seldom made the cut because they usually began with a negative statement. In telling the personal story for the workplace, even ahes-on-the-head tradgedies should have a positive slant. Oh, yes–it goes beyond personality (introvert or extrovert) but has everything to do with knowledge and skill. The nature and acquisition of that skill is grist for more thoughts about the personal story.


Resume, Resume, Wherefore Art Thou, Resume?

Wherefore art thou, resume?

Wherefore art thou, resume?

Is it possible to add one more word on the blasted heaths about resumes?

Why, of course! Over the years resumes have morphed from roughly hacked tombstones into personal epics. Here’s what I mean: many folk take their names, contact information and data about all the jobs held, slap them on a nice piece of paper in crisply starched, latest fashionable language and call it a resume. Beware of unscrupulous resume writing professionals who do this too (and charge tall lettuce for it!). Feh! Boring,uninteresting, ineffective and just like all the thousands of others recruiters take a 5-second blink at. Having a resume that looks like all the others in the pile on a recruiter’s desk is the fastest way for it to get crumpled into a wastebasket ball.

Consider that the resume is only one move in the job mating dance. The dance is a series of steps calculated to move the seeker closer to the goal–the interview. That is exactly why a resume should be the most wonderful crown of feathers or the sweetest song or something that makes the dancer different and gets positive attention. Look at this: the very hottest place to “do your dance” these days is on a YouTube video. Some headdress!

The 21st century twist on the basic job search mating dance is the addition of social media to the marketing mix. That’s right: marketing mix. “Resume” can be interpreted, “sales brochure” because a job search is at its core a well thought out and executed marketing campaign. That makes the job seeker not only the product maker but the Project Manager as well.  So, today’s effective, hard-hitting job search campaign will include an updated resume, a clean Facebook view, a Twitter feed and a fully optimized LinkedIn profile. Add to that a website/online portfolio for artists and writers. Next time, how about a closer look at the challenges the “new job search” present and how to handle them?

A Home-made Resume

the attemps to do a new resume

produce of resume writing

Some of us must write our own resumes and that is no sin. Some of us are under severe financial duress in the search for new employment. There simply is no room in a poverty-level budget for a $100.00 plus professionally written resume. Food and shelter are more important right now. The best bet may be to locate a professional who will agree to do pro-bono work. Others of us are control freaks. Having decent writing ability and a bit of an eye for design, we prefer to meet the challenge of resume writing ourselves, but there are roadblocks along the way and a little help is appreciated.

Personally, I love telling stories but I hate writing about myself. Resumes, bios,


and Linked In profiles get “kinda funky” and I tend to procrastinate on doing these tasks because of left-over self-esteem issues. The last time I had my freshly done resume critiqued by a certain job board (which shall remain nameless to allow grace to the guilty) the agency told me in the comments that “if you were sushi, your resume presents you as “cold dead fish”.  The sting in the tail of professional resume writers I see advertising on line seems to be provoking anxiety by using a foreboding  undertone:   “don’t get caught presenting a ‘homemade’ resume’. This is not a job for amateurs.”

I put off doing it again.

Contact Information

There are a few items immediately below the owner’s name on that document that should be there no matter who does it: contact information. Many resumes hop, step and jump to the waste bin because of the lack of contact information. The ticket to the ball will never get to a person who does not say where the ticket should be delivered. Of course, there are folk on the pro-address side and the con-address side.

Many people, for various reasons including security concerns, residence in a place of incarceration, being in the process of relocation or fear an employer practices a 21st century form of “redlining” may be reluctant to declare an address. Nevertheless, there should be a way to get in touch. Special circumstances can be explained later.  Click on an interesting article below about email addresses from Brazen Careerist, a favorite blog of mine. Even if an applicant’s real present address is “in an old oak tree in the Hundred-Acre Woods”, in a spare bedroom at a friend’s home or in a local emergency shelter, real addresses,  real phone numbers and a businesslike email address are necessary.