Are you struggling with what to write on your resume? Would you like some help?
As a Manager, when I was reading through hundreds of resumes to fill a job vacancy, everyone’s experiences, skills, and education all seem to look the same after a while. Armed with a commitment for finding a shining diamond of a staff member to help the team, an iced coffee in one hand, and the mouse clicking, “next” in the other, it can become a hopeless endeavour sometimes. While the hiring manager’s job can be less than glamourous at times, I recognised that the job of the candidate's is equally as soul destroying. Applying for job after job, searching through Seek and LinkedIn for hours on end, and receiving robotic, generic email replies and no useful feedback is frustrating. So, how can we help both parties connect and ensure you are matched together?
On your resume, your personality helps the reader trust you. Who are you? What makes you unique? What gets you out of bed every morning? What are the little things that make you different from the next person? These are the things that will help you to stand out in your resume. In Catherine Searl’s book, "How to Have a Midlife Crisis," there are the ten lifestyle types which you may fall into; the Provider, Adventurer, Corporate, Bohemian, Creative, Socialite, Activist , Academic, Technician or Nature-lover. Of course, you may overlap into a few different categories, however, each lifestyle option will contain relevant tidbits that you can add to your resume, that will elevate the words on the page from the hiring manager muttering, “same, same, same” to YOU STAND OUT!
Do you get job satisfaction from making people happy?
If you said, “YES!” It sounds like you fall into the Provider category!
Famous Providers: Princess Diana, Ina Garten, and the Dalai Lama
In a professional sense, Providers are a benefit in a team or customer service environment as they enjoy creating a happy, friendly environment. They may have a soft spot for animals or helping vulnerable people in need, such as individuals with a disability, children or youth, even people experiencing homelessness, illnesses, or domestic violence. Types of jobs that a Provider will feel valued in include teaching, cooking and catering, medical health, holistic health, counselling or social working, pastoral care roles, or jobs caring for animals. In your resume, it would be good to highlight your strengths in conflict management, mediation, or dispute resolution as Providers are peacemakers. In your employment section, highlight a time when you have deescalated an emotional situation by listening to all perspectives to maintain happy, stable, and calm working environments.
Do you get job satisfaction from being outdoors?
If you enjoy creating memorable experiences of travel, being in or around natural elements, exploring, learning, experiencing new or foreign things, and physically active pursuits, then you are an Adventurer!
Famous Adventurers: Amelia Earhart; Gertrude Bell; Freya Stark; Ellen MacArthur; Bear Grylls; Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Adventurers can be daydreamers, hate routines, and do not like being tied down to a desk. So, if you relate to this category and are applying for an office-based role, you may want to reconsider. To gain job satisfaction, you will need a sense of freedom or heightened sensory stimulation. On your resume, it would be good to point out your ability to be brave, curious, competitive, and not afraid to try new things. Due to your strengths in being able to adapt more easily to change than other types, it would be beneficial to highlight areas in your professional experience where you have initiated continuous improvement or your ability to adapt easily to different environments.
Some downsides to being an Adventurer is the tendency to see yourself as your own competition, needing to beat your own high standards, and set tough challenges. As a hiring manager, if you list these types of qualities in your resume repetitively, you may come across as egotistical on paper, so definitely tone down the achievements!
Alternatively, you may be a Nature-Lover, someone who finds job satisfaction in appreciating and feeling connected to the beauty of the natural world.
Famous Nature-Lovers: Orla Kiely; Ray Mears; David Bellamy; India Hicks
Like the Adventurer, they love being outdoors in the fresh air, soaking up the wonders of nature. If you resonate with the Nature-Lover category, in your resume, highlight your ability to appreciate the aesthetic qualities of nature, such as the textures, colours, scents and sights. Additionally, you may want to add strengths in having attention to detail, passions in protecting the environment or outline your intricate knowledge of plants, animals, insects, trees, clouds, or rocks or collecting natural artefacts, such as shells, stones, or fossils.
Jobs that suit a Nature-Lover include marine biologists, park ranger, nursery assistance, grounds person, or tour guide. Steer away from mining or anything which does not have a sustainability aspect of the role.
Do you love being part of something more important and bigger than yourself?
You may not know it yet, perhaps you are studying or early in your career, but there is something magical that happens when you work together as a group and solve wicked problems. Wicked problems often crop up when organisations have to face constant change or unprecedented challenges. If this sounds like something that you want to be a part of, then you are a Corporate!
Famous Corporates: Cheryl Sandberg, Richard Branson, Richard Hammond and Sean Astin
On your resume, highlight your qualities in being easy-going, inclusive, and diplomatic, including your ability to excel in working as an active team member, discussing options with likeminded people, and thriving when in pursuit of achieving common goals or interests. Furthermore, elaborate on your ability to appreciate the unique values, skills, and expertise that individuals can offer the team or project, including your strengths in advocating for diversity and inclusion.
One of the downsides to being a Corporate, is you don’t feel job satisfaction when you need to work alone. So, if you are applying for a job where you don’t have the great camaraderie of a team environment around you to help get you motivated, you may struggle or feel burnt out. Additionally, you may find, if others are not pulling their weight or bring disharmony and conflict to the group, you will have the courage to speak out about it, therefore, you are well suited to supervisory or management positions.
If you not feeling the attraction towards the Corporate, you may be more aligned a Socialite, someone who is a people-person who loves interacting with LOTS of people, at once!
Famous Socialites: David Frost, Mark Zuckerberg, and Oprah Winfrey
This category is not suited to introverts who shy away from attention as they get excited about meeting new people, mingling in large crowds, finding out new and interesting things, and gravitate towards quickly getting past the superficial chit-chat to learn what people really think, feel, and believe. If this is where you excel, on your resume, share your ability to have deep, insightful, and meaningful conversations with people to determine the root causes of issues.
On a professional level, you want to steer away from being stuck in a job which doesn’t involve people contact, or more specifically where you can’t have meaningful conversations with people. For this reason, jobs that are well suited to Socialites include ones where they can give their time generously in fostering connections.
What cause are you passionate about?
Would you like to make a difference in the world? Perhaps the thought of dying without leaving behind a legacy is something that keeps you awake at night. If this echoes your thoughts, then you are an Activist!
Famous Activists: Martin Luther King Junio, Linda McCartney, and Anita Roddick
On your resume, highlight your shared sense of achievement in leaving the world a better place than what you found it, including your ability to see and advocate for injustice, inequality, or wrongdoing where others may not have the courage to do so. Furthermore, elaborate on your ability to have a big impact and inspire like-minded people to take collective action, your negotiation skills, and expertise in driving systemic change that you can offer the team.
When Activists work with others who complement their skills, they become a powerhouse for positive, collective change. However, one of the obstacles for an Activist to overcome, is they often don’t understand why others don’t feel as emotionally connected to a cause as they do. So, if you are applying for a job where there are no likeminded people around you to share your passion, you may become very frustrated. Additionally, you may find colleagues or grateful beneficiaries of your action will become your biggest advocates. When this happens, your sense of job satisfaction skyrockets!
Do you wear your heart on your sleeve?
Do you find yourself getting lost in intense emotions? If you answered, “Yes!” it sounds like you are a Bohemian!
Famous Bohemians: Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, and Keith Richards
On your resume, highlight your abilities to wholeheartedly embrace a meaningful goal, whether it be a humanitarian or charitable cause, including your ability to articulate your ideas, express your intent, and be spontaneous which leads to opportunities for innovation and continuous improvement. Furthermore, elaborate on your ability to share emotional connections with others, teamwork skills, and expertise that you can offer the team.
One of the drawbacks of being a Bohemian is being a frequent “job hopper”. In an "MIT Technology Review,“ Employee retention is a huge focus for many companies… given the costs of high employee churn (is) estimated at 16% of the cost of each employee’s salary.” So, if you are applying for a job where your peers around you have a lack of inhibition, you need to “settle down” or there are many rules that inhibit your ability to exercise your emotions, you may find the role frustrating. Alternatively, you may find it deeply rewarding to work in such areas as arts, entertainment, tourism, or community development where you can build social connections, exercise your creative talents, and have a sense of freedom. When interviewing for a role, use this as an opportunity to interview the company as well. That way, you can commit to the role for at least three years.
Have you been told you have an overactive imagination?
Would you love to see the things you have imagined turn into a reality? If this accurately reflects you, then you are a Creative!
Famous Creatives: Beethoven, Virginia Woolf, Banksy, Adele, and Zaha Hadid
On your resume, highlight your talents in getting into a creative flow and qualities in being an idea generator or problem-solver, including your ability to turn a customer’s anger into gratitude. Furthermore, elaborate on your ability to take great satisfaction from the process of creation, being creative, as well as the skills, and expertise and know-how that you can offer the team, including your strengths in imagining something and then implementing it in a way which will benefit the business.
A shortcoming to being a Creative, is you prefer to work on your own rather than within a team and you greatly appreciate the aesthetic qualities of the finished product. So, if you are applying for a job where quantity is highly regarded over quality or the aesthetic qualities of the finished product are not appreciated, you may find you will struggle with emotional burnout. Additionally, if the role is hugely systemised, good enough is all your strive for, or you do not get a chance to work on your own ideas, you may feel disheartened. On the flip side, you may find, you are your own worst critic and the actual reality doesn’t match up to the imagined, therefore, a good mentor will be exactly what you need to check in with realism every now and again. Roles you would be well suited to include, a digital marketer, architect, business mentor, choreographer, artist or writer positions.
Do you have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and learning?
Do you possess an unyielding passion for making meaningful discoveries and sharing them with humanity? If the thought of endless possibilities, research, and the smell of books resonate with you, then you are an Academic!
Famous Academics: J K Rowling, Alain de Botton, Maya Angelou, Albert Einstein and Steven Hawking
On your resume, underscore your unique passion and conviction to make the world a better place. Elaborate your skills in problem-solving and critical analysis in specific fields of study. Furthermore, bring out your passion for research, innovation, and specialised expertise that you can contribute to the team, including your strengths in reasoning, evaluation, and information-backed decision making.
One of the downsides of being an Academic is your tendency to be quite reserved and introverted. Yes, you enjoy working independently and taking measured and strategic steps to implement change but you also have a tendency to be an emotionally distant perfectionist. So, if you’re applying for a job where you are faced with constant spontaneity and social interaction, you may find yourself emotionally and physically drained most of the time. Additionally, if the position requires you to do mundane and routine tasks, you may feel a little dispirited, or worse, frustrated. After all, you are obsessed with ideas, growth and improvement! And so, the best careers for you are roles that involve reporting and problem-solving like Actuaries, Accountants, Solicitors, Software engineers, and Physicians.
Do you like organisation, problem-solving, and rules?
Are you the type to get something done, no matter the personal cost? A sharp, fact-based mind who prefers autonomy and self-sufficiency? If you uphold personal integrity above all else and you gush over key details, established rules, and guidelines, then you are a Technician!
Famous Technicians: Marie Curie, Jane Goodall, Steve Wozniak, and Margaret Thatcher
On you resume, highlight your qualities in creating order out of chaos, including your ability to process large amounts of information and get everything in some kind of systematic order, whether it is physical things or numbers on a spreadsheet. After all, you are a person who loves to be busy, work methodically, and has brilliant attention to detail. Your personal mantra goes along the lines of, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” Furthermore, elaborate on your ability to remain task-focused and solve problems in a clear and orderly way, offering your strengths to establish stability to your team and achieve goals with clear-cut and pre-determined outcomes.
One of the downsides of being a Technician is your fear of spontaneity and your dependence on rigid plans and schedules. You are a perfectionist to the core! So, if you are applying for a job that requires flexibility and quick decision making, you may feel frustrated and disappointed. Additionally, your performance may be negatively affected by other team members who lack focus, thoroughness, and accountability in their work. So, while modelling efficiency and dependability, you may find that you are best suited for roles that involve doing logical tasks in a productive and organised work environment like Business Analysts, Accountants, Military officers, and Quality inspectors.