The Tom Cruise metaphor is a story Perfect Resumé CEO Kent Lee shares with clients almost every day to create job-winning resumés.
The Tom Cruise metaphor helps illustrate to clients that when it comes to choosing content for your resumé, less can actually be more.
So here’s the Tom Cruise Metaphor.
Let’s say you walk into a bar, and you meet Tom Cruise. He says, “Hi, I’m Tom Cruise, the actor.” You say, “Really? What movies have you been in?”
Tom says, “I’ve been in ‘A Few Good Men,’ ‘Risky Business’ and ‘Jerry McGuire.’”
And if he stops talking right there, you’d probably be blown away, beacause all 3 of these movies are iconic, Academy Award-nominated films.
But if Tom kept talking and said, “I was also in ‘Rock of Ages,’ ‘The Last Samurai,’ ‘Far and Away,’ ‘Tropic Thunder,’ ‘Magnolia,’ ‘Knight and Day,’ ‘Valkyrie’ …” all of the sudden, he’s lost impact.
Because all of these movies aren’t that great and didn’t do nearly as well at the box office.
So how does this translate to your resumé? When selecting content to include on your resumé, only choose your best stuff. Don’t waste time mentioning the small things that will only take up space and take the focus off of your best work.
At Perfect Resumé, we use this technique when selecting accomplishments for resumés. We ask our clients to provide up to 6 accomplishments for each one of their jobs, but in most cases, only the top 2 or 3 end up on the resumé. Why? Because we want the emphasis to be on the best.
If you have a resumé that is filled with average content, your resumé will get average results. You don’t have to list every single job detail you performed or every single accomplishment. If you do, you’ll sound less impressive, not more impressive.
Writing a resumé can be tricky. Whether you are writing your resumé on your own, or working with a professional resumé writing company like Perfect Resumé, remember to only focus on your best information, just like “A Few Good Men,” “Jerry McGuire” and “Risky Business” are 3 of Tom Cruise’s best movies.