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03/15/06
Don\’t Just Tell It, Show It
Filed under: Resume
Posted by: site admin @ 8:40 am

Remember back in Kindergarten (yes, for some of us, that was more than a few decades ago!) … they called it "Show and Tell"?

Well, a resume does much the same thing, at least a good resume does. If your resume is only telling, that’s not a good thing. By showing, you are giving the reader (hiring manager? recruiter? decision-maker?) a reason to believe you can do the same for his or her organization. This leads to providing real value–clear proof that you can deliver.

Showing multiple examples (using the tried-and-true formula of CAR stories–Challenge, Action, Result) produces even greater benefits. This is known in the industry as giving the reader "predictors of success." Making the link in your cover letter (and through your profile) to how these predictors can be transferable to the target company’s challenges and opportunities is the final step for ensuring the connection.

Here’s an example: A perfectly ho-hum bullet point on a resume for a CFO might read:

* Responsible for managing $98MM operation, overseeing all finances and debt management.

Recast to illustrate the show and not just the tell:

* Managed $98MM operations. Sourced funding partners, successfully restructured finances, and renegotiated debt to secure company operations and position for future growth.

See what a big difference "showing" can make? Try taking the top five or six accomplishments in your career from your resume and boiling each down to its key elements–then be sure to show while you tell what a difference you made.

– Jan Melnik, MRW, CCM, CPRW, President, Absolute Advantage

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