Sunday, December 14, 2008

Strengths-Based Resume

I was doing some thinking this weekend about resume creation. One of the problems I've run into when sending my resume out to consulting firms is that they see me as an engineer, and it's really hard to make a convincing case that they should hire me as a consultant, when my resume is focused on my history of working for John Deere in various positions.

I'm considering reformulating my resume into a strengths-based resume. (I got the idea while reading "Soaring on Your Strengths," a book about leveraging strengths to build your career.) A strengths-based resume which enumerates strengths that would be helpful to someone in the position for which you are applying and lists accomplishments under each strength. Rather than listing places of employment and chronicling work experience, work experience is sorted and presented as evidence that you are able to leverage a given strength.

For example, in my strengths-based resume, I could write:

  • Worked with the desktop software development team to coordinate data exchange with the embedded software team.
  • Created a process to review documents more thoroughly between departments.
  • Presented healthcare benefit information in an easily understandable format.
My thought is that this would give potential employers much more of the information that they're looking for, in a format that allows them judge a candidate more on strengths than on for whom they have worked.

What do you think? Is there anyone in recruiting who has seen something unconventional like this submitted as a resume?


Liz said...

I had a similar problem when I decided my focus was on user-centered design rather than programming. I ended up shortening many of my past jobs to single liners with very little explanation, and emphasizing my class projects. Since you're not currently a full time student, I think the strengths-based sounds like a good approach for you. If you don't want to go quite so much against tradition, you could do the single line approach I did, but then list out individual projects you want to highlight in their own section.

By the way, a friend mentioned the book "Getting Things Done" to me the other day, and it reminded me of you. Did I hear about it from you, perhaps?

Aaron Hurd said...

I believe you might have heard about from me. I, in turn, probably should credit my friend and colleague, Brandon Leiran for that one.

Ms. Williams said...

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