As I was decking the halls and rocking around the Christmas tree last week, I came to the realization that the process of decorating a Christmas tree and the resume writing process share several similarities. Don’t believe me? Take a look below at the five ways that constructing your resume and decorating your Christmas tree are alike.

  1. Even if your tree decorating skills are subpar, you likely understand the process of getting a tree set up- secure the tree so that it doesn’t topple over, stand back, look at the tree from different angles, reposition, and repeat until the most attractive side is the most visible. The same steps can be applied to the resume writing process. The first step is writing a solid resume outlining your previous work experience, education, skills, and accomplishments. Once that has been secured, take a step back, critically look at your resume from different perspectives, edit, and repeat until your best attributes shine.
  2. Spacing is key in creating an aesthetically pleasing tree, and constructing a resume. Similar to large gaps between ornaments on a Christmas tree, gaps in your employment history will gain unwanted attention and become an eyesore. Rather than leaving these gaps empty, fill them in with volunteer opportunities that you took advantage of, continuing education, or freelance work.   
  3. No one likes a sparsely decorated Christmas tree or reading a sparse resume. Yes, your resume should be limited to one page; however, limiting the length does not mean that you limit the content. Fill your resume with reasons that you are the right candidate for the job.
  4. Unless you have a tree that is decorated with mismatched ornaments that your kids have lovingly made throughout the years, it is likely that your Christmas tree adheres to some sort of color scheme or theme. You should also apply this to your resume by keeping a similar theme throughout. What theme should you choose? The theme of your resume is the job that you are applying for. Catering your resume to that common theme will give it a clear direction and focus.   
  5. In the interest of time, it is tempting to only decorate the part of the tree with the most visibility. Despite this temptation, put the extra work into having a well-rounded tree. As a candidate, you also need to make sure that you look good from all angles. Even while catering your resume to a specific industry or position, make sure to add in personal details that will reflect a multifaceted candidate.