Monday, September 3, 2012


I suppose it would be funnier if I didn't point out the post title, since it's actually résumés but who bothers with the accents? and it's been a while since my last post so now my posting resumes and..and it's just a great play on words and I have to make sure you all acknowledge how clever it is.

Anyway, yeah. Résumés. I have been volunteered to edit a lot of résumés lately--mostly by my husband--and I realize that while I can make a terrible resume good, I can't make good résumés great. (Which explains why mine is so pedestrian.) But last week I totally overhauled a résumé for someone, and I was pretty pleased with myself, so now I'm telling you about it. (I'm kind of tired of being volunteered, though, since I do put a lot of time into it and could reasonably make a side job of it, except I can't exactly shake down unemployed relatives, now can I?)

You see, I've decided that a good résumé is like a good outfit. It minimizes your flaws and plays up your assets. Not that I would ever falsify or condone falsifying one's job history, but you can present it in a way that puts you at your most attractive.

So I realized off the bat that the standard reverse-chronological format was not going to do this...well, I can't call him a customer, since that implies payment, and client isn't much better but I guess it will have to do...client any favors. Lots of gaps, hopping from field to field, short two- or three-month gigs, etc., and the typical format would do nothing but highlight that. I remembered when we were interviewing at my last job for a temp to replace the temp who replaced me, and the one we ended up picking had a unique format that highlighted the types of jobs and industries she had worked in. I can't remember specifically what it looked like, but it was enough of an idea that I came up with this:

Well, not this exactly, obviously, as the fake contact info and heavy blurring would hardly get you a job, but names have been changed to protect the innocent, etc. You get the point, though. Instead of highlighting the time at each job and how the history jumps industries, we highlight the different fields and how much experience he has. There was some debate as to if we should put the dates for each job, but I don't think people really care that much, especially for entry level applications. They're more interested to see how much time you have in that line of work, which we did include.

It took some selling, but I finally won over the client to my vision for his résumé. And I think once the logic of my air-tight reasoning sunk in, he was actually really enthusiastic about it. He handed out a bunch on Tuesday and by Thursday already had a couple interviews scheduled. And again, like a good outfit, a résumé you feel good about can give you the boost of encouragement you need to get out there and show people how awesome you actually are.

So there you have it, that's what I did last week. (And then I went to Utah this weekend and took zero pictures with me in them, which was stupid because there were SO MANY cute babies to pose with.) And not that I am volunteering to overhaul your résumé--unless you make it worth my while, heh--but you can at least consider this my permission to do something totally unorthodox with your résumé.


  1. I organized my last resume by the skills listed on the job description. I still think it was good even though I didn't get an interview.

    1. That's quite clever! I usually just update it for each application with key words from the description. Especially if it's a big company likely to run a filter for keywords.

  2. That's kind of genius and if I were ever to go back to the insanity of work that I have the most experience for, I would totally call you to rework my resume.
    Also, I think your post title is really clever and one day look forward to knowing you in person. Just because.

    1. Y'know, we're really not that far apart. And my in-laws live in OC...


Be nice.