Whether I’m engaging with Women & Co. readers or members of Citi’s Connect: Professional Women’s Network on LinkedIn, inevitably the conversation turns to how to best position oneself on a resume or bio. And, in turn, I share the best advice I ever received on this topic, which came from Stacy Lauren Musi, Managing Director at retained executive search firm, Chadick Ellig, and member of the Financial Women’s Association board of directors.
To Stacy, a powerful resume and/or bio starts with having a solid grasp on what takeaways you want to leave in the mind of the reader. So, before you start writing, Stacy recommends thinking through the following questions so you are strategic about what you say and how you say it:
• What are your greatest areas of expertise and core competencies?
• What is the common thread throughout your career?
• What is your legacy and which accomplishments best demonstrate your capabilities?
• What value do you bring to an organization?
• What is unique about you, and how are you different from your peer group?
• What would others say about you?
Once you identify your purpose, then turn your attention to developing your story, says Stacy. As you do so, be sure you:
• Have a beginning, middle and end.
• Have a thesis: “your elevator pitch.”
• Use the resume and bio to support it — and be sure to quantify your claims.
Lastly, Stacy says to think like a marketer as you write, keeping the following in mind:
• The message needs to be simple and clear — spell it out!
• The reader needs to be hooked and enticed to keep reading.
• Your resume and/or bio should differentiate you — it’s okay to show some personality.
• Avoid disconnects between what you say and how your resume and/or bio reads.