It's the most wonderful time of the year! By now, you're gearing up for the holidays and doing all you can to make this season special. Your extra effort and extreme measures seek to make sure you find just the right gift for Friends and Family. Maybe an upcoming company Christmas Party means even more thoughtfulness in gift-giving. Or, maybe you plan to buy a few "gag gifts" adding a little more fun to the holiday season festivities. No matter how the recipient of your gift feels about it, you remember the old saying, "It's the thought that counts!"

By now, you can imagine the reaction from Friends, Family, and Co-Workers once they open your gift. If you choose your gifts wisely, the expected reaction happens. If you choose poorly, you might hear some carefully-chosen words or a simple, "Oh, that's nice...thanks." (That's what happens when you select Fruit Cake for the "Secret Santa" portion of the company party this year!)

Your resume is no different. Like a gift, you need to put some extra thought, extra effort, and lots of consideration into it. Let's explore and unwrap this idea a little further!

Before you wrote your resume (assuming you already have one), you probably put a lot of thought into it. You had an idea in your mind as to what your resume would look like. You chose your words wisely and with care. You dusted off all those awards, evaluation reports, and emails that touted your excellence and carefully placed those "success pearls & nuggets" within the text of your resume. You imagined the prospective employer excitedly opening the email attachment and only to be wowed and overwhelmed with excitement. You knew your resume guaranteed instant calls for interviews and getting hired on the spot. You might have gone to the extent of wrapping your resume in the best paper known to humanity. After all, your resume is a gift!

Many resumes read as though you just showed up for work. Nothing remarkable or exciting. Nothing to brag about. (Kind of like that Christmas Tree from the Charlie Brown special!) Reading it has the same effect as drinking a little too much Egg Nog, if you know what I mean. Let me put it this way; you need to bring the same level of excitement to your resume as a kid waiting for Santa Claus on Christmas Eve!

That means, treat your gifts as special. Recognize those seemingly insignificant words & phrases found on your Letters of Recommendation and Awards as cherished gifts. Read your personal employment files and documents word-for-word and find the "phrase that pays"! Make a list of the times you made the "Play-of-the Day" at work. (Ask any sports fan in case that last one made no sense to you!) Add this stuff to your resume!

There's an old saying that I believe says it best; "The only gift is a portion of yourself. The gift without the giver is bare." James Russell Lowell

Not only is it important for you to be the "giver" of your resume (It needs your personal touch and input.); you need to give it all you've got. So, give a huge portion of yourself on your resume!

And, with all your gifts given this Christmas season.