What Makes a Résumé Successful?

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There are many diverse ideas about what makes a résumé successful. People can be very dogmatic about what to do and what not to do when preparing a résumé . There are many different résumé styles. There are chronological, topical, and functional résumé approaches. Of course the final judge of what make a résumé successful lies in the perception of our marketplace and our prospective interviewers.

When I listen to all these rationales, I call to mind a story I once heard about an old man, a little boy, and a donkey. On their tiring journey, they began with the old man riding the donkey and the little boy walking. Onlookers criticized the old man for making the little boy walk. So the old man dismounted and placed the little boy on the donkey. Again, people criticized the little boy for making the old man walk. So the old man decided that both he and the little boy would ride the donkey. Onlookers now complained that the old man and the little boy were overloading the donkey. So they dismounted and all three continued on their journey. And you probably guessed it, people then ridiculed them for walking when they had a donkey to ride! So what is the point of this somewhat tiresome story? The reality is that we need to do what best suits us, what makes us most comfortable, and what gets us to our destination! The journey could be completed in any number of ways. But feeling good about the journey and how we do things is vital.

While there are many different styles and approaches to creating a résumé , I have found that the most important key to success lies with proving our value, stating our accomplishments, and differentiating ourselves in our marketplace. We must show our reader how we can bring value to them. We must avoid the terrible pitfall of describing our job instead of demonstrating how we excel at doing our job! We must in other words fill our résumé with accomplishment-rich content.

If we do this we will have a successful résumé that will bring us to our destination, capture our readers attention and respect, and invite the interviews we earnestly seek.

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