You know it’s true. If you are ever going to get out of your miserable, dead-end, deadhead job, you’re going to need gumption, imagination, hard work and a resume. Since you are well beyond demonstrating any gumption or imagination or hard work, it’s clear that are going to need a rocking resume.
Unfortunately, while you have stayed the same wonderful, cuddly creature that crawled into the work force many light-years ago, resumes have changed. Or so says Elizabeth Garone, the lucky ducky who got the job as official question-answerer at “The Wall Street Journal’s” Careers Q&A.
“While the resume as you know it from 10 years ago is still alive and kicking,” writes Garone, “there have been a number of modifications to it.”
One key modification is the addition of technology. It’s no longer enough to produce a simple Word document with a typeface that is aggressive but not threatening (yes, Franklin Gothic Heavy, I’m talking about you.) Today, a job candidate needs to “craft a package both online and off to present to a prospective employer. This needs to include both a resume and an online profile.”
Garone suggests you “embrace technology,” and you have. Sad to say, it’s not enough to spend all your time at work looking for X-rated Hummel figurines on Craigslist.
“In today’s executive search market, if you’re not on LinkedIn, you don’t exist,” explains author and resume expert Wendy Enelow. She could be right, though, it’s clear to me that your work life is so much better if you are “locked out.” Locked out of meetings, locked out of business trips, locked out of the office altogether and forced to spend the day at the Kit Kat Klub, nibbling on free Buffalo chicken wings.
Even if you do manage to get linked to LinkedIn, you cannot assume that you are findable or hirable.
“If you’re not sure how the hiring manager wants to receive your resume,” warns General Motors’ Mary Henige, “it’s best to cover all your bases.” That means the paper resume, the LinkedIn profile and don’t forget the YouTube video of you and your cat twerking to Taylor Swift’s immortal, “Today Was a Fairytale.”
And why stop there? Any company considering hiring you is likely to be fairly old school when it comes to technology. That’s why I recommend that you also have your resume translated into ancient Akkadian and chiseled in cuneiform script on a limestone tablet. Hey, it worked for the Babylonians.
“Expansion is good” is another new rule for creating resumes that rule. “The one-page rule for resumes no longer holds true,” says Howard Seidel, a partner at Boston’s Essex Partners. A one-pager might be appropriate for a career tyro, who hasn’t accomplished much more than graduating magna cum laude from Stanford, but for an experienced worker like yourself, you have enough accomplishments to fill a book.
Of course, it would be very short, very scary book, but that’s not really the point. You have had career successes. Like the time you ate 16 hot dogs at the company picnic, or the sacrifice you made by taking a business trip over the Christmas holidays to Columbus, Ohio. It wasn’t your fault that the meeting was in Seattle, Washington.
“Overused is out” is another resume rule that is in. You don’t want to use overused terms, like “team player” or “innovative.” (This is good news since you are not either.) LinkedIn came up with a top-10 list of overused words not to use, and I do agree that you should not use one or two. But think of the attention your resume would receive if you used all 10! As in, “I am an innovative, dynamic and motivated team player and fast-paced entrepreneurial problem solver whose extensive experience is coupled with a results-oriented approach that has created a proven track record.”
Now that’s a person anyone would want to hire!
Anyone, except a computer. It turns out that no matter how craftily it is written, the only person likely to see your resume is the computer scanning software used by hiring managers who have not yet learned to read. This is why executive career consultant Kathryn Ullrich advises you to “broadcast your brand.”
Makes sense to me, but I don’t agree with Ullrich who thinks a brand is “social media marketing” or “finance director, software.” You and I know your true brand, and you can broadcast it in one word: DESPERATE!
Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at firstname.lastname@example.org.