The rules for a first date are simple: put your best foot forward, but don't get naked.
Sure, first dates follow an abnormal and nerve-wracking social protocol. You wear the right clothes, you present your best self, and you laugh more (or less) than normal. You press for personal details, but you avoid creepy come-ons. Still, at the end of the day, the rules are simple. If you ever want to see that person again, put your best foot forward, and don't get naked.
Resumes follow the exact same rules.
Leave your suitor wanting more
The goal of your first date is not a marriage proposal; your goal is to be asked on a second date. The only way to get that second invitation is to leave your suitor wanting more.
On a first date, you tell stories that make you seem alluring and exciting. You help your suitor see that they want more of you. Don't hear me wrong, your stories must be true, but they can't be pointless.
Your resume is the exact same. On your resume, tell a captivating story. Give the hiring manager a reason to call you back. Don't try to cram your entire life story onto a single page because nobody cares (or if they did, you would have a book deal which you could put on your resume).
All the hiring manager cares about is whether or not you'll succeed in the job. Make sure your resume indicates you can. Pro tip- quantifying accomplishments leads to more call backs than mindless drivel.
Cultivate your best image
Your most authentic self and your most awesome self are the same person. Crafting a story that highlights your best self is the single most important thing you can do on a resume and on a first date.
You know you've had a good first date when your date wonders why you're still on the market. Your resume should leave the hiring manager wondering the same thing about you.
You'll have plenty of time to discover your date's flaws if you move forward with a relationship. Likewise, the hiring manager will have the time to understand your imperfections during the interview. The point of a resume (and a first date) isn't to avoid honest discussions; it's to make sure the discussions are worthwhile.
Use your resume to prove that you're worth a discussion; it's why you're making one in the first place.
You have 2.1 Seconds
Here's where dates and resumes part ways. On a first date, women have 15 minutes to help a guy make up his mind about a second date. However, resumes are written documents, and you only have 2.1 seconds to capture the hiring managers attention.
That's right. 2.1 seconds.
Cut straight to the point on your resume, no fluff, no bullshit, nothing mediocre. You're outstanding or you're out. If you hold the hiring manager's attention for longer than the requisite 2.1 seconds, then you're all but guaranteed a first round interview.
You have to ruthlessly edit your resume. You have one story tell, one point to convey, and one page to do it. Remember, your resume is a first date. Put your best foot forward, but don't get naked just yet.
I'm a wife, a mom, an employee, and a personal finance nerd who is devoted to spreadsheeting my way through life.