UPDATED ON 12/9/2021
Don’t cut yourself short by not acknowledging what you actually did
Over two years ago, I was scouring an online freelance platform for a data analyst project. But the projects either involve data entry or something way beyond my abilities. So I stared at the screen, wondering what else I could offer. I thought, “Well, I’ve done writing work professionally before…”, so I entered “writing” into the search bar, and out of the blue, I saw posting after posting of clients looking for someone else to write their resumes for them.
That was the start of Sunbreak Resumes.
But that also got me curious.
What makes a resume so excruciating to write?
I assessed my own journey. For me, I always had a difficult time deciding what and how much information to include. Self-doubt aside, my challenge was about concise writing that fit everything I wanted in two pages while remaining readable.
I then googled to see what other job applicants’ pain points were when it came to their resumes.
It comforted me to know that the first distress bothered others as well: concise writing.
It’s the second thing I noticed that surprised me a little, although it was easy to understand since I had — and still have— the same problem.
I and countless people hate to brag.
To me, bragging means sugarcoating. To make myself sound three steps ahead of everyone else, as though I’m the center of the world. In fact, the Oxford dictionary defines the word brag as “to say something in a boastful manner” and boastful means “showing excessive pride and self-satisfaction in one’s achievements, possessions, and abilities”.
And for a lot of us humble, modest folks, it sure feels like having to exaggerate or overpromise, which can pressure us to make stuff up so that we sound valuable to recruiters and hiring managers.
But who says we need to brag on our resumes to make ourselves sound valuable?
To make ourselves sound valuable and important on our resumes means acknowledging our facts.
IT’S NOT BRAGGING IF WHAT YOU ARE TELLING ARE FACTS!
And what are considered facts?
- Characteristics about your companies, departments, or teams
- Characteristics about the achievements by your companies, departments, or teams
- Professional individual characteristics about you
- Characteristics about your projects or tasks
- Characteristics about your achievements and results
- Purpose/objectives of your projects or tasks
That last bullet is one that most people forget.
It’s the purpose or objectives that tells you WHY your projects or tasks exist, and it’s the WHY that shows you are valuable. Otherwise, if there were no reason for your project or task, then why do they exist in the first place? Why does your role exist in the first place?
If your role has no reason to exist, then why does your boss keep paying you to stay there?!
So these are facts! Not fiction. Therefore, not bragging!
If you don’t know why your project or task exists, ask the person who assigned you the work. In fact, just the act of asking shows that you care.
If nobody knows why, then this likely presents an opportunity to question upper management, take initiative to create a better solution, and propose that solution which now does have a reason to exist.
So when you walk into your office or write your resume, you can proudly proceed with your head held high. And that’s not bragging.
If you think you need some help with that, don’t hesitate to book your free consultation here.