Transparency and authenticity in your resume means being true to who you are and are not the things that make you – you. A prospective employer is eager to hear about your experience and talent. They also want to learn about who you are so they can determine whether you are a good fit for their team.
Being transparent means being yourself, not who you think they want. If you land the job as someone else, you have to perform the job as someone else, and that is exhausting.
To be transparent, you must write about some characteristics you may not have thought were important in a resume. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not suggesting you bare your soul about that project that went sideways in 2001. Transparency doesn’t mean telling all. A resume is a marketing document and contains only examples of your shining self.
Think of your soft skills and personality traits that support your efforts at work.
Take me, for example. I am reliable, conscientious, and deadline-driven. These traits don’t make me the life of the party, but they make me a really good resume writer. These are good things for me to mention on my resume.
Many people try to do this with a big list of character traits. That’s OK; it will give employers a glimpse into your personality. However, an even better strategy is to give examples as evidence. For the traits I listed above, my list might be:
- Reliable: Receive feedback from clients who appreciate receiving even more than they were promised.
- Conscientious: Take every detail into consideration before making decisions. Prefer completing a project right the first time to doing it fast twice.
- Deadline Driven: Plan carefully and deliver every project on or ahead of schedule.
This list may take me out of the running with some clients. For example, some people want a resume fast. They don’t particularly care if it’s great. My conscientious trait will not appeal to them.
The flip side is that they are doing me a favor by not choosing me. I would not enjoy working with someone who was interested only in how quickly I could finish a project. They are not a good fit for me in the same way that some employers are not a good fit for you. You just have to give them enough information so they can make a good decision. Sometimes, not landing a job is a gift.
If you have difficulty deciding which character traits to include in your resume, take an online assessment. I prefer DISC because it is straightforward, inexpensive, and offers a page of character traits in the report. I also like StrengthFinder 2.0, but you need to buy the book to have a good interpretation of your profile. Myers-Briggs is excellent and expensive, and you have to be certified to administer the profile.
However you decide to do it, the important part is to let an employer see who you are.
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