I’m a professional resume writer. This means that basically, all day long, I tell my clients’ stories. It’s an amazing job that I truly love. So far, so good, right?
I write each resume from scratch and always go through a drafting process with my clients. And sometimes we bump heads. Just yesterday, I was working with an amazing marketing manager who had taken the last year of from work to care for her elderly parents. As a Gen X’er myself, I totally empathize. My own folks are in their late 70s and are no walk in the park. (Thank goodness they don’t read my blogs.)
Anyway, here’s the issue at hand….
I made the strategic choice to go a bit tongue in cheek when explaining the gap on her resume, writing that serving as caregiver for her elderly parents was “similar to herding cats.”
My client wasn’t on board until I told her how amazingly well a bit of levity works on a resume. Here’s why:
- It’s unexpected – and the unexpected often triggers a deeper read
- A bit of humor shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously
- You’ll demonstrate humanity and might just hit a chord and resonate with the hiring manager
- It shows that you aren’t boring – and the hiring manager sifting through a mountain of resumes is probably bored to tears
- You won’t fade away into the rest of the resume stack
- It will weed out employers that want to hire robots (you don’t want to work there anyway)
Is this approach risky? Probably. Is it better to be fully yourself at all times, even on paper? Absolutely. Personally, I’d rather work for an employer that values independent thinking rather than one that prefers cookie cutter employees. In fact, I’ve actually had multiple clients hired ON THE SPOT at job fairs by using this strategy.
Be bold. Your career deserves it.