When it comes to resumes the options are nearly endless. There are any number of formats and just as many opinions on how they should be used and presented. Seriously, try to decide on which resume book to buy. If you've done it you know exactly what I mean.
To help cut down the angst inherent in creating a resume consider first for whom it is being created. For you or your potential employer?
Your first thought might point to the prospective employer, after all you want to lay it out there, put your best foot forward, show them what you have to offer. Yes well of course, but what about you? What might your resume do for you in the context of your search?
For one thing it can assist you in remaining focused on your Job Search Objective. And in certain situations this consideration can outshine all others, becoming near make or break.
Certainly there are times when a masterpiece resume is required, situations where it's all about marketing and meeting clear expectations concerning how a resume in a given field should look. Such resumes are indeed prepared for the prospective employer and the fine points of design can play a key role in the overall outcome of your making the sale. No doubt.
But let's take a different approach in this discussion. As noted in my August 27 post, many people have difficulty staying on track. Perhaps background bumps or work history gaps are contributing factors. Perhaps it's just the way they are.
Regardless, for them a complicated resume may be downright counterproductive. Sure the masterpiece looks good, touching on many critical attributes and marketing points but may do little or nothing to contribute to clear and concise focus - what the individual may really need.
Situations like these call of an uncomplicated and straight forward design. Something rather basic Vs complex, less sophisticated on purpose. A resume that's easy to read, presenting a succinct message for both presenter and receiver. A message that says: this is who I am, this is how to reach me, this is what I'm after and here are a few things you should know about me (work related attributes, previous work experiences and education).
When this type of resume works it's usually because of two things.
First it is not overly difficult to create, a very important consideration in my experience. Secondly, it provides direction. The job seeker need only read it - this is who I am and this is what I am after. Period.
This type of resume is very much a tool and is used as such. There is no masterpiece, by design. Instead time and energy are expended staying on track with the Job Search Objective and the overall search process.
I will have lots to say about resumes going forward. Stay tuned.
John Jeffrey Lundell