The No. 1 Thing Hiring Managers Want to See on Your Resume, According to a Career Coach

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May 29, 2024 at 8:36PM UTC

In one document, how can you convey what exactly makes you an excellent candidate in a meaningful way — and a way that's ahead of the curve? What's the No. 1 thing hiring managers are looking for in a resume? 

Storytelling is absolutely key. 

Your resume needs to be easy to understand and clearly demonstrate why a hiring manager should schedule an interview with you in a narrative that makes you stand out from the crowd. How can you use storytelling on your resume? Here 4 easy ways to implement this tactic and make your resume stand out in a whole new way:

1. Make sure your "why" goes with your “what.” 

It’s easy to get very tactical on your resume and simply describe what you did in technical terms. But the “why” matters just as much as the "what." Here are questions you can ask yourself to ensure you spelling out the “why” of your experience on your resume: 

  • What problems did you solve? Are they included in your document? 

  • Why is your work helpful? Have you communicated your usefulness? 

  • What is the implication of your work? How did it connect to business goals? 

  • How is this work transferrable to another role or industry? 

2. Demonstrate how your personality — and your leadership skills — have contributed to your results. 

When spelling out your previous work experience, don’t forget to emphasize your leadership skills and other positive soft skills. Did you take the lead on projects? Can you refer to instances where you presented or trained your colleagues? Where your communication skills came in handy? Where you implemented a new process or used your insights to offer a new product? Hiring managers want to hire people that are comfortable being leaders, who are great at working with others and who are clear communicators, especially when these traits lead to results. 

3. Make sure your story concludes with measurable results.

Hiring managers want to know what you accomplished in your past roles. It is up to you showcase the results achieved and why it is meaningful for the new position you are applying for. Use numbers — especially those tied to revenue — whenever possible. When you are able to do this on your resume, then you are sparking the interest of the hiring manager to schedule an interview with you immediately.

4. Remember that format matters. 

Presentation always matters. Why do we spend time planning on what we wear to an interview? You want to make the best impression with the interviewer. When it comes to your resume, you want to select a format that demonstrates you are a visual storyteller, too. Here are some resume templates that you can help inspire your new storytelling resume: 


Natasha Nurse is a speaker, coach, podcaster, and content creator. She started Dressing Room 8 to provide a web-based resource where women can gain personal and professional empowerment through her fashion and lifestyle focused blog. Dressing Room 8 helps women learn how to think with clarity, dress with confidence, and live with purpose. She is the Lifestyle Editor for Plus Model Magazine and she co-hosts a podcast with her husband called WokeNFree. Follow Natasha on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube. Don’t forget to join her Dressing Room 8 and WokeNFree groups on FGB. 

This article was written by a FGB Contributor.

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