Friday, April 24, 2009

Quest for the PERFECT Resume

Everyone knows: the triumphant job search journey requires the “perfect” resume. Therefore, I read many articles on the subject. I visited the ‘monster” job search sites (pardon the pun) and read their sage advice on the crafting the resume. I consulted the experts, who all have blogs now, where they post their opinions on the RIGHT way of job searching. (More on that later. I promise.) I wanted my resume to be good…no, exceptional. After all, I’m not doing this for my health. (I’m doing it for my health insurance, actually)

And make no mistake, I learned this document is the indisputable key to my successful transition from seeker of employment (and validation) back to the land of fruitful productivity…and peer esteem. The resume is my introduction to the person(s) making the hiring decision; it’s the cliché “first impression” that cannot be retracted.

The united voices of all the experts sing this primary message with the force and harmony of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir: my resume has to get noticed! It has to SCREAM my strengths, my skills, my experience, my can-do philosophy, my accomplishments. My resume must shout so loudly that the one who reads it is struck “deaf “to all other resumes in the pile, those that are only “whispering” the qualifications of the person they represent. The “noise” of my omnipotent document must make me look so outstanding that all other candidates pale in comparison.

The aspiration of this document--preferable in Microsoft Word format, in a readable font common to most computers; nothing too fancy, swirly or distracting--is to broadcast the depth of my industry knowledge and the vastness of my experience, both gained over many years of progressive and successful employment.

Side note: Here’s the tricky part. This must be done without giving away the fact that I’m probably older than the average person applying for the same position and accustomed to making much more money. (Don’t want that to influence their decision before they have the chance to be dazzled by me in an actual face-to-face meeting!)

*** Deep Breath ***

But it’s not enough for today’s professional resume to merely tout the solid and proven skills I’ve acquired in my 20+ years in my chosen career field. My resume needs to also show that I’m the consummate multi-tasking wizard (think Superman on amphetamines), able to accomplish multiple tasks on ever-shifting deadlines, as well as complete the last minute projects of folks less organized. After all, the company once had an entire department, but now, it’s just a VP, a temp and “the new guy.” (Personally, I think that multi-tasking is little more than “corporate speak” for A.D.D. and gives those who are easily distracted as excuse for their scattered work habits. But then, I’m OCD…so who am I to hurl alphabet accusations!)

And finally, this single document must show my myriad of additional abilities, in order to perform that always-present job responsibility of “other duties, as assigned.” I am presented as the all-work, no-play jack-of-all-trades savior who can fill the void left by corporate cutbacks (or greedy opportunistic CFOs)…and I can do it all with herculean stamina, the winsome demeanor of June Cleaver, for approximately the same amount of money Beaver made cutting grass in his spare time.

Yes, the all-powerful resume is my “knock” on the doorway to that new job, so it’s has to be special, unique and memorable---intriguing them with my qualifications and somehow touching them a pathos that draws them to me as the one-and-only perfect candidate.

Hey, no pressure. I’m a writer by trade. In my spare time, I write novels, for God Sake! This will be a snap.

Oh, wait. Preferably, it needs to be done in only one page!

Dear Lord, where’s the bourbon?


  1. Bill, so glad to see you putting your writing skills out there for everyone to see! Here's to a successful job hunt and not becoming weary in the process! I can appreciate that the job hunt road is tough now. Surely someone wants a humorous talented writer on their team!!

  2. Bill,

    LOVE your writing style! I look forward to reading all of your posts. Your blog is a great read for "the experts."


  3. I joined a job search site that you have to pay for and by joining they offered a free review of your resume and they wrote back to me with a very detailed list of things to do. After that they said that for only $695 they would have their professionals rewrite my resume for me. Since I don't want to spend any extra money this is not going to happen.