Great Resume

Want a great resume? Consider flower arranging!

Another resume post as a common question these days is: How do I create a great resume? One of the most recent analogies I used was for them to consider flower arranging. Don’t worry, they were puzzled as well. So let me explain, and you won’t have to know a thing about flowers to understand. I am by no means a florist so I had to look up some of these floral terms so hopefully you can find the parallel. Take the time to follow along, since it helped quite a few folks I recently spot with understand the keys to a great resume.

Flower arranging

So let’s pretend you need to create an arrangement of flowers. And you have one flower. How nice can that arrangement be? You might have a beautiful long stem rose. Or a daisy. Or perhaps a dandelion flower. And since you only have one flower, then the arrangement can only be as nice as the flower. Now they type of flower doesn’t necessarily make it a nice arrangement. A long stem rose with bruised petals or a daisy not yet fully bloomed, might not be as nice looking a a perfectly formed dandelion flower.

Okay, now what if I said that the flower represents the school you went to and the program you studied, and the state of the flower is your GPA. Starting to get it? A long stem rose with bruised petals might be going to a high-ranked school, with poor GPA. Whereas the perfectly formed dandelion might be a 4.0 at a lesser known school. Now I won’t be doing a flower assignment to schools, but if you’re honest with yourself, you probably know where on the scale your flower, err, I mean school sits. Your great resume is only as nice as your flower.

Adding to the bouquet

If your flower is awesome and in perfect condition, then you might be okay. But a single flower might not be enough to entice a would-be buyer. Especially if there is a varied assortment of full and colourful bouquets out there.  So you might want to add some baby’s breath (those small white flowers) or some ferns (those green leafy ones) or go all out and add more flowers like a lily or an orchid.

Now these other parts of the bouquet represent your volunteer work, the clubs you’ve joined, the awards you’ve received, the work experience you’ve gained. The more experience you have, the more you could potentially showcase as part of the bouquet. It is important to understand, especially for you who are new to your careers or haven’t yet started work, to start planting seeds NOW so that you eventually have flowers to pick.

Arranging the bouquet

Now that you have all of your flowers and “plant material”, you have the task of arranging them. You might put all of the flowers you have. Or just put the most relevant ones that will fit nicely into the wrapping. You might want to make sure you accentuate certain parts of a flower.

Putting “all the flowers” refers to a greater than 1 page resume. Accentuating parts of a flower refers to achievements versus just listing activities. At the end of the day, you can only work with what you have. So an important point is to give yourself more to work with. Get more experience, and get more achievements.

Having a great resume

Even if you’re not a florist, I hope that analogy was enlightening as it has helped many realize that a great resume starts by planting the seeds and that the resume is really just arranging the resulting flowers that bloom.

And we’ll get to the mechanics of having a great resume in a future post!


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