What do resumes and curly hair have to do with each other?
Hair and resumes. You don’t think there would be a connection. But indeed, I made one. In dealing with my mess of curly hair I’ve realized some similarities to how to care and deal with your resume and keeping it up to date.
This post is likely most relevant if you have curly hair and happen to be updating your resume. If you don’t have curly hair, here’s to hoping you find the tips for resumes helpful! If you aren’t looking to update your resume, well, you should always be updating your resume.
Here are some tips about managing that mane of curls, and general upkeep of your resume:
Don’t overdo it, more product isn’t always the answer.
I’m sure I could get in fights with people about this. Your hair doesn’t always need product, let it be free. Sometimes it might surprise you. Some of my best curls have come out sleeping on my hair wet. A mystery to this day.
It’s the same with your resume, keep it simple. Don’t go overboard with extra fluff. I sometimes question the depth of a person’s resume if there is so much creative “stuff” going on that I can’t tell what they have done. Own what your hair looks like, and own who you are. Your natural hair may stand out rather than weighing it down with mousse, gel, and spray. Just as a simple and strong resume stands out against those who have all the bells and whistles and no real content. Keep it simple.
Keep on trimming and editing.
Ok, here is my little secret. I trim my own hair sometimes, with regular scissors. I have no business doing this, but what started as my own fun trick, has become an effective way to make the dead ends and knots go away. I DO NOT suggest this for everyone. But what I do suggest is that you edit your resume, continually. Always be editing. Just as your hair grows and you have to trim it to keep it healthy and fresh, your experience and skills are always growing (or should be), and your resume should reflect it.
Snipping away bits and pieces of your resume keeps it relevant. Eventually you can take off your high school graduation date and that summer job you had one summer. You’ll be replacing it with newer fresher pieces of your experience. If you feel like you haven’t been able to add anything new to your resume in a few years, that is a whole different problem, and something else to talk through. What have you been doing with your time?
New job? New style?
A new hairstyle is tough when you have curls. There is not as much room to play around (unless you straighten your hair). However, you should play around sometimes. Try something new every so often. Switch it up so people see how great you and your hair are.
Styling your resume should be the same thing. You need to edit and style it based on the job you are applying for. It definitely takes more time but personalizing it for the position will be worth it. Every so often you might want to jazz it up a bit. It will showcase your best skills, just like sometimes a good hairstyle showcases your best curls. Yes, there is always that one perfect curl, you know what I’m talking about.
Get some feedback, you might have to ask for it.
Okay, okay, this one is a little vain. Sometimes you just need validation. I recently had a moment that inspired this tip. A waitress at a restaurant I frequent asked me about my hair — and told me it looked great that day. Here’s the thing, my hair was knotted, had baby spit up, likely food from children’s sticky hands, and for sure hadn’t been washed in two days (which included a yoga class). I swear I’m typically not a dirty human, but needless to say I didn’t think it was my best look. It felt good getting the compliment while also reminding me that we are our own worst critics.
Get some feedback on your hair and get some feedback on your resume. Show it off to some folks, ask for feedback from a number of people to see what they think. People will have different thoughts, and maybe opposing viewpoints, but in the end, it will make it stronger. Even if you receive unsolicited feedback, whether positive or even negative, be appreciative. In the end it makes you, your resume, and your hair styles, stronger in the future.
When you want a big change — Ask for help.
Sometimes you really want to make a drastic change. Maybe you are applying for a job you really want. Or you haven’t been having much luck on your job search. Change it up, try something new, try something different. For your hair, when you need the big change, get it done by a professional. If you always wear it curly, have them straighten it, just for fun. I don’t actually own a blow dryer, so when I do get my haircut I typically have the hairdresser blow it straight, getting help with it always makes it look better.
Just as you would go to a professional to take care of your hair, for a drastic change to your resume, have a professional take a look and offer some suggestions. They can help you to zone in on what you want your resume to showcase. Remember it’s not just about your resume, but your LinkedIn profile as well. Asking for help can be tough, but we constantly are asking hairdressers for help with our hair, and other professionals for different aspects of life. Why not career or resume building help?
This might have been a silly metaphor, but it works. At least me and my curly hair think so. Either way, feel free to reach out and let me know what you thought. Full disclosure, I am not and have never been a stylist, hairdresser, or really fashionista, but I do have experience reading and helping improve resumes.
Need some help with your resume, LinkedIn profile, or figuring out how to tackle your next job search? Reach out, I am ready to help!
Originally published at medium.com