How To Craft A Resume Story With Your Work History

resume story

How does writing the story of you help you plan your job search and craft your resume? Nobody reads resumes for fun, so no love dramas, murder stories, or comedy. Job applications are a form of marketing and the better the pitch, the higher your chances.
That’s why storytelling resumes are a controversial matter. Some recruiters stick to classic bullet-point resumes, while others appreciate creativity as a way to learn more about you.

At Staff.com we know that one thing is sure, story-based resumes help applicants stand out. Put together a story map. Read on and make sure your story is clear for the audience.

Storytelling is Science

According to neuroscience researchers at Princeton University, the mechanism of storytelling synchronizes with people who listen. This is your key advantage, vital to success!

First-person, Third-person, Does it Matter?

How to tell a story through your resume? Never write a resume in the third person.
Tell your story to the reader. Use less of ‘I” and more of “you” to build a connection. If you want to list particular activities, just cut the “I”.

  • I managed a team of twenty people.
  • Managed a team of twenty people.

Summary of Your Skills

The shortest way to your prize is to testify your relevant know-how first. However, don’t list absolutely everything you can think of. Remember, it’s your form of personal marketing.

How Much Back Story on a Resume?

Go back 20 years if you have to. Your goal is to fit a set of requirements for the job opening you want. Yet, in some cases listing all years of experience might not serve in your favor such as tech, where trends change fast and so does demand. There are also professions that require life-long backtrack checks, such as government, academic, and medical. As long as your experience is relevant, list it.

Create An Eye-Catching Headline

Compelling resumes start with a distinctive headline.

The header section is the cover of your book. A catchy headline might tip the scales from rejection from the early start.

  • Your name must be at the top of the section, in the center of the page, and in large title font.
  • Your brand statement must follow your name shortly.
  • Keep your personal brand statement short and on-point.

It aims to characterize who you are as a professional, and it should hint to your future employer what to expect from you in a working environment.

If you decide to write your brand statement in a catchy, clever way, remember that telling a story in your resume must resonate with your desired job opp.

Reverse Order & Storify Accomplishments

This is one way of mimicking the use of bullet points, but with dates and in reverse order. This way you built up your most relevant profile and also back your pitch down the story.

Write Your Career Summary

Your career summary comes right after the header. Take the time to draft a creative interesting story for your career objective and resume.

When you aim for the storytelling resume style, it is best to write your career summary in paragraph form starting off with a fantastic hook sentence. All the fundamental features of a narrative come into play like creating a setting, conflict, plot, and resolution.

The majority of hiring managers and recruiters are accustomed to reviewing straightforward resumes that are built on bullet points and abridged language. A story-telling summary section, however, helps you stand out among other candidates.

Keep in mind that it is not a standard practice to tailor your resume in a storytelling format, so you must make sure the narrative grabs the reader’s attention. A compelling story of who you are and how you got to be where you are today is key for scoring an interview.

Include An Educational Experience Section

List your educational experiences following your career summary paragraph. It is best to write this section with bullet points. This way, you’ll give the recruiter the opportunity to scan through your education information quickly and take a break from reading paragraphs. Make sure to add online training in a separate list along with other relevant certificates.

Clarify Your Timeline

Sometimes you have to close employment gaps, others you must be clear about where you worked and when. A chaotic timeline makes a poor impression on recruiters. They do not have time to puzzle through your working experience and connect the dots.
So, avoid getting too creative or your resume will end up tossed aside.

Rethink Your Less Relevant Experiences

It is beneficial to mention your past positions that aren’t connected to the role you’re seeking at the moment.

For example, if your first employment was in marketing, but it’s no longer relevant now that you’re a project manager, it makes a good impression if you list the soft skills you acquired in your previous position. In this section, it is beneficial to brag about yourself just a little.

Focus on how you “collaborate across departments”, or “presented to clients” to show you are a team player and a valuable asset instead of problematic freelancers.

Keep Your Stories Concise

Don’t let things get blown out of proportion after all you’re not writing a novella. You still want your CV to be short and on point.

Most employers prefer a resume that is formatted in bullet points as it is easier to scan through.

How to Make Story Bullet Points

To tell a story in bullet points they must be skimmable. If you have much to say, then go into more detail in your cover letter or later in your interview.

Own Your Career Pause

It may sound controversial, but it is perfectly normal to take a career gap – whether it’s a period of unemployment or simply to be with your family more.

When you write a story to cover career gaps in a resume, don’t hide your career pause but own it instead.

It’s crucial to address such a period of your life clearly and confidently.

Include the start and end dates, along with a brief description of the reason you took the gap (if you’re comfortable sharing of course).

Proofread And Edit

When you write a story-based resume, remember you are stepping outside of convention in order to stand out and make a long-lasting impression. For this reason, the editing stage is crucial for storytelling resumes.

Review your CV for grammar, style, and spelling. A good idea is to have a close friend or mentor to read your document and check for mistakes. Once you’re 100% sure your resume is bullet-proof, you can submit it and wait for an interview call.

How Can The Story-Telling Resume Help Your Career

Hiring managers and recruiters want to get inside the head of candidates and learn how they think and act. With the standard resume, a candidate can look perfect on paper.

However, when it’s time for the interview, in most cases things don’t look so good. With a story-based resume, however, hiring managers gain answers to fundamental questions upfront. So, when they call you up for an interview, they know what to expect, thus leaving little to no place for error.

Additionally, when you get into detail about your resume stories, you also prepare for an interview, whether you realize it or not. The majority of candidates find it beneficial to see their stories filtered through the lens of an external observer as it allows them to get the bigger picture.

So, when you begin your interview you will be fully prepared and confident in what you have to say.

Validate Your Story Line

Previously, we covered the importance of your personal brand in developing a value proposition through a mix of professional and personal backgrounds. Your brand embodies your value as part of the company.

You must back up your story with personal facts and details, most often found on social media. Hiring managers frequently give preference to job applicants who maintain a strong online presence, meaning social media. That’s why it’s crucial to update your LinkedIn details as a hiring manager is likely to check that too.

The Bottom Line

The story-based resume format involves examining what makes you an exceptional applicant in detail. The CV itself won’t guarantee you’ll get the job, but it will definitely get you more interviews, hence you’ll have more opportunities to tell your stories, tailoring them to what each company needs.

We hope this article was informative and beneficial. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section.



Dimitar Karamarinov
Dimitar Karamarinov is an award-winning digital multi-instrumentalist coming into practice as early as 2006. Over a decade of audio, graphic, visual design, along with versatile know-how of business, marketing and communication. Dimitar Karamarinov grows experience with Entrepreneur Franchise 500, Inc 5000, and multi-continent brands under his belt.

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