I often get asked the question, “How much effort should I put into my resume to make it more personal?”
It’s a really good question because there are personal traits about us that get missed in resumes. Too often resumes are written in such a boring and bland manner, focusing solely on high work achievements and strong occupational skills, forgetting to portray who you really are. So who are you really? Everyone has a different side to them and that is what makes us different. Sometimes the workplace culture puts you in an environment where it creates, an artificial you. We are playing a part, trying to fit-in, and modelling to suite the perfect organisational fit. However, does it come naturally to you and if I met you jogging on the beach, is that how you would present yourself…your true self?
There are three events that occur with your resume when applying for a job that may impact on your personal profile;
- Not all recruiters care about you personal achievements and some may not even read the last page of your resume where usually your personal achievements, hobbies and other interests are noted
- Whether a recruiter will spend time reviewing the personal achievements on your resume will depend on the volume of recruitment they are processing and the type of job you have applied for
- Personal traits come into play further down the track when you are at the shortlist stage and when the hiring manager imposes his views and values around the candidate in trying to determine fit for the organisation.
My approach to resume writing is to note personal high achievements in your resume for a number of reason. They provide a snap shot of who you are outside of work, your values and what you stand for. It may provide an insight into the person that we often don’t see in a controlled workplace culture…who you really are.
So what are good examples of personal high achievements? They can be a number of things and there is no limit. The only rule to observe is that the personal achievement must be significant enough to get noticed and normally related to a milestone achieved in the community and outside of work.
- Are you the president or secretary of a successful sporting organisation that competes at the highest level in its code
- Have you published a book and have achieved status as an author
- Do you compete at a high level representing your State or Country in sport or any other activity
- Have you been involved in missionary or voluntary work to support the disadvantaged, whether at home or outside your country
- Have you raised money for charity that attracted media attention for your efforts
- Have you received an honor or merit from Government and been recognized for a significant achievement to the community
There is much more I could add to this list as long as it follows the golden rule that the personal achievement must be significant enough to be noticed. So be creative and don’t be afraid to list your significant personal achievements on your resume. We are not just creatures of our work based environment and organisational cultures but also real people with our own unique personalities, belief systems and values. That’s what makes us who we are.