Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Resume rant

This weekend, I helped one of my aunts write her resume. I helped her because she is family, not because I enjoy writing resumes. In fact, I really despise writing resumes. I hate them so much that I have, in the past, turned down paid work that involved resume writing.

Why do I dislike them so? Let me count the ways . . .
  • The spin factor: Resumes are supposed to play up your strengths and downplay your weaknesses. But people often walk a fine line between truth and fiction in their resumes.
  • So much to say, so little space to say it: It can be a real challenge to distill years of work into a few bullet points.
  • So little to say . . .: Conversely, not everybody has a good or lengthy work history, and yet their resume is their first impression upon prospective employers. This brings us back to the spin factor.
  • One man's trash is another man's resume: This one really sticks in my craw, because it contradicts almost everything I've already written. The success of a resume is arbitrary. Even if you have a horrible resume, chock full of typos and half-truths, there's still a good chance you'll get hired. In my cubefarm days, I used to have to comb through my fellow employees' resumes to write their bios for the company website, proposals, etc. They were, generally speaking, atrocious. And the higher paid the employee, the worse their resume was likely to be. In what world is that fair?


Angie Ledbetter said...

Funny, what you say about writing resumes (eww) sort of resembles political writings. ;)

Adding you to my Rockin' Blog roll, and if I can find a Follow button, I'll do that too. Nice place here.

Terri Tiffany said...

You made me feel better about resumes although I dislike them as much! I recently had to make up my husband's and now my daughter's. Not fun.

writtenexpressions said...

Angie, I just added the Follow gadget. It looks very sad right now, so I hope you do decide to follow me!

Terri, I hope your hubby and daughter appreciated for your help. Professional resume writers pull down some serious cash for the services we're just giving away to our friends and family!

Joanne said...

They almost sound like a query letter - in limited space you have to come up with that soundbite to pique the reader's desire to know more!

Susan Johnston said...

#4 is sad but true. Of course, I think it also depends on the job you're applying for. A typo in an IT person's resume is more forgiveable than one in a writer's resume.