Why a successful résumé depends on the reader’s experience more than you realize

To elaborate, most people start writing their résumé by looking for a template to use.

Google gets 450,000 searches per month on the term “résumé template,” 50,000 more for “résumé format,” and hundreds of thousands more for similar keywords.

Sadly, letting format drive your résumé almost guarantees you a dull, annoying result that gets tossed onto the reject pile. This is because starting with a template emphasizes form over function, which works against your reader.

Rather than starting with form, which most people do, let’s consider your reader’s experience, or the motivations and feelings elicited when a hiring manager goes through your résumé.

  • Start with content résumé reviewers want to see
  • What is storyline? What’s the thread that ties everything in career together? Are there any plot twists?
  • What will make their résumé the most compelling?
  • Prioritize high-impact experience and accomplishments
  • Envision how simply and elegantly I can tell story

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