human-voiced resume

Let Your Voice Speak Through Your Resume

Have you considered the possibility of something missing from your resume?

Writing Your Resume

You’re always polishing your resume because you want to “stand out” as a job seeker in this competitive job market.

You want to communicate to hiring managers you’re a fit for the job and find yourself caught up in the process of conveying this message.

You’re so caught up you forget to appeal directly to the hiring manager.

Still, you continue your resume revamping process – without this element – with the hope of catching the hiring manager’s attention.

You’re not alone.

This element has been missing from my resume as well. I’m always improving my resume but not once considered it.

Don’t be alarmed, though. It’s not too late to improve your resume with this important element. I’m doing the same.

Traditional Resume Writing

Before I tell you what your resume is missing, let’s consider traditional resume writing.

As job seekers, we’ve been advised to get the attention of potential employers by writing a resume focusing on the match between our qualifications and the requirements of the targeted job – keywords included.

Now, I find nothing wrong with this.

As someone using the targeted job search approach, I follow this advice. If you don’t, usually, you’ll find yourself a disqualified candidate.

The reason is:

The hiring manager won’t hire someone who doesn’t have the ability to meet the responsibilities of the job. It won’t look good.

The Missing Element of Your Traditional Resume

So, the traditional resume works in this way. What it lacks, however, is:

Your Human Voice!

human-voiced resume
Let Your Voice Speak Through Your Resume.
Creative Commons’ Flickr Photo Courtesy of Flazingo Photos. Edited by Me.

With the standard resume format, you can’t tell your career story as a human with accomplishments and capabilities. You can’t “stand out” in this way – though advised otherwise.


Traditional resumes usually include several phrases. A few are:

  • Excellent Oral and Written Communication Skills
  • Strong Work Ethic
  • Works Well Individually and Part of a Team
  • Results-Oriented and Reliable Professional

There’s more where these come from. I know you’re familiar with them!

Think about something with me momentarily: Would you use these phrases if you were face-to-face communicating with a hiring manager?

Would you?

I wouldn’t.

Why? When I think about it now, I realize something: these phrases by themselves say I have these skills but don’t present a clear sense of my ability to use them when required.

Though these phrases alone don’t send you to the job applicant rejection file (I’ve been interviewed after submitting resumes with variations of these phrases), this is a problem because everyone uses them.

You can’t personally speak to those in hiring positions with these canned phrases.

I want you to consider this fact when engaged in your next resume writing session:

You can professionally present yourself as yourself while looking for a job. But, you’ll have to write a “Human-Voiced Resume.”

This approach is said to draw the hiring manager in and have her/him wanting to know more. How about this for securing an interview?

Sounds good. Don’t you think?

Human-Voiced Resume Writing

If you’ve been reading this blog for some time, you might’ve noticed a few references to the work of Liz Ryan, CEO of Human Workplace. This is another one.

Ryan coined the term, “Human-Voiced Resume” and advises job seekers to put a human voice in their resumes. Sound like yourself. Resumes are about you after all.

With all this talk about a human voice in your resume, you might be wondering more about this style of resume. In her blog post titled, What is a Human-Voiced Resume, Ryan says:

“A Human-Voiced Resume sounds like a person is talking to you — pretty much the way I’m talking with you right now.”

She goes on to say:

“A Human-Voiced Resume is still a resume. It’s one or two pages long. It shows black or blue ink on white bond paper or a white or off-white screen. In all those respects a Human-Voiced Resume is standard.

Here’s where your Human-Voiced Resume departs from the zombie-esque traditional resume format.

You’ll use ‘I’ in your Human-Voiced Resume. You can’t write a Human-Voiced Resume without the word ‘I,’ and why would you want to? ‘I’ is not a scary word!”

You read it right. You can use the word “I” because the resume is about YOU and YOUR career.

You can read more of her post linked below:

Liz Ryan, What is a Human-Voiced Resume │ Human Workplace

Ryan presents a different way to approach resume writing. This is totally outside of standard procedure.

But I find this interesting because it gives job seekers the opportunity to do something different.

With the standard resume format, employers really can’t distinguish you from other job seekers. Everyone looks the same on paper.

With the human-voiced resume, however, those in hiring positions can see you’re a human being. Your resume will truly “stand out” from the other resumes hiring managers will read.

human-voiced resume
Let Your Voice Speak Through Your Resume.
Original Photo Courtesy of Pexels. Edited by Me.

You’ll tell your story and not everyone else’s.

Will You Write a Human-Voiced Resume?

From Me to You: When writing (or updating) your resume, communicate both your professionalism and human factors. Upon humanizing your resume, your voice will speak through, and you’ll stand out positively in your job search.

Ryan’s approach to writing a resume has given me a different perspective, so I chose to share it with you. I hope it does the same for you!

If you find this approach as interesting as I do, then please check out the links above as well as the following:

You can see an example of a Human-Voiced Resume in Ryan’s LinkedIn article:

Liz Ryan, How to Write a Human-Voiced Resume │ LinkedIn

For more about this type of non-traditional resume, you can also check out Ryan’s What Is a Human-Voiced Resume video below!

Disclaimer 1: I am not an HR or Career Professional by training. When I write on job search topics, I write from the perspective of a job seeker with experience in job searching.

Disclaimer 2: This article contains several outgoing links to works of Liz Ryan of Human Workplace.

P.S. Are you familiar with the Human-Voiced Resume? If not, will you make the switch to this resume writing approach? Please share your thoughts below because I’m interested in them!