A Guide on How to Write a Compelling Narrative Resume

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How to write a narrative resume: A hand holding a magnifying glass over a narrative resume sample
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While a few hiring managers would rather choose a short pitch from someone who applies for an executive post, you’ll find no harm in veering away from the norm. As you want it, you can have a rough summary without using bullet points or tables in making your list. Besides, the more common “sound-bite” resume may no longer work for you. If you’re a job applicant looking for a “perfect” C-level post, consider preparing a career narrative, the modern approach to rewriting traditional resumes. Know the best practices on how to write a narrative resume and check these examples to guide you in your job search.

What to Know About a Narrative Resume

As the name suggests, a narrative resume takes the form of storytelling. Likewise, it lists your qualifications line by line as if you’re telling your story. To add, this job narrative may take either the first-person or third-person points of view.

A narrative resume may be your best way to impress recruiters. Like traditional copies, this gives employers a better grasp of your skills and experiences as a job candidate—only this time written in a different, unorthodox approach. Yet, this type of resume offers other benefits to job applicants, such as:

  • A complete, detailed view of your work experience
  • Your value offer, made “alive” on paper
  • Branded personal story that connects with your reader
  • Your job application presented in an intriguing yet memorable way
  • Your reader’s interest stirred, wanting them to meet you and learn more about you

A well-written narrative resume helps hiring managers to imagine you holding the target post—right then and there.

How to write a narrative resume: An eyeglass and pen on top of a narrative resume sample

How to Write a Narrative Resume

A narrative resume is another way to write your traditional one. This has a different style and method of writing. Yes, turning away from the usual way of writing resumes might sound tricky; but it’s more effective than you expect.

As it ties your experiences and abilities together, recruiters will have a fuller grasp of your skills. It will also be easier for them to assess if you’re the right person for the post or not. So, if you want to know how to write a narrative resume for a job application, look for a narrative resume sample online or heed these top tips:

1. Think of it as a “one-page novel” of your career life.

Before you draft your own narrative resume, you must remember the purpose of writing this job tool. This format allows you to present your career journey better than bulleted lists. So, take advantage of this and write your piece well.

2. Keep your paragraphs short.

Resumes with unnecessarily long chunks of texts turn hiring managers off. While you’re writing a narrative resume, keep in mind to write those details in a manner that wouldn’t bore your readers. Instead, make sure to write short paragraphs or lines without leaving out vital feats and experiences.

3. Improve your format.

Make all related details stand out by improving your resume format. Also, include keywords relevant to the job post to make your resume ATS-friendly.

4. Write a striking headline.

Like in our job narrative sample, you must list the skills that you have acquired throughout your career journey. Then, use these skills as you craft a compelling headline that will serve as your personal brand. Remember: A headline should summarize who you are as a professional.

Things to Include in a Narrative Resume

Now, how do you write a career narrative? Check out this narrative resume sample:

The job seeker’s old resume:

How to write a narrative resume: Page 1 of a traditional resume example

How to write a narrative resume: Page 2 of a traditional resume example

The job seeker’s new narrative resume:

How to write a narrative resume: A narrative resume example

1. State all important details.

Consider what you want to share with your employers. You can tell them your goals and the methods through which you’ll use to reach them. Further, you may even add your knowledge, skills, and abilities to show how you’re the best fit for the job. Take note: An effective narrative resume boasts of powerful word use and includes only the details that recruiters need to read.

2. Your narrative should feature five elements.

As with stories, your resume should display five important elements:

  • Conflict
  • Plot
  • Setting
  • Characters
  • Resolution

In addition, each story about your past jobs and employers must include:

  • Overall challenge
  • Your actions
  • Outcomes
  • Big-picture impact

3. It should neatly sum up your career and target trajectory.

As with regular resumes, career narratives sum up your qualifications and offer a glimpse of your value proposition and personal branding. Lastly, it should follow the correct narrative summary format.

These factors form a well-written narrative resume. Likewise, you can go through your success stories without trimming them. In the same way, you can even share your plans on where you want to steer your career. Otherwise, you can discuss your target career path and the means you’ll use to get there.

How to write a narrative resume: A professional pointing to a narrative resume sample on a table

Let Our Writers Craft Your Narrative Resume!

A career narrative lets you tell a firmer story better than a bullet-point list. Even if you have a long job history, you can still focus on pieces of info relevant to your target job. Just heed the best practices on how to write a narrative resume as your guide in writing your own piece.

Lastly, understand that this format isn’t for every job seeker and industry. It serves well those who have an extensive work history and a long story to share. So, if you’re a job seeker with a seasoned career, make sure that when writing your job tool, your piece should speak of what you can bring to the table.

It takes great writing skills to come up with an excellent career narrative. If you can’t write your own job search tool, seek our professional resume writing services, which include specialized documents such as narrative resume, opening statement, and biography. You may also contact us for more career help now!


Sources: forbes.com | vault.com | careertrend
Image from jarmoluk at pixabay.com

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