Why is resume writing so hard?

“It’s so hard to write a resume.”

You feel completely uninspired and throw up your hands in the air, “So be it! I don’t want to touch it anymore.”

Writing is highly creative work! When you’re boxed by a resume template, you can’t write.

When writing, write freely.

I’m going to make it easier for you.

Forget the resume. Write a list – the kind you write on the back of an envelope. But do it digitally – use Notes on your phone to record anything coming to your mind, anytime, anywhere.

Title it KSA:

  • K – stands for knowledge or what do you know?
  • S – stands for skills or what skills do you have?
  • A – stands for accomplishments or what have you accomplished in the past?

So you write a list of bullet points. One or two lines per bullet. Start each bullet with a verb. Send your KSA to me at eric.liu@wecareer.ai when you hit 50 bullets.

What kind of advice can a mentor give to a mentee, say about resume? Some mentors give high-level advice. It is absolutely correct but impossible to execute. When the mentee can’t follow advice, the mentor feels frustrated: why don’t you get it? As I grew up in China, I had a bunch of English teachers trying to teach me general rules from a grammar book and expect me to learn a language. I failed miserably. 10 years later, I learned how to write and speak English by imitating comedians. I found the ability to imitate is built into me. We don’t need to be taught on how to imitate. We naturally know how. When a mentor teaches a mentee resume writing, it is more effective to show what a good resume looks like and then ask the mentee to imitate. Throughout the process, the mentor can use techniques such as compare vs contrast, good vs bad, before vs after to help mentees develop a sense of good writing and find their muse. Then you can say “I know a piece of good writing when I see it”.

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