Prefeitura de Belo Horizonte, Flickr
Did you ever wonder what it is about all those blockbuster movie posters that pull you right in from the first minute? Well, whatever it is, it’s something you should strive for on your resume according to experts.
“Like a movie poster or the first trailer you see, employers are looking at your resume as a first impression,” says Talmar Anderson of Boss Actions. “And like a good movie catchphrase, your objective statement needs to tell me if I want to buy your ticket.”
So, how can you make your resume more tempting at first glance? Catch their interest from the first minute. Here are a few examples:
Go big (or small)
Anderson says that “ ‘looking for positions with advancement opportunities,’ reads to me as someone looking for a larger company with already defined career path progression and promotions. ‘Looking to join a team where my contribution can make a difference,’ reads as someone that wants to be in a smaller company to allow for ease of recognition and a higher probability of customer engagement/feedback.”
She explains that “employers start with a consideration of what works in the role and specifically within a company. A standout objective that aligns with my company and the available position will go on my “gotta see” list!”
Blockbuster tip: Research your audience and write in a way that attracts their interest – even if it means tweaking your resume before every single interview.
Be more memorable
Sure movies with easy to remember names (everything Harry Potter) or superheroes like Wonder Woman are easy to remember. Then again, a movie called Jumanji was a huge blockbuster success for Robin Williams in 1995 and again for The Rock in 2017. I’m guessing the executive who initially pitched the title got a lot of side eye. Along those lines, Sean Pathiratne is the CEO & Founder of a new kind of furniture company Gjemeni has both a distinctive name and company name. He explains that “memorability comes from distinction, and we have that in both our product and our name.”
Pathiratne says: “Our couch was designed to be different and that is at the core of our marketing. We like to say: ‘A couch should do more than just sit there.’ Other couches do just that – they are static. Impassive.” For that reason, he builds on the difference, the other, the intrigue.
Pathiratne also reminds us that “many classic consumer names that are now in the conversation were tough to pronounce originally – consider Stella Artois, Adidas, Saucony, even Givenchy.”
Blockbuster tip: Even if your last name is Smith, try to find a way to distinguish yourself so that your full name or body of experience becomes part of your branding.
Tell a story
If your career trajectory is slightly bumpy and jumps between jobs, try to find a way to create a connecting narrative. For Pathiratne that includes focusing on finding the next opportunity. When meeting new people “I take them on the same intellectual journey that I went on, the one that brought me to Gjemeni. That’s my advice to others. Be a natural storyteller.”
Blockbuster tip: Consider gaps in your resume as leading to the sequel. After all, there was a gap of 29 years and 309 days between Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and the more recent Mad Max: Fury Road which was female-led and grossed $378.90 million.
Add your special skills
Have you reconsidered going to see a film at an ordinary theater in favor of one with Imax? Try to use those marketing moves in your own resume.
Tricia Brouk is an award-winning director, writer, filmmaker and the executive producer of TEDxLincolnSquare. Brouk regularly reviews resumes and noticed one thing “No one in corporate includes special skills and if they did, they would stand out.”
She explains that “In addition to wanting to know your experience and education, we want to know who you are. If we knew that you were an expert hula-hooper or that you make a mean gazpacho, we learn something about you that makes you stand out from the rest. This gives me clues about the entire you, because ultimately, we want to like the people we work with.”
Blockbuster tip: It’s not always appropriate to include quirky details, but sometimes that one interesting thing will get you in the door.