There comes a time in an adults life when it becomes necessary to set aside Pinterest, WordPress, Facebook, crafting, watching NCIS re-runs, avoiding exercise, researching clever plugins, ruminating on what shoulda coulda woulda been if, or whatever else we’re doing and just sit down and revise your damn resume, already, Andrea, sheesh.
(Wah! I don’t wanna) I mean, I do but what I mean is that I don’t wanna. I’ve done it periodically through the ages. Taken out all bullet points because I read an article on Inc.com that hiring managers only want to know where you’ve worked and when. Changed the order of jobs from chronological to task/skill oriented order, like leadership jobs, admin jobs, organizational jobs, active jobs…blah blah.
Gah! Save me, I don’t wanna.
One source says one style of formatting is best, another source says “don’t ever format that way!”
“Resumes should only be one page, no interstitials, HR doesn’t have time!”
“If your resume isn’t long and comprehensive, nobody will read it.”
One source (and most website application systems) says you absolutely must put all months, dates and years of employment, while another says simply putting the years is sufficient.
My coach pointed out to me this morning that my work history goes back too far, which I understand. But on the other hand my Marine Corps experience, 20 years ago, had gotten me most of my jobs, so I always feel the need to express it somehow in my resume.
Resumes to me are like trying to wear the right outfit and say the right thing at a party full of strangers. I get it wrong. Often. I sincerely dislike feeling like I must read people’s minds, or try to make them like me by knowing magically how to please them. And I do not, do not have the psychological tolerance for sitting down and devoting time to learn everything there is to learn about great resumes. It makes me want to peel my skin off. I cannot. I cannot.
Seriously… it’s like being forced to watch paint dry because if you don’t know everything about paint drying then you’re not allowed to change the color of your bedroom walls. And come on, the boudoir is where all the magic happens. You cannot tell me I’m not allowed to change the wall color in the room where all the magic happens. I will not stand for it.
You know.. it’s like math. It’s like I’m back in school and required to do algebra before reading a history book. My personal hell.
Yeah okay, now I’m just being melodramatic because I lost track of my point.
My philosophy is this… a resume is a resume. When will it become common knowledge that the preferences of people doing the hiring are just as subjective as the preferences of the worker who wrote their own resume? What appears so clearly defined to others looks like a crap shoot to me. One persons order is completely random to another. There is no standard, if there were there wouldn’t be such contradictions.
Unless your personal portfolio is some amaze-balls website, or clever hook, or a cover letter drenched with such special awesome sauce that nobody cares about your work history, don’t we all have better things we could be doing than researching another way to reinvent the resume wheel? Because it’s like BLS (basic life support) training, whose “yearly” requirements and standards change, I swear, hourly. Who has time for that?
Of course, I am whining and am therefore overruled, even by myself. Shrug.
This year will mark the first time I sought out professional help (thanks Stacy!) because I know I’ve reached the point in my career when I must begin to care about presenting myself as a grown up (curses, foiled again) and force myself to care that a basic list of work experience apparently isn’t sufficient inducement to HR offices anymore (grumble, grouse, grumble).
It sounds like I’m making a mountain out of a molehill, but ever since the 3 year debacle of a torture-chamber experience that put me out of business – working with Medicare on a project when I was in private practice (and don’t even get me started on trying to understand the IRS) – I have an utter horror of focusing attention on bureaucracy, hoop jumping or devoting valuable time and brain cells to trying to understand the
shockingly arbitrary and subjective official nuances of pleasing society at large with the perfect resume when I cannot help but anticipate to be told at every interview that I still didn’t do it “right.” That is one serious run on sentence. For real. Wow. ps Thanks Medicare, I still hate you with every last breath.
Hence my recent request to my coach (calmly written but actually a thinly veiled gasp for help) that we (and by “we” I mean whoever she knows who I can pay to do it for me) revamp my resume.
But the truth is, I don’t nece-celery want to be hired by somebody who looks at my fancy new resume and thinks “this is the type of professional I want to work with.” I want to work with people who read this post, and peruse the rest of my blog, and think “Her resume is perfect, but this woman is kinda crazy/creative/different in a way that I like, so I really want to work with her.”
Oh Stacy? Can we do my resume on cellophane and trick it out so that it’s only readable if the hiring manager can fold it like an origami swan? That I could focus on.
Resumes. I’m already exhausted. I can feel my blood pressure rising at the thought. I literally just had to wipe my brow and eat some chocolate to simmer down. See?
If I seem irritatingly high strung and overly sensitive, read this and maybe it will modify your perspective.