How to Write Your Résumé — Without Sounding Like You’re Showing Off

CV or résumé writing has proven to be a daunting process over the course of time, seen from the significant amount of information out there revolving around them. It is also one of the toughest things to do to analyze that information for proper résumé writing. When you however get it right, you might then be faced with the dilemma of having it either not good enough, or too good. You either sold yourself short, or you were, for lack of a better word, bragging.

Selling yourself short is one thing, which you could possibly work out, but sounding like you’re showing off, is yet a whole other story. “Why does it sound like I’m bragging on my résumé, yet I’m just calling a spade a spade?”

Yes, you are right in worrying about that, because no employer prefers Mr. ‘smarty pants’ on their team. Employers prefer someone willing to learn, and humble enough to accept mistakes and learn from them, over the typical “I know it all; been there, done that” employee. Don’t get it wrong though; knowledge and experience is paramount, but how you express them is even more key. How would you take someone who tells it to your face that everybody loves them and they are perfect, over someone who just does their work then leaves you to make the judgement? For the record, bragging only shows your level of confidence, or lack thereof. Confident people don’t praise themselves or tell you how awesome they are; they let you conclude on what to think about them.

With that said therefore, writing your résumé  by telling your story is way better than you telling the reader what you think about yourself. Let them decide for themselves if your accomplishments make you a top performer rather than using the cliché, “I am a top performer who is results-oriented”. Simply share your previous accomplishments and leave it at that.

Again, it is preferable to leave the “I am a canny, outstanding, etc.…” part of your résumé out of the way. Instead, tell your simple ground-breaking story and let them decide if you’d be outstanding in their world or not. The reader does not know you; why should they trust what you say about yourself? Telling your story on the contrary tells its own story. They will get what they need to know and make their judgement from that. Not everyone will get you, and that’s fine. Only those who deserve you will.

Another cliché in résumé’s is the statement, “I am looking to make a difference in your organization”, or something similar to that. Not to say that it is a wrongfully placed one, but there could be alternatives. You could opt out of what everyone else is doing/writing. Instead, giving your résumé readers the impression that you are passionate about the same things they are, is way better.

Remember; you have just about two options. You either sell yourself and hope the stranger reading will buy you, or you buy your reader’s attention by selling them your simple but outstanding story, and give them a read they won’t forget in a while.

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