Why We Shouldn’t Write Our Resumes

Just light it up

We all go through feeling down sometimes, especially when we’re trying to find a job and improve our lives from what we know. Life can just suck. People are mean, we beat ourselves up, we regret our reactions or lack thereof, and we beat ourselves up again. That may just be me but I doubt it.

You’re probably thinking, “Jeez, Molly, thanks for the pick-me-up.” Bear with me. It gets better.

What valid question you will probably be asking next is what this has to do with resume-writing. I’ll explain.

The act of sitting down and summing up your achievements, qualifications, and experience in attempt to land a job worthy of you is daunting in the least. Unless you’re someone who has won a trophy for every breathing moment of your life, you probably don’t think of most of what you do as something you do well. You probably assume that getting something done is what you’re just supposed to do instead of you doing something successfully.

Finishing those reports on time, showing up when no one else did, or running a household are things you just do. Quantifying those things on paper, and thereby patting yourself on the back, for something you see as normal, must-do behavior can seem excessively grandiose and congratulatory.

It’s not excessive, but, if you’re like me and like a lot of us, our biggest critic is our own mind; talking down our achievements or flat-out ignoring the successes we’ve made. What we see as “getting it done because we have to” can be and should be viewed as “getting things done successfully.” Most of the time we don’t.

A resume is a marketing tool. You’re marketing yourself, but if marketing yourself is something you don’t think you’re worthy of doing, writing a resume can be an exercise in frustration. And it shows. Because most of us are inherently bad at even knowing what we’re good at.

Everyone can use some help in drawing out/directing/bringing-to-light in order to quantify all the amazing things we do every day. We need help in remembering that time no manager was on duty but we solved that crisis anyway. We need help in reminding ourselves about all that time we stayed late to digitize that antiquated paper-based system on our own. We need a kick-in-the-pants to boast that we fed and clothed a family of six within a tiny budget month after month with room to spare.

And why no one should write their own resume. In the end, you are, of course, responsible for your own final content and writing, but most of us would benefit greatly with help. Often it takes someone outside of ourselves to show us how our everyday tasks are really milestone successes.

Not everyone can do what we do yet, we assume, not only that they can but that they do it better. It’s simply not true. We are successful and we’re good at what we do. We just don’t know it yet.

Stay tuned…

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