Resumés and Other Super Fun Things

I am so sick of resumés. Seriously. Can you hire a professional resumé writer?

In the course of my job search, which began around the end of January but didn’t really pick up speed until recently, I have compiled a folder of over twenty five resumés.  That seems excessive, you may say. Why yes, you would be correct. While I do have about four different resumés geared towards different job sectors (one for writing and editing, one for design, one for food service and one for administrative assistant/office work jobs), the reason I have so many resumés is because…everyone on planet earth seems to have a different idea of what a resumés should look like!

My first resumé I put together for a class trip to New York City. The class was an apparel merchandising, textile and design (AMDT) class that went to an array of design houses and large apparel corporations and color forecasting companies and we were required to bring resumés and, if applicable, portfolios to hand out or show. This resumé was a basic functional resumé because, as a student, I had yet to actually apply many of the skills I hoped to use at a future job.

When I got back and came home and started looking for actual jobs, my dad gave me a book by the 5 O’Clock Club that was about getting the job you want – I can’t recall the exact title.  In this book were several sample resumés, one of which I used as a model for the next adaptation of my resumé. This was somewhat between functional and chronological and had a top-of-the-page center alignment of my contact information and, all in all, was pretty damn boring.

When I showed this to my dad, he immediately found a million things wrong with it and – voíla! – the 3rd reincarnation of my resumé was born.  This version went through about ten drafts and different focii (plural of “focus”…that is how you spell it, right? Anyway-) before I settled on a more functional resumé with a “Summary of Qualifications” section at the top – my dad had some article from the Times about how recruiters and hiring managers love this little paragraph summary of who you are and what you have done.

Then, I went to email my resumé to a friend who lives in Los Angeles but knows a guy who has a dad who works for a museum in Washington, D.C.  He told me that he liked my resumé but I should try and make it more visually/aesthetically pleasing. Which is true, and as a graphic designer, I should have probably thought of this but I had heard so much about how people throw away resumés that look too “graphic-y”.  And, I was sick of my resumé at this point.  So he was trying to explain it and I just couldn’t figure out what he was talking about, so he sent me his resumé to see the formatting.  Now, he is a dear friend and just one of the most generous, helpful people you will ever meet. But his resumé made me feel a million times worse!  He is one of those people who is just all-around perfect – he works for Wells Fargo’s corporate headquarters, plays the piano like Elton John, volunteers on several boards of non-profits, and, oh yeah, he just graduated a few months ago…several months after I did. And his resumé reflects this, just reiterating to me how many times I just went down to the river to fish and go tanning all summer instead of what I should have been doing, which, clearly, was interning at the New York Times or The Oprah Winfrey Show or Bank of America. Sigh. But, he has been enormously helpful because my resumé now looks much more professional at first glance and my information is more streamlined.  The only problem is…I don’t have the amount of experiences to put on it that he does because most of my skills come from classroom projects, which you can’t put on a resumé.  So now I am trying to adjust my resumé to reflect more of the freelance work I did in college – web design, editing papers and portfolios for my sorority sisters and classmates, etc. 

I have a sneaking suspicion that, like everyone I show my resumé to, every hiring manager or recruiter has their own preferences on resumé formatting. I figure that as long as it is in black and white with at least a minimally coherent structure I will be ok.  But I still want it to reflect my best efforts.  Only I’m so sick of my resumé at this point I just don’t care. Which is why I took a break to write this post because, well, I’m an English major and therefore a procrastinator by nature.

Arghhhh.

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~ by Bitterroot Buttercup on August 18, 2009.

One Response to “Resumés and Other Super Fun Things”

  1. One would think that would be acceptable….damn all those fonts choices…

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