Let’s Show Some Personality on Résumés

To show personality in client résumés, remember that words have power

Recently, a good friend of mine was transitioned out from her long-time corporate employer. Collaborating with her outplacement consultant, my friend created and polished up a new résumé. She then sent it to me and asked what I thought. The new résumé was pretty good, but something didn’t sit right with me, even after reading it over several times. For a couple of days, I tried to figure out why it left me feeling “blah.” Then it struck me. The résumé is BORING. My friend is brilliant, funny, and very accomplished, but her new résumé captured not even one fragment of her personality, her humour, her energy, or her unique “spark.” I think those things are important. I think employers think those things are important, too.

Our Clients Have Personality

In the world of career development, there’s often a tendency to focus solely on the hard skills, qualifications, and experience when crafting a résumé. While these elements are undeniably crucial, it’s equally essential to infuse résumés with a touch of personality. After all, your clients are not just a list of qualifications and experiences; each person is a unique individual with their own set of qualities and characteristics that can be leveraged to make them stand out from the crowd.

Employers, in their pursuit of the perfect candidate, have started to place greater value on the intangible qualities and traits that applicants bring to the table. The ability to connect with colleagues, inject positivity into a work environment, and even add a touch of humour to a team, are often invaluable assets. So, why should a résumé be a mere collection of facts and figures, devoid of the client’s personality?

The Benefits of Showing Personality in a Résumé

Let’s delve into the reasons why showing personality in your clients’ résumés matters in the competitive job market:

  • Capture the Hiring Manager’s Attention: Picture a hiring manager sifting through a stack of résumés, each one enumerating similar qualifications and experiences. Now, envision your client’s résumé; one that not only showcases their skills but also offers a glimpse of their personality. It’s more likely to catch the hiring manager’s eye and make a lasting impression.
  • Become Memorable: A résumé with personality is inherently more memorable. If a hiring manager can recall your client’s résumé among the sea of applications, they’re already one step closer to securing the job. The client’s unique traits can help them stand out and leave a lasting imprint.
  • Demonstrate Cultural Fit: In the modern job market, it’s not just about finding the most qualified candidate; employers are also keen on individuals who fit seamlessly into their organization’s culture. Personal traits can provide insights into your client’s potential alignment with the company’s values and work atmosphere.
  • Establish Rapport: The résumé serves as the first point of contact with a potential employer. A touch of personality can serve as an icebreaker, making the client’s job interview more comfortable and setting the stage for a personal connection.

Infuse Your Résumés with Personality and Professionalism

You might be wondering how to seamlessly incorporate your clients’ personalities into their résumés while maintaining professionalism. The key is to strike the right balance. Here are some practical strategies to achieve this:

  • Craft a Compelling Summary: Instead of a traditional objective statement, develop a summary that not only articulates your client’s professional objectives, but also reflects their personality.
  • Showcase Personal Achievements: Highlight personal accomplishments that showcase qualities like leadership, teamwork, or creativity. For example, you can mention a volunteering experience where the client organized a charity event or led a community project.
  • Engage with Vibrant Language: Encourage your clients to steer away from overly formal, clichéd, or robotic language. Write in a way that reflects their conversational and approachable side, while still remaining professional.
  • Narrate Success Stories: Instead of just listing accomplishments, narrate short stories that illustrate how your clients leveraged their skills to achieve concrete results. This makes their achievements more relatable and memorable.

Incorporating personality into a client’s résumé isn’t about overshadowing their qualifications, but rather enhancing their overall appeal. By doing so, you’re presenting a more comprehensive and compelling picture of your clients to potential employers. In the world of career development, authenticity and individuality are highly prized attributes. Your role as a résumé writer is to showcase not just your clients’ skills and accomplishments, but also the remarkable individuals who are behind those qualifications.

Learn More About Adding Power and Personality to Your Résumés

Here’s an older Forbes article that offers helpful ideas for incorporating some of a candidate’s personality into a résumé: Ten Ways to Add Power and Personality to Your Résumé

Do you have other ideas about how to showcase the human behind the résumé?

To learn more about résumé writing and to take your skills to the next level, consider taking CPC’s Advanced Résumé Development Program or CPC’s other leading edge résumé writing courses: Résumé Writing Essentials and Résumé Writing for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS). You can also work toward your Certified Résumé Strategist (CRS) or even the MCRS (Master Certified Résumé Strategist) designation. Boost your expertise and your credibility today!

Cathy Milton, after a long career in the telecommunications industry, embarked on the path to become a résumé writer. She has been a member of CPC for 10 years now, and has earned the MCRS, MCIS, MCCS, MCES, and MCWS designations. Cathy is a board member of CPC and the association’s Communications Manager. She is an avid sailor, a fairly decent cook, and active “pack member” in her pet menagerie.

Portions of this article include content modified from text generated by AI.

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