Meet Oprah Winfrey, one of the most influential women in the world. And better yet, in business. How did someone like her go from rags to riches by age 32? Winfrey has a story that can’t be overlooked, especially not on a resume. Let’s identify how a multimillion-dollar tycoon like Oprah summarizes her experience on a single page.
We would recognize Oprah if we were to ever run into her in person from her debut on the Oprah Winfrey Show, her partnership with Weight Watchers, or even the movie, the Color Purple. Who Oprah is as a person shines through in every aspect of her life and every chapter of her career. But how does who Oprah is as a person translate to her resume?
The challenge of life, I have found, is to build a resume that doesn't simply tell a story about what you want to be, but it's a story about who you want to be. — Oprah Winfrey
From every experience, every milestone, and every mistake, Oprah has taken that and created more impact than anyone could have ever imagined. It didn’t happen overnight, but with a career that spans 30 years and still counting. From her first debut on Good Morning America, she made her presence known until that experience led her to be the anchor of her own talk show.
This is Oprah’s 30 years of experience on a resume, courtesy of Novorésumé below.
After reviewing the resume above, you’ll notice that a few things excel.
#1: Oprah’s credentials are highlighted at the top.
The headline that sits to the right of her image reads Media Executive. Actress. Talk Show Host. Philanthropist. Isn’t it powerful how a few words can not only sell you on her career, but who she is as a person? As a quick gesture for recruiters, it’s also beneficial to include this information at the top of the page so it won’t get skipped. Be sure that this information lines up with your current credentials and position.
#2: This resume quantified achievements where possible.
This advice carries weight for any professional resume, but especially that of an executive. At this point in your career, you are more likely to be managing teams, budgets, and department goals so you’ll want those numbers to drive impact in the same places you did. For example, in the resume above, Oprah hosted 25 seasons and 4560+ episodes as a host & producer for the Oprah Winfrey Show.
#3: Oprah’s website and other social media handles are listed for recruiters to see.
In today’s day and age, having a professional reputation isn’t enough: 90% of employers search for social media profiles before setting up an interview. If you have a website or are active on LinkedIn, you’ll want to share this information next to your name and number on your resume. This streamlines the process for recruiters, builds trust, and gets you hired faster.
Bonus Tip: Be mindful of whether your verbs for each position are in the present or past tense, depending on your status for each position currently.
Final Thoughts on Building Your Resume
While talent and personality have led Oprah to be the sensation she is today, worth $2.6 billion and the first African-American female billionaire in the U.S. — there’s more than meets the resume. Oprah was determined to let her authenticity build her career from the ground up. If you take the steps that align with your values for your career, you can too.
For more insights into the next phase of your career, check out some of our other articles.