Don't Fill a Resume, Create it!

April 5, 2013 By Katherine Burik

Seth Godin, noted marketing expert, had another fascinating blog, Create a vacuum, don’t fill it. He points out that it is “tempting to sell with bullet points and an overwhelming amount of data.” But it is not the data that sells. It is the story that sells.

Finding a job is about telling your story in a compelling fashion that makes your story compelling.

I have a number of clients right now in the midst of their job search. In their struggles they reached out to me. A look at their resume showed lots of bullets describing what they did in their last jobs. The titles match the jobs they seek, sort of. But the resume and their LinkedIn pages are bland, lifeless.

Nothing about the paper matches the fascinating individuals I spoke to. Nothing about their personality or stories leaps out to even intrigue potential employers. And they are stuck. I believe selling themselves “with bullet points and an overwhelming amount of data” is related to their stuck job searches.

I find a correlation to running my own business. We had a website with lots of information, tons of bullets to prove how smart, experienced, and energetic we are. But none of that matters unless I connect with someone. Until I connect with someone I am just one in a million other folks with websites and bullet points.

I am nothing without sharing my story. My story is more than a website, more than a bunch of bullets. My stories demonstrate what I can do for you.

We added a marketing expert recently who showed us how to make our case more compelling. We changed our website to highlight the stories. We helped hundreds and hundreds of people over the last eight years. Now the website shares our stories. Now people begin to take notice. The reaction has been immediate. Go figure.

Job search is marketing. In the same way that bullets and information on my website did not show me off at my best advantage, my clients will only attract attention when they share their stories. The stories are compelling. The stories make the difference.

How are you describing yourself? Bland bullet points of information? Or does your resume and LinkedIn profile tell the story of how you solve problems or fill a vacuum.

What story are you trying to tell?