My first recommendation is to seek out a copywriter like me to help you wow your list of prospective employers. But if you are more of a DIY-er, then I challenge you to craft your new edition of your resume with a different approach. Consider taking yourself through an alternative thought process, different from what has become the norm, as you do your best to shine in black and white.
Think about this for a moment: organizations come into existence because a need becomes evident and turns into their mission. To successfully fulfill their mission and achieve the resulting vision they see, these organizations map out a detailed plan that includes objectives, goals, and timelines. So I say to you, why not look at your professional life in the very same manner? Here’s what I mean:
First, take some time to consider and clearly define your professional mission. Focus on you, tune out the other voices that tell you what you should do or who you should be. Who do you want to be? What do you want to do? What needs do you see in your world that you can satisfy?
Consider what your life would look like if you successfully fulfilled your professional mission. Allow yourself to fully explore this vision you have for your life, let it encompass you, understand its importance in staying true to yourself, then place it at the forefront of all your thoughts and actions.
Once you have a clearly developed mission and the vision in your mind for what your life would look like once this mission was fulfilled, you then have the ability to write a clear and unique career objective. Every resume should have a clearly stated career objective at its beginning. Your career objective should be a summary of the plan you have developed for fulfilling your career mission and vision.
Now here’s the real challenge…all the other elements that follow on the page after the career objective are then detailed in terms of how they supported your declared career objective, in other words, how they moved you closer toward the vision you have of professional success.
And if there are jobs you’ve had that you find just don’t fit into your overall vision, then you shouldn’t put too much in black and white about them.
Keep in mind that who you worked for and when is not nearly as important as what skills and knowledge you acquired while there. I have rewritten countless resumes where the emphasis (bold font, italics, larger font size) was placed on the name of the company and the dates of employment. The position title and the work performed were given much less emphasis.
Your resume is a tool for you to use to show potential employers why they simply must talk to you further. You are obligated to show them that you have put some serious thought into this, that you are on a mission, that you have a vision for your successful self. Focus on what you can bring to them and why you want to be there and you’re sure to stand out in full color in the monochromatic sea they are sifting through to find you.