Is your resume as interesting as this movie summary?
Transported to a surreal landscape, a young girl kills the first woman she meets and then teams up with three complete strangers to kill again. (Marin County’s newspaper listing for The Wizard of Oz)
Headlines sell newspapers. Short, bold, snappy paragraphs suck you in. Then advertisers convince you that you will be inferior without their help. Sounds like the perfect resume to me.
Grab a newspaper. The columns are under 3 inches wide. Paragraphs are short. They are written at a fifth grade reading level. All of these things make them easy to digest. They don’t challenge a reader’s skill. They soothe your eyes and intellect.
Notice the headline in your newspaper, an attention grabbing subject. Now just read the title of every story. The titles entice you to read the first sentence. The first sentence gives you enough information that your curiosity makes you finish the first paragraph.
Newspapers aren’t mystery stories. Newspapers are written in a top down style. You should be able to stop after the first paragraph and know the critical facts of the story. The next paragraph clarifies a detail. Each succeeding paragraph clarifies another detail.
Is your resume written like a newspaper? Can a secretary see in 10 seconds that you are qualified? Can she pick it back up and see you have some depth with a 45 second read? When she passes it to the hiring manager will he decide it is worth keeping after his 10 second review?
Your resume only has one job, to get you an interview. Do the headlines and titles sell? Do short, bold, snappy paragraphs suck you in? Does your resume convince the hiring manager that you alone can get him his next bonus? Is your resume doing its job?
Something To Do Today
Grab a newspaper. Notice how you read it. Where do your eyes naturally focus? What tricks do the editors use? How do advertisers get you to focus on the ads? Can you use any newspaper techniques in your resume?