Are you communicating your career nuances like an arousing wine advertisement that sells distinctions in flavor that only THIS $40 bottle of Pinot Noir can deliver? Communicating nuance is my favorite ‘secret weapon’ for devising a differentiating resume story. Unfortunately, most resumes severely lack in nuance, and therefore, fall flat on the hiring decision maker’s or recruiter’s palate.
According to Dictionary.com, the definition for ‘nuance’ is: “a subtle difference or distinction in expression, meaning, response, etc.”
What Nuance Is Not:
- Nuance is not describing one’s soft skills; e.g., s/he’s an innovator, a dynamo, a contributor with an entrepreneurial mindset or a rousing team builder.
- It is not simply listing achievements; e.g. the #1 ranking salesperson among 100s in the U.S.; the operations manager who sliced $50K from costs; or the healthcare professional who streamlined processes from 1 week to 1 day. These are wonderful and ‘shout it from the mountain top’ type accomplishments. Communicate them in your resume. However, you must communicate more!
What Nuance Is:
- Nuance is what distinguishes HOW you do what you do so well, and HOW have you demonstrated this distinctive behavior in a way that relates to your target audience’s current and future needs.
- Nuance is the je ne sais quois. It is your unique value proposition. It is your differentiating story as it tightly wraps around your focus audience’s needs.
- Nuance extends beyond saying, “I met with this challenge, this is the action I took, and here is the result.” It weaves in the unique leadership, problem solving, influence, process repair and/or analytical talent (and so forth) you leveraged to move you from challenge to hurdle-leaping result.
Nuance says, I am better than the next guy (or gal), you need me to fix your issues, I get what your issues are, and I’m the only person with these unique layers of talent who can do the job. Nuance is fearless, and steps outside the bounds of everyone else’s resume jargon. It applies headlines, quotes and muscular language that say, “I stand apart.”
For example, a nuanced Quote embedded in your resume may say:
Melding of Business and Artistic Talent: “Applying an alchemic approach to business, I generate a dynamic among team members that forges partnerships and interactions to fuel a bigger, better (more profitable) result.”
A nuanced Summary may begin:
“I Get Information Technology”. Unique executive vision derived from International Technology Industry experience on industrial side as Sales and Marketing Manager, Product Manager, and P&L Leader—career underpinnings embedded in IT Finance. Repeatedly tapped to take on critical challenges during 20+ year advancement through ABC Company.
Nuanced Achievements Stories may look something like this:
- In just 12 months, executed the integration of two business units into a $1.5 billion single platform delivering $50 million net income. Surmounted numerous leadership challenges, including reinvigorating the morale of employees and establishing rhythm of reviews with key customers.
- Instrumental in merger completion in what is regarded as one of the most successful integrations in ABC history. Overcame distinct business culture differences between the two separate $2 billion platforms, one of which had been acquired just three years earlier and had become disenfranchised.
Now, get going – think nuance and shades of gray when fleshing out your very unique layers of value! Write a resume that distinguishes YOU!