Few people find the process of writing their resumes enjoyable. Many of the job seekers I speak with share that writing or updating their resumes feels like pulling teeth.
Yet learning how to effectively write your resume is necessary to land a role in today’s modern job market, so it’s helpful to make the process as stress-free as possible, or perhaps even derive a little enjoyment from it.
How To Make Writing Your Resume Less Challenging: 6 Strategies
If you find the process of writing your resume writing challenging, give these strategies a try:
1. Set a deadline.
As humans, we‘re prone to putting tasks off that we don’t find enjoyable, so start by setting a deadline to finish writing or updating your resume. You’ll want to be realistic with your deadline while also not giving yourself too much time. Otherwise, you might procrastinate and put off writing/updating your document until the last minute.
Your deadline will depend on how far along you are in the job search. If you’re clear on your dream positions and company, you might be able to knock out your resume rather quickly. Conversely, if you’re still trying to determine your target roles, you may need at least a few months for career exploration before launching into the resume writing process.
2. Write in short sprints.
Building upon the previous strategy, it may be helpful to write in short sprints. The Pomodoro Technique is a common time management strategy that can be modified for resume writing. While the Pomodoro Technique leverages 25-minute time chunks, I find 20-minute sprints to work better for activities that require a lot of mental energy.
While completing my doctorate, I found it helpful to set myself a goal of authoring one paragraph per day during the writing stages and addressing one of my advisors’ comments per day during the editing stages. This slow but steady approach allowed me to produce a nearly 100-page paper with (almost) no anxiety or stress.
Now take a moment to imagine what would happen if you carved out 20 minutes per day to update your career documents. You might consider setting a goal of crafting one bullet point per sprint and have your entire resume written in a dozen days.
3. Reward yourself for your efforts.
Reflecting on my doctoral program, I found it helpful to reward myself with a walk to a coffee shop each time I completed a handful of 20-minute dissertation sprints. This reward fueled two of my loves — walking and drinking coffee — and kept me motivated to finish my manuscript.
You’ll need to find the reward mechanism that works well for you and your psyche. With the right rewards in place, you might find writing your resume easier than you imagined.
And sometimes, just knowing you’re one step closer to landing a job you love is enough reward to motivate you to knock out an updated resume.
4. “Speak” your resume aloud.
Because many people find it easier to talk about than write about themselves, I recommend trying to “speak” your resume aloud rather than write it.
Truth be told, this is how I write many of my own thought leadership articles. To clarify, I record a voice memo of myself talking, then I listen back to it and type up the most interesting pieces. While there are also transcription services that will automatically convert your audio to text, I recommend the manual process, because it allows you to edit your content as you go.
5. Partner with a friend on the process.
A similar strategy to recording yourself is having someone you trust ask you about your experience and accomplishments then write down your responses. See if you can have a friend, family member, or mentor ask you the following:
- Can you walk me through your day-to-day activities at work?
- How did you deliver value to your organization?
- What were your most impressive accomplishments?
This article provides a list of questions to support you in extracting your most impressive career accomplishments.
6. Hire someone to write your resume for you.
Finally, you might wish to hire someone to write your resume for you. Many of us turn to professionals to cut our hair, change our oil, file our taxes, and plan for retirement, so it makes sense to invest in an expert when it comes to your most important career documents.
Personally, I use what I call a “co-creation” process when partnering with my resume writing clients, because my Zone of Genius is teaching clients to rethink, recreate, and reimagine how they tell their career stories. While there are a lot of professional resume writers out there who can write your resume for you, you will find that what sets me apart is how deeply I get to know you as I help you better understand yourself, your career story, and your fabulousness.
On a final note, try not to overthink the process of writing your resume, and remember that the ultimate goal of your career documents is merely to land you an interview. You’ve got this!