July 18, 2008

Resume Changes

Filed under: Human Relations, Personal Branding, School — Robert John Ed @ 2:53 am

Well this is disappointing. I just met with a lovely gal at Carlson about my resume, and got some bad news. All that work I put into my resume (which was posted here) will go for naught.

At Carlson, they implement something called a resume book, used for potential employers to shuffle through. I assume this is not the only means of offering a resume to employers, but it is certainly the preferred method for two unacquainted parties. Here’s the kicker, to be in the resume book you have to use a Microsoft Word template with macros. Ugh.

Now I have all the respect in the world for this gal and Carlson. But this is a big mistake. There are a few good reasons for this. The first thing that comes to mind is that the way I layout my resume and what I use to format it are measures of my creativity in itself. Taking that away is bogus. The flip side of the argument is that potential employers are looking for redundancy in order to pinpoint critical information about a candidate. This would simplify a resume search for some, but after recently conducting a thorough resume search on my own for my replacement at my previous employer, I can guarantee that putting information in the exact same format as someone else is far more likely to get me cast aside than having a unique resume.

Secondly, making all resumes uniform does little to highlight candidates’ strengths. For instance, I may well not have the credentials matched perfectly for an employer needing, say, a copywriter. Yet if I were to frame my abilities in such a way that shown my talents adequately, those deficiencies could be overcome, not so with a uniform text. Understanding this supposition is somewhat dependent on seeing the formatting of the macro piece, but I digress.

A resume is meant to put your best foot forward, and altering my format to match everyone else is anything but that. I want and need to express my creativity as well as my writing ability; which are severely hindered within the given constraints. We’ll see what comes of this. As of right now, I’m going to do both versions. Send them both with an argument for why I’d like to use my preferred version and see if I can get that used instead of the cookie cutter piece. I’ll post both and poll the readers of this blog to get an adequate idea of which is preferable.


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