Who You Are, What You Do: Putting the ME in Resume
People want to know what you enjoy doing outside of work — don’t be afraid to tell them!
How workers relate to each other can make or break a business. A strong culture that leaves employees feeling valued, challenged and supported can be the difference between retaining top talent and losing out to competitors. People want to hire other people — your personality is at least as important as your competency (and studies show that they are intimately linked).
Thus, for hiring managers, what you do in your spare time is a big deal. The old model of recruitment can be quite reductive — a candidate distils their life into a resume, which is then glanced over and evaluated by a recruiter before (maybe) being passed on to a client. Businesses, having once shunned diversity, are now actively seeking it. You need to know your edge: what makes you different? The rules have changed (read here). Continue to play the old game at your own risk.
You might be wondering:
How am I possibly able to showcase everything that is unique about me in a 2-page resume? I’m not that interesting!
If you’ve ever felt like this, you are not alone. But fear not! Here are 5 tips for fitting ‘the real you’ into your resume.
1. Tell your story — who are you?
People are captivated by stories. In the attention economy, generic experiences and skills have become significantly devalued. A simple ‘list’ resume that blandly details your qualifications is dime-a-dozen and does nothing to differentiate you from other candidates with the same capabilities. Use LinkedIn to your advantage by connecting the ‘threads’ of your career. If you can find a way to interest a recruiter in the things you’ve done that make you different, you’re much more likely to find yourself in an interview!
These things don’t have to be exceptional — no employer expects you to explain your life like Slumdog Millionaire — but if you are a diehard motorsport fan, consider yourself a whiskey connoisseur, or enjoy reading French literature, don’t be afraid to let your prospective employer know! These are the small tidbits of information that fuel water-cooler conversations and make the office a more exciting and comfortable place. It is estimated that we will spend 80,000 hours working in our lifetime: that’s a lot of time to get to know the people around you and vice versa.
2. Capitalise on your passions!
Passion is a fantastic catalyst for action. When we are passionate about something, we are likely to enjoy working on it. Capitalising on your non-professional passions is a great way to gain professional experience in a controlled, safe environment. Whether that means turning your love of coffee into a side hustle at a cafe or managing an online community of local runners, consider how you can turn your passion into something larger than yourself.
Transforming a passion into an opportunity demonstrates an entrepreneurial flair that would excite any employer. Remember, the goal is to be surprising! Assume that everyone who applies to the role will have the necessary skills. It’s the other things on your resume that will determine how far you go in the hiring process.
3. Get involved in the community
As the old saying goes, your network is your net worth. Go out and meet some people! If you’re looking for a community to join in the digital industries, here are some of our favourites based in Brisbane:
- Women in Digital
- River City Labs
- ProductTank Brisbane
- CTO School
- Brisbane UX/UI Designers Club
- Fintech QLD
- LTP Events Brisbane
3. Engage in professional development
Professional development is great for two reasons:
- It provides you with invaluable skills that position you at the cutting edge of the industry. Things change quickly in tech — professional development can help you keep up!
- It signals to prospective employers that you are invested in your work and are genuinely passionate about the industry. Don’t be afraid to engage in courses that are slightly out of your field, as curiosity is a real asset in the evolving landscape of tech.
Once again, it’s important that you cultivate your curiosity. Find what you like to do and get better at it. The rewards will follow the work, and the work will follow the passion. General Assembly has some great tech-specific resources for those looking to upskill.
This leads me into my final tip…
4. Find a ‘job’ that fits who you are
It’s easy to fall into the trap of applying to a position because it has a fancy title or a jaw-dropping salary. These things are certainly important and should factor into your job application process, but they shouldn’t be what you are chasing. Don’t sell your happiness to please your ego — you’ll often find, after the honeymoon, that you underpriced it.
There are too many companies out there for you to settle for one that doesn’t appreciate your unique quirks. You wouldn’t wear a shoe that doesn’t fit, regardless of how stylish it was – why work a job that doesn’t let you be who you are?
If you would like personalised advice specific to your business or career, please reach out to the team! Whether you’re planning a career move, preparing for your next salary review or ready to hire, the team is ready and waiting in the wings to help you get from where you are to where you want to be in your career or business. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and the team will be in touch shortly.