If you chose 2015 as the year to make a career change, there is a way to use your resume that is more powerful than any way you have ever used it before.
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The secret to making a change in the right direction is found in the white spaces of your resume.
I’m not talking about the width of your margins or the layout of your resume. I’m talking about the blank spaces after your bullet points. Learn to read them. What is the white space saying? Believe me; it’s saying something because the white space is where all the good stuff happens. It’s where the truth lies and it is where change can begin.
We get so focused on crafting a resume that supports how we think we should present ourselves to get the next job, that our real selves get lost in the getting-it-right-on-paper part. Before we know it, we have a document that doesn’t even come close to what makes us feel good about going to work.
This can be disastrous for career changers. We spend so much time on keywords and choosing the strongest action verbs (yes, that’s a critical piece) that we end up moving from job to job, doing more of what we’ve done before, even if it doesn’t make us happy or fulfilled, because we are only looking at the words. To implement a career shift that moves you toward career wellness, you must allow the white spaces to reveal how you really felt while accomplishing the things you accomplished, and to honestly assess what you need more of, and less of, in your next move.
Try this exercise to find out what your white-space resume says:
- Grab your red pen, and comb through your resume, bullet by bullet, word by word and make notes in the white spaces. Note what you loved and what you loathed. Write where you felt invincible and strong and what made you feel depleted and exhausted.
- Draw smiley faces for things you’d like to do more of and frowns for things you want to avoid.
- Cross out entire bullets and, in the white space, write what you would have rather done instead.
Devise your own system but make the white space speak the truth.
The reasons why you’re unhappy, the reasons why you’re tired and bored, and the answers for how to align your career with your overall wellbeing are just waiting to be discovered there.
How do you use the information from the white space? Use it just as you would use a values assessment, a skills assessment or any other discovery exercise. It’s super-personal and there’s not much guesswork involved because you know how you felt. Read what your white space says and combine that information with other tools and assessments for a more holistic and personal view of how to execute a meaningful career shift.
If 2015 is the year for your change, grab your resume and a red pen and find out what your white spaces tell you!
This is a guest post.
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