What is it about the white space on a resume that calls to me? Is it the fact the using white space appropriately makes for a more visually appealing document? Is it because one-inch margins are standard? Nah. I love white space on a resume because white space is where all the good stuff happens. It’s where the nitty-gritty answers are and where change can begin.
The image above is a picture of what the white space looks like in a few of the books from my personal library. (One of the many reasons that I remain passionately opposed to e-readers is because of my addiction to white space. And, yes, I know you can highlight and make notes with them but it’s not the same to me.) You can see that the words on these pages elicited a response that was strong enough for me to capture in the margins. I obviously didn’t want to forget what those words made me feel. I use smiley faces, or stars, or “OMG!”. (Pages with a scribbled upright middle finger were strategically withheld from this shot.) I write notes and ideas and names of events or people of whom I’m reminded. The white space holds my reaction to what the words on the page say. The same is true for your resume.
Take a minute to pull up your resume. Go ahead. I’ll wait.
Read the expertly-crafted words and strategic phrases. Look how professionally the last 10 years of your work history is chronicled. No doubt there are bulleted lists beginning with action buzzwords like created, implemented, pioneered, executed, presented, etc. There is no argument that Hiring Managers need to see those accomplishments, but if the manager is serious about hiring the right person for the job, they will want to know what that candidate feels in their gut when they do these things…do they feel strong when they create a system? Do they feel totally zapped of energy when they have to do a presentation at the board meeting? As a job seeker, if the words on your resume list jobs, skills and experiences that are light years away from how you feel when you’re actually doing those tasks, you are probably not very content in your role.
Career Wellness is about learning to read between the lines on your resume. You have to learn how to read the white spaces because everything interesting and everything important is found there. The reasons why you’re unhappy, the reasons why you’re tired and bored and the answers for how to align your career with your overall well-being are just waiting to be excavated.
Ever wonder what your resume would look like if you searched the white spaces? Contact me for one-on-one exploration of your white space. Or, for more information about a group White-Space ResumeTM Workshop, email me at Barbara@careerwellnesspartners.com.