Over the past 10+ years of working with clients on their resumes, I have come to the stark realization that a resume is not merely a business document. In fact, it’s personal. Very, very personal.

A part of my writing process involves a thorough phone consultation with my clients – I ask deep, probing questions about the work they do. HOW did you contribute to the success of this project? WHY would they miss you if you didn’t show up for work one day? WHAT was the dollar impact of your new client acquisition efforts?

As I ask these, and many similar questions, I used to be surprised at the amount of meaningful, deep details I would hear in response. After noticing this phenomenon over and over again, I am no longer surprised.

Hard workers at all career levels and across industries regularly spend a great part of their waking day at work – it stands to reason, then, that feelings and emotions come into play. We are not robots – we are living, breathing human beings doing the work we have been trained to do. When asked to put that down on paper, we can’t help but make it personal.

The fact is, even though it is a big no-no to include any personal details on the resume, the stuff we do include is a big part of who we are. We spend countless hours of our lives creating, managing, achieving, conceptualizing, developing, and igniting things into action. We sacrifice family time, bring our work home with us, choose to do work instead of following other pursuits – how can this not be personal?

In everyday life, with every decision, people do business with people they know and like. So you see, it’s very personal!

I urge you, then, to not be afraid of getting personal. Show your passion for your work on the resume by capitalizing on the power of the written word! Make sure the reader can see your personality and your unique talents jumping off the paper (or off the screen) at them! Only then will you stand a chance of successfully standing out among the masses.