Crafting The Hybrid Resume: 3 Ways Hybrid Identity Can Shine Through and Strengthen Your Resume
Resumes are about identity as much as they’re about describing work history. Typically, we see resumes as tools to summarize and capture our accomplishments and strengths. We don’t think about them as being snapshots of identity and how we’ve transformed over time.
However, what we do is not synonymous with who we are. Just because someone does marketing, doesn’t mean they’re only a marketer.
My career history began in teaching, and my job title was teacher. The word “teacher” was the dominant identity employers saw in my resume. Yet, that’s not who I really was or how I saw myself. I didn’t know how to explain my complex identity back then. I had to learn how to incorporate my hybridity in my resume.
Resumes need to capture both our identity and our best abilities.
We want employers to see us the way we see ourselves. If we come across as a list of generic job titles or disparate roles, employers won’t understand us. Our true value won’t leap off the page. This is the problem hybrids face when we’re capable of doing so many things.
Hybrid professionals are multi-dimensional, dynamic, and highly qualified individuals who don’t fit neatly into one box. Integrating different work identities together means hybrids are people who defy traditional labels. That’s why hybrids must work harder to find the best way to articulate who they really are and how all their various talents fit together. How is it possible to put that into a resume?
Resumes follow conventions and standards. It’s necessary to follow those for the purposes of screening and AI tools programmed to recognize information in a certain way for recruiters and companies. I recommend a few shifts in content and placement, not in overall formatting. Based on my experience, I know it’s possible to insert my hybrid identity within a traditional resume.
Three ways I incorporate my hybrid identity into my resume:
(One important caveat, resumes should be customized to fit the role. It’s a good idea to update certain sections when applying.)
- HEADLINE: The headline is the top line of my resume beneath my header. I see it as the identities I call myself and want to be known for. This is WHO I am. Right out of the gate, I want to hit the reader with bold, clear, and unique titles. You might think of this as your personal brand. I always place my hybrid title in the headline, which is creative disruptor. The additional one or two titles I write after my hybrid title are influenced by the job I’m applying to so there’s a direct keyword match. I want to be known for my hybrid title and also use language the company is uses. Later, when I get to an interview, I explain this connection in more detail.
- PROFESSIONAL SUMMARY: The professional summary consists of a few sentences beneath my headline. This is usually where people describe who they are, what they’re passionate about, and give their “why.” I find it hard to write a few succinct sentences that summarize me and my work authentically. After doing the self-reflection to discover my hybrid identity, I realized that who I am at the intersections of my professional identities is the inspiration for this summary. In this section, I explicitly state I’m a hybrid professional and then explain the relationships between my identities (aka my hybridity). This is my pitch about me and my hybrid superpowers.
- EXPERTISE & SKILL SET SECTIONS: I place my expertise in the left side of my resume. This list of keywords is partially derived from skills that appear in the intersections of my identities (again, an easy place to mine and find inspiration) and also populated by keywords the employer is looking for. I want to be a match and move to an interview (and AI searches on keywords) so I know I need to use key terms, and I also want to reflect my true abilities. The skill set section is a place where I give more color and description around my top skills, instead of just listing them like I do in the expertise section.
The rest of my resume is formal with my education, work history, and other relevant experiences.
If you’re curious how to self-reflect on your intersections or don’t know who you are in the intersections of your identities (which is what forms your hybridity), then check out my workbook and my online course. You’ll find tons of inspiration about your true professional identity and what kind of hybrid professional you are by investigating your intersections. It’s worth trying those exercises if you haven’t yet.
(originally posted on my blog here)