Communicating More in Your Resume: Why ‘Nuance’ Matters

Are you communicating your career nuances like an arousing wine advertisement that wine pinot images1 Communicating More in Your Resume: Why Nuance Matters 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, 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!

3 Responses to “Communicating More in Your Resume: Why ‘Nuance’ Matters”

  1. Excellent post and Masterful tips, Jacqui. You are sooooooo right (like you need me to say this. You know).

    I really cannot tell you how many times I have read a resume which hits all the “qualification points” but then falls so short in helping the reader care and connect with the person behind the resume.

    Some may think, “who cares…as long as the person is qualified.” But, beyond a more interesting read, it does help the hiring authority distinguish between candidates who are both qualified. What is that extra something that will make one candidate memorable and more special? As far as in the resume, nuances is that extra little something to add another dimension and “up” your candidacy.

    I enjoyed your post, Jacqui and am infused with energy to finish the resume I am writing right now. Thank you for the nuances in your blogs posts. :-)


  2. Master Resume Writer says:

    Hi Rosa!
    I’m not surprised about our like-mindedness on this topic.

    You make a great point: ‘beyond’ a more interesting read, a nuanced resume helps the hiring authority ‘distinguish’ between multiple, qualified candidates. As well, nuances add ‘dimension’ < great word!

    I know you've written on this topic of differentiation, too, at your energizing blog, here:

    Thanks so much for stopping in and joining forces with me on this important subject!

    PS – I hope the energy infusion helped you finish that resume writing project! So glad I could help in that way!


  3. [...] Read an Executive Resume Writer’s views on how to Communicate More In Your Resume and Why Nuance Matters, HERE. [...]

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