Someday I hope to find whoever instructs my 10+ year veteran consultants to turn their incredible careers into one condensed page of confusion – and kick them in the shin.
Now I realize that there are SEVERAL schools of thought with regard to resume writing. Let’s face it – selling yourself on paper is probably one of the most difficult tasks other than perhaps – changing a tire without scratching your knuckles on the pavement. As the years have passed, I have found myself the career counselor to every friend of mine who begins a new job search and it always begins the same way “Can I send you my resume to take a look at?” Resumes are scary, tedious, and everyone has a different philosophy.
Case in point: The other day, I’m talking to a .Net Developer. 20 years in the business, several recent years of awesome .Net expertise – highly marketable background. He sends over his 1 1/2 page resume and I find that both pages are in tables – with no explanation of what his responsibilities were or what types of projects he was working on. It was in essence, a technical summary. I say to him “Do you have a resume that goes into a bit of detail?” His response “The last few recruiters I spoke to told me to put it in this format so I did.” My response – “Have you gotten any interviews with those recruiters?”
I have a philosophy with regard to resume creation. I’m putting it below – please feel free to share.
· First and foremost – unless you are a recent college graduate, a one page resume cannot possibly illustrate a lifetime of achievement. There is a healthy balance however, 10+ page resumes are never good either. Assume that an employer will look at your last 5 years – so make those last 5 years count. (Let go of the one page resume – seriously – put it in the garbage)
· Secondly – each candidate should have three versions of their resume on hand at all times. One that is catered to technology and process, another that is more narrative (your story telling resume), and one that lays out EVERYTHING in detail – it is ALWAYS a good idea to have something somewhere with detail so you can refer to it or cut and paste. If you’re dealing with a good recruiter who knows their client well, they will be able to tell you which version will help secure an interview.
· Finally - for the love – cater your resume to suit the job you’re applying to. Clients, while fabulous and incredibly intelligent, are not psychic. They cannot deduce from your resume that you in fact have every technology they are searching for unless they see it (or find it in a key word search) – help them out! My favorite conversations with consultants are typically about this very topic. They apply to an Oracle Financials Analyst role – and have no Oracle Financials listed on their resume. So I use this analogy – would you apply to be a Circus Acrobat with no mention of gymnastic or acrobatic training on your resume?
The moral of the story – I never placed said .Net Consultant because a week or so after our initial conversation and resume revamp session, I received an ecstatic email from him letting me know that he had gotten a fantastic contract in New York City and “Oh by the way your resume tips worked!” Now - if only I could parlay my helpful resume revamps into income or even better - charge a bag of Reese’s for each session.