The 5W1H Formula

Have you ever heard of the 5W1H Formula? It’s especially helpful in planning your resume and job search.

Rudyard Kipling, the great poet once wrote:

I keep six faithful serving men
Who teach me well and true
Their names are What and Where and When
And How and Why and Who.

Journalists call this the “5W1H” formula and while it’s great for investigating information for a story or article, you can apply it when writing your own resume and planning your job search.

  • Who are you pitching your skills to?
  • What can you do for them?
  • Why are you better than other candidates? Why choose you?
  • How can you prove your case?
  • Where should you communicate your message to reach prime prospects?
  • When is it best strategically to reach them?

The four can be successfully exploited when writing your resume. Is your message targeted correctly? Is it clear what you do and how superior you are to other candidates? Have you proven it by value propositions in your resume and cover letter? The rest is helping you communicate your message. Where should you go with your powerful PR piece (resume)? Should you go to the job boards filled with hopeful jobseekers where your application may be lost? OR, should you network, communicate your availability on social media sites such as Linked in, Facebook and Twitter where you can source specialist recruiters, senior executives, and industry movers and shakers?

The 5W1H formula is clear and compelling and you can use it right now!

6 Comments

  1. Gayle Howard

    @ilostmyjob Thanks! I wrote a blog piece a while back on the formula for writing a resume. Perhaps you'd like to see it. http://is.gd/5wW8u

    Reply
  2. Gayle Howard

    @ilostmyjob Thanks! I wrote a blog piece a while back on the formula for writing a resume. Perhaps you'd like to see it. http://is.gd/5wW8u

    Reply
  3. Dustin Norman

    This is a great blog post. I have a degree in English and our professors would always stress this: Who, What, Where, When, Why & How. If you can explain those 6 things when you’re writing anything, it will increase your readability, clarity and focus 10 fold.

    Very simple tips to very serious success.

    Reply
    • Gayle

      Thanks Dustin! You’ve hit the nail on the head. Readability, clarity and focus are the winning ingredients to all good content!

      Reply
  4. Dustin Norman

    This is a great blog post. I have a degree in English and our professors would always stress this: Who, What, Where, When, Why & How. If you can explain those 6 things when you’re writing anything, it will increase your readability, clarity and focus 10 fold.

    Very simple tips to very serious success.

    Reply
    • Gayle

      Thanks Dustin! You’ve hit the nail on the head. Readability, clarity and focus are the winning ingredients to all good content!

      Reply

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About Gayle Howard

If you are interested in working with Gayle Howard—an executive resume writer, Certified Master Resume Writer, multi-award-winning resume writer, and Master LinkedIn profile writer, drop her a line now using the contact form at the link above. Gayle can help you get interviews for your dream job and bring the world of business to you by maximizing your exposure and connections on LinkedIn.