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The Perfect Resume: Tell a Story

perfect resume

Recently, we sat down with our Manager of Resume and Coaching Services, Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill. He shared his insights into building a perfect resume.

Every good resume tells a story. But every perfect resume tells a relevant story to the organization you are applying to. “The market is selecting people who are more specialized in their function” says Bentsi-Enchill. Which is good news for specialists and a challenge for generalists.

Have you crafted your perfect resume? Get it critiqued with our resume specialists. Click here to book an appointment.
Have you crafted your perfect resume? Get it critiqued with our resume specialists. Click here to book an appointment.

“Focus on the two or three things that are most relevant to the company” he suggests for those with broad functional experience. Rather than providing a long list of everything you can do, make it your mission to clearly outline the most important skills for the employer (remember from Pt. 1: What’s In it For Employers!). The last thing you want to do is make the person reading your resume try to understand your story by picking out the relevant details.

If you land the interview then you can really show off with your additional skills and proficiencies. Don’t use all your valuable resume real estate to discuss them all at length.

Looking for transferable skills to highlight in your resume? Think about the commonalities between industries: people, time, and processes.

  • People. Did you manage a team? How large? Were you able to drive their productivity or results? People skills are valued in any organization.
  • Time. Did you achieve your targets faster than in previous quarters?
  • Processes. Did you find a way to cutback on the cost (or time) of a certain process? Did you find a way to automate something?

*Bonus tip* If you did, don’t tell exactly how you do it. Instead, say that you used “new” or “innovative” techniques to achieve X. Make it so that the reader wants to call you in to learn what your technique was.


See the other tips for the perfect resume:

Your Value Proposition
Evidence of Impact
Quantify and Qualify
Paint a Clear Picture

About the Author

Greg Olsten is Ivy Exec's Sr. Content Manager, producing Online Classes, and Executive Intelligence articles.