First of all I think resumes are a waste of time for many fields. This is especially true of PR, marketing, social media, advertising, et al.
Why? Because they tell me virtually nothing about you that truly matters. How strategically do you think about complex problems? Would you be fun, interesting, inspiring to work with? I don’t care that you can hold a job, even it sounds cool. You could’ve been a cog in the wheel. You could’ve embellished.
Resumes go in big stacks. They don’t get read, if they do you have something like 15-20 second to impress someone with a piece of paper you probably spent too much money on and Times New Roman. Fah-get-about-it.
Resumes get your foot in the door. Guess who wants their foot in the door in this economy? That’s right. Everyone. And their mom. There are significantly better ways to get your foot in the door.
IF… IF you insist on sending a resume please keep these things in mind:
> Unless you’re in academia keep it to one page. Seriously. Nobody is going to read your second page. Whatever your explanation. It’s wrong.
> If it doesn’t pertain to the company you’re applying for a position at, leave it off. I don’t care if you were an awesome cater waiter, leave it off. Maybe it shows perseverance, and that’s great, but I want to know if you can sell widgets. You’re welcome to explain how being a cater waiter taught you the discipline you need to succeed a X company, just save it for the interview. If you get it.
> Throw an interest or two on there at the very bottom. Plenty of people will disagree, but I’ve found it to be an excellent conversation point if it’s something unique, potentially relevant, and/or aligns with the interests of the person interviewing you.
> If you’re a Junior in college or older, do not under any circumstances tell me that you were the captain of your football team. With a ton of context this could be valuable, but my initial reaction is that your graduating class was 11 people, and I don’t care. Student council secretary though, that’s a big deal.
> Be creative. If I was applying for a job right now, one where I thought I’d have to send a resume I’d break all the rules your business school tells you. I would make a huge Venn diagram with my specialties, the companies specialties, and how the two align to create something awesome in the middle. Yes, some would throw it away, but others would stop flipping through long enough to stop and take a peek. They’d be more likely to remember it. And who knows, my ideas might warrant an interview.
And a better alternative to a resume?
How about starting a blog. Then hiring managers can get a solid indication of your ideas, your thought process, how you communicate, how well you write, who you affiliate yourself with. It’s a much better measuring stick. Who knows, you might become a thought leader and end up on the other side of the interrogation.
What say you?
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