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How to Tell Your Story When Writing Your Resume

Updated: Jun 2, 2023

Many people searching for a new position labor over what to do with their resume, such as should you have specific designated sections full of bulleted lists to guide the information? While that’s a good idea, nowadays, employers like to be familiar with your story too. Simply put, “Storytelling is a way of writing a compelling narrative of your job experience,” according to With so many resumes submitted for every job out there, telling your personal and professional story in an interesting way is how you get a company to want to know more about you (in other words, ask you for an interview.) Here’s how to get started telling your story through a resume.

Use the STAR method to illustrate your achievements. STAR is an acronym that stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. It’s a good tool to use when you are attempting to tell the story of your accomplishments. It’s not enough to supply an employer a list of what you’ve been able to achieve. You need to also describe the story behind the accomplishment. Using the steps of the STAR method helps you think this through so you can relay the story in an interesting way.

Don’t hide your personality. A resume can be a cold, matter-of-fact document, so use every opportunity you get to show a hiring manager what makes you tick. Why is this important? Because those hiring you will be looking for clues about what value you’ll add to their team. You may want to talk about what makes you a great leader or use terms like “self-starter” or “strategic” to describe yourself. Also, focus on the professional qualities of your personality.

Stay focused. One thing you may fight against when writing a resume is having companies prefer you sum up your qualifications in brief bullet points. Too much wordiness can be as bad as not relaying a good story to your potential employer. In cases like this, you need to tell shorter stories within each bullet point and save your more detailed explanations for your cover letter and eventually your interview. Be strategic about what information you reveal at what time.

Keep in mind that your resume is the first point of contact with an employer. To make the most impact with this first impression, a careful balance of revealing your personality and stories behind your previous employment with keeping things brief is critical. After all, the likelihood an employer is going to actually read a 5-page resume full of amazing stories is extremely unlikely. Take some time to think about how you can reveal some key points about yourself in short blurbs, and then get started revamping your resume.

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