BLUF = Bottom Line Up Front
I’m looking for a new job in the Greater Boston area working in any industry as a risk analyst (think security, not financial), intelligence professional, instructor, or other related or complementary job title, and break into middle management with a path to the upper echelons. There, I said it. My BLUF.
When I was in grade school, middle school, high school and college, I was taught to write out a topic sentence or thesis statement, something that we were going to prove. Then we were encouraged to lay out two to three examples and finish with a conclusion derived from the topic sentence.
When I got to the “real world” they told me that all the stuff I learned about writing topic sentences and thesis statements and putting the conclusion at the bottom of the paper was all backwards. They, the royal they that is, told me that I had to put the Bottom Line Up Front, because nobody would have the time to read or care to read my entire article or thesis, to MAYBE learn something new. They wanted the conclusion up front, accessible, easy on the eyes and in bold. If they liked what I saw then they might read through some of the piece.
Why do I bring this up when my BLUF was job search related? Twitter seems to follow this lesson. Tell us about your cat or your coffee or the weather in 140 characters or less. If we like it, we’ll open the image or click on the associated story or watch the video. Then we’ll tell our friends about it in 140 characters or less too. But what happens when you have lots to tell and you don’t know what your listener wants or needs to hear? How does one tell a potential employer all about your skills, abilities, global travel experiences, impressive ability to prioritize, and the time you stayed up all night at your first grown-up job making copies for an attorney in the World Trade Center in NYC listening to the building creak as the wind swayed the tower back and forth, in 140 characters or less?.
A resume is supposed to highlight your skills or your previous duties, hopefully aligned with the job to which you are applying. The cover letter is supposed to summarize the resume addressing specific needs of the employer and how you might be the best fit for the position. Is there not a better way?
If you know about it, please let me know. I’m wasting too much time on the computer, typing, emailing and connecting with no tangible results. I’ve got multiple versions of my resume. Which one do you want to see? And, see the BLUF.