“Put a personal goal statement at the top of your resume? How can you do this if you don’t even know what the job is you’re applying for?” This was the question my amazing wife, Cassie, asked me the other day as we ran to the grocery store for a few things. I had been talking earlier with an amazingly talented friend of mine that is in the process of making a career move. During our conversation, we hit on a few key tops that pertained to his resume, one of which was the goal statement and Cassie wanted to know why I had recommended this to him.
Let me just say right out of the gate that I am not a resume expert, but I do know what I would look for if I were hiring for a position on the team I work with and Cassie’s question illustrates a key point – there is a difference between those who are looking for a job and those who are strategically shaping their careers. If you fall into the first camp, you probably won’t have a vision or goal statement at the top of your resume. Those in the latter camp are interested in honing their skill sets and becoming masters of their craft. One has no idea where she is going; the other has a plan and is going to do whatever it takes to get there. For me, it is an easy decision to make.
But there is a bigger problem with resumes – they don’t allow you to show who you are, what you are truly capable, and, unless you break all the rules, there is not an ounce of personality in a resume. So, break the rules. Here are some things to consider:
- Are you looking for a job or are you interested in shaping your career?
- Do you really need a resume?
- Do you want to work for an employer that is stuck in a 20th Century mindset?
What can you do instead?
- First, figure out where you want to go and head in that direction.
- Develop your elevator speech or personal sales pitch.
- If you are interviewing with an employer that requires you to turn in a resume, spend the time necessary to shape the resume into something that allows you to tell your story and make sure you include ways point the interview toward your online presence.
- Build an online platform. Whether it is a blog or webpage, you need to have a presence on the Web. Why? First, it shows that you have an understanding of the tools that are relevant in today’s business world and 2) you will have a way to actually tell your story in a much broader way than you ever could on a single sheet of paper.
This is what I would look for as I sat down to interview someone. If you are interested in learning more about this topic, I’d recommend reading Dan Schawbel’s post about this subject.