My employer for the last 18 years is waving farewell to me in April. This may explain my sudden uptick in blog posting frequency. My employer is giving me a soft landing with four months notice and a termination package. Part of my package is access to “Career Transition Support” consultants. I have decided to look past their euphamistic service description and talk to them about me.
I have been asked to bring along my résumé for assessment.
This presents a problem. My résumé has not been edited or added to for nearly 15 years. I’d like to think that my reputation alone would get me any job I would apply for, but I know that’s not true. It is time to build a new résumé from scratch.
I have reviewed hundreds of résumés in the past decade. I think I know what a good one looks like, but I also know I have been focussed on the content and not the form of the documents. Rather than deconstruct and reproduce the traditional form I thought I would articulate some of the requirements I have for my own résumé.
- I am the first page of my résumé. My first page should mention all of my best attibutes and my starring roles because most people don’t read to page two if they’re not hooked on you by the first page, and the first page is the page that spends the most in front of your prospective employer as it sits on the desk between you in an interview, or on the screen of someone assessing multiple candidates.
- The front page should state who I am, what I am looking for, and what I am good at. That way my time is not wasted interviewing for a position I don’t want.
- Anything I did more than five years ago should be summarised to points that could assist me in my future career. This is because my memory of the fine detail of events five years ago is unlikely to impress an interviewer.
- Make sure the whole document is short and easy to read. Because no matter who you are if it takes more than four or five pages to explain what you are good at then I’m not hiring you.
Once I have built my résumé, how will I know it is acceptable before I release it into the wild?
- Get someone I trust, who does not fear offending me, to read and criticise it. Because I can not tell when I have left out necessary detail, used corporate vernacular when plain English would do, or left out some significant gem of experience.
Thankfully Ms J is expert in all of these things and has promised to be merciless.
I still have areas of uncertainty. For instance, I don’t know if I should specify the positions I am looking for. I don’t want to limit my options. Being too prescriptive could eliminate me from consideration for fascinating jobs with hard to write job descriptions. Being too vague about my objectives makes employers unsure if I really want a position. Maybe I won’t be considered for a good position that I don’t mention by the correct keyword.
I guess that’s what a “Career Transition Support” consultant can help me with.