August 5, 2014
By: Kate Schroeder @kschroeds7
Resume building and writing cover letters has to be the most daunting and dreadfully boring tasks of the job or internship search process. Personally, I would rather sit in an extra hour of interviews than to summarize my skills on an 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. However, this process still stands as one of the most important in the application process. I admit I am not an expert; I still reference my how to guides and our awesome ImPRessions blog for hints and tips. Nevertheless, using the cut-and-dry formats and the basic structures I realized that none of my personality was shining through. How are future employers going to know who I am and how I can better there company without being creative and expressive? This is why I believe that putting personality in your resume is the secret ingredient to go from a contender to “I got the job!”
So why do we need to put personality into a resume? Don’t employers just want to see if you have the necessary skills to do the job well? Well yes … and no. It is essential to have the skill set to be successful at the job you are applying for. It is also important to show you fit into the job you are applying for. Employers are looking for someone who is going to better their company and enhance their employee atmosphere. Are you an outgoing person, or are you quiet and reserved? If your personality shines through your resume, you will be more likely to be asked back for an interview. Also, it’s a benefit to you. You want to be sure you get a position at a company is right for you!
You may ask, “But how do I put my personality into my resume? Where is there room?” The biggest opportunity for showcasing your personality is through the design of your resume. I try and re-design my resume for each position I apply for (granted I have the time). Have one basic resume you can hand out on the fly that best describes your personality through over-all design. When applying for specific positions feel free to take create and alter your design to fit that position, just like you alter your resume’s content to fit your position. This past school year I applied for a position in the Women’s Panhellenic Association. I took that opportunity to add more bright, girly colors and quirky shapes. I also visually represented more skills instead of typing them out. If you are creative let it show! This will show potential employers that you don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk as well.
If design is not your forte it’s okay! There are many other ways to show your personality through your resume! One way to do that is to write how you speak in your cover letter and resume. You should still stay formal since it is a professional piece of writing, but you don’t need to fill in the blanks from every how to guide. Instead of saying, “In reference to the recent opening at company XYZ” say, “I was thrilled to learn that the such-and-such position at company XYZ because it is exactly the job I want to apply for. “ Don’t be coy or shy. Say outright if you have certain qualities that fit the job position and let your potential employer know you and no one else is the right person for the job!