Thursday, October 09, 2014

Why is Resume Writing so Difficult for so Many People?


This is a question I pondered for many years before slowing down to formally develop a resume writing methodology that would open interview doors for my clients.  I didn’t just sit in my bubble coming up with my best opinionated ideas on the topic.

I went out to some of my clients, other recruiters, other people like myself who have reviewed tens of thousands of technology resumes over 20+ years.  From these people, I gathered points of view with regards to what might make a resume “great”.  Great in this case means that I wanted to help my clients create resumes that would rise above the noise and generate interview opportunities.

With this information in hand, I then sat down and reverse engineered the outcomes everyone had shared with me to determine what needed to be in a resume to make it clean, clear, logical and targeted to a desired audience.  I asked myself how I could help my technology clients to create resumes that business people would understand. 

After doing all this due-diligence, I experienced a light bulb moment and I realized why writing resumes was so difficult for most technologically gifted people.  A technology professional’s resume has to speak in business language, technology language and there also needs to be a little bit of creative writing mixed in all at the same time.

We know from our Strenghts Coaching client’s assessments that technology professionals are usually heavily gifted with analytical traits and strengths.  If they’ve grown up on a technology career path, this idea of writing about business accomplishments and business value, while necessary, does not generally make sense to a technology professional until the concept is explained.

When I mention creative writing, I’m not talking about slick, fancy or gimmicky.  I am however talking about adding enough creativity to the strategy with which a resume is built to make it palatable for and even interesting to the resume’s audience.

It is not a weakness to not be a gifted writer if you’re a gifted technologist.  It is only a weakness when the gifted technologist fails to recognize that they do not possess great writing skills and then they aren’t able to get out of their own way to get help.


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