Resumes and blind dates are more similar than you might think! (What? You’ve never compared the two?) The fear of the unknown, uncertainty, high expectations, nerves, letdowns . . . see what I mean? If you still don’t believe me read on to see how parallel they are to one another.
Exhibit 1 – Plan Ahead
Not having a plan for a date and not having a plan for your resume can lead to the same conclusion – disaster! Throwing your resume together at the last minute with little to no planning or forethought can leave your reader wondering what you were thinking when you submitted it for a job. Rushing through your resume preparation opens the doors for thoughtless mistakes, underselling your true qualifications, and leaving your reader with an overall poor impression of you. You never know when a job opportunity may present itself which is why it is essential to keep your resume in tip top shape at all times. This way you will only have to make minimal adjustments to tailor it to the position rather than creating it completely from scratch and trying to remember all of the particulars of your career history and past positions.
Exhibit 2 – Keep an Open Mind
When it comes to a blind date you may be presented with an individual that at first glance doesn’t meet your expectations; too tall, too short, etc. But when approached with an open mind you may be pleasantly surprised with what you find. The same is true for your resume. If you’ve been using the same resume over and over and haven’t been receiving the response you had hoped for it may be time to try something new. A new format, content, font, or approach may be just what you need to re-energize a job search. It is often hard for job seekers to stray from the familiarity of their resume and they may be reluctant to try something new. By keeping an open mind and trying a new approach you may find you have been limiting your opportunities in the past.
Exhibit 3 – Watch What You Say
You know how annoying it is when you’re on a date and all the person can talk about is himself? You’re often left thinking, “Hey, what about me?”. The same holds true for your resume. Of course you obviously are going to be promoting yourself but how you do that is the key. You never want to start your resume with an objective statement; when it comes to your resume you don’t want to begin with a statement that says what you want, instead you need to make your value clear to an employer by showing them what you can do for them. Another thing to avoid is writing your resume in the first person; this means no I statements, it may not be your intention but using I repeatedly may be interpreted as selfish.
With a little planning, a willingness to try something new, and the ability to connect with your audience you can find success with both your resume and a blind date. And you didn’t think they had anything in common!
by Megan Koehler