Resumes. Oh how I hate resumes.
You’d think, loving writing the way that I do, I would love resumes. A chance to show off my skills, not only writing skills, but all those others I learned over the years in all those crazy jobs… sounds perfect, right? But no, no I do not like them Sam I am. I do not like them on paper, I do not like them in a Box (.net), I do not like them online, I have never liked any of mine.
I love helping other people with resumes; I am great at finding punchy action words, powerful success statements, and descriptions that really POP, when I am talking about other people. When it comes to my own accomplishments, the moment I sit down and think of what I have done, all the punch and pop and zing flatten into just another comic book page, mocking me with spiky word bubbles of stagnant, meaningless, non-action. (No offense to comic books readers – old classics are cool, but KA-POW! in a black and white star cloud vs. 3D HD X-Men movie scenes…. Pretty flat and boring).
When I write about other people, I tell them to be proud, that they are amazing and successful and totally deserve all the jazzing up that I write into their resumes. When I write about myself, I feel arrogant and misleading and I totally backpedal into blandness. I know that is silly, I know it, but it doesn’t matter. I sometimes even try to pretend I am writing about someone else, but my subconscious yells LIAR! and yanks my writing back into”proper” humility.
Not only can I not get around my humble ideas of my self, all the experience I have, totally goes against convention – great in practice, terrible in theory. These days though, with everything being online or “who you know,” if you are new to town, your resume is everything, so looking good “in theory” or on paper, is key. I look terrible on paper.
I don’t know what to do about this. My resume is a mess. Scratch that – my resumes are a mess. Yes, I have more than one. I write new ones all the time. I have been writing resumes for 12 years. Right now I am working with 3 different versions because I am applying to different types of jobs. Resumes, I know, should be tailored to the position you are seeking. For many people, this means a little tweaking here and there, because they know what they want to DO and apply to similar jobs with different companies. For me, this means a confusing headache because of my lack of a clear path. So I have several resumes that I tweak and mess with almost constantly it seems the last couple months.
There is a lot of advice out there too about what a resume should look like… a lot of conflicting advice. Be creative. Don’t be too creative. Make it concise. Make it interesting. State your objective. Skip the objective and give it a title. Write it out. Put it in bullets. Make a video. Don’t make a video. Use a current standard format. Make it different from everyone else’s. Emphasize your traveling. Make yourself look stable. And on and on and on. So I have 3 that I have been sending or handing out recently. None of which I love. Since I don’t have job offers, I guess I better write some more. Awesome.