Thursday, September 19, 2013

Resume Speed

Occasionally we all have to endure the arduous task of updating our resumes. I've encountered that commonly unenviable task in recent days past, though I rather enjoy the process. I love the resume templates available online, which make life much more convenient. Still, writing one in such a manner as to look like one is ready to interview for the top slot at General Motors requires some pretty fancy footwork.

I'm a 'tweener, professionally; my resume is somewhere between functional and chronological, which is like being between Richmond and Virginia Beach, only there aren't as many trees and the scenery isn't as nice. The other day I asked a friend if I could take a gander at his resume, thinking that a fancy chronological two-pager might provide this old man with some pointers.

Talk about a showpiece! His resume looked like it was run through a Special Forces rifle range for bullet points. (I can only assume that the paper was hung up on a line with clothes pins and drawn past at least eight locked and loaded Green Berets, and then photocopied so the holes would appear as small, black circles.) "Procurement Procedures" was followed by a litany of bullet points explaining, in full detail, what was involved with going about getting stuff and using it. Setting up a fund for merchandise was described as "dynamic writing skills which lead to the following results" (bullet point) "organizing budget meetings", (bullet point) "creating budget proposals", (bullet point) "and conflict resolution" (which I assume means shouting down a colleague in a meeting room over competition for financial resources), and (bullet point) "leading to the successful implementation and maintenance of industrial procedures".

My resume, of course, would read something like this: "Dependable go-getter, who" (bullet point) "goes" (bullet point) "and gets" (bullet point) "until it's gotten. Then goes and gets some more until 5:00 P.M." I'm pretty sure I'm not quite ready for a two page resume just yet. I don't think that I'm all that far away from accomplishing that feat, though. Under activities I can always detail every column I've ever had published, but human resource people, humorless as they tend to be, would probably not be impressed by my ability to hone a rough draft of approximately one-thousand, four-hundred twenty-seven words to a svelte six hundred on a regular basis. Their concern would be whether or not I can combine numbers with words, which I think I did once on a Weschler Adult Intelligence Scale. The professional work experience, though somewhat limited, can certainly be subjected to a jaunt through a metaphorical beauty parlor. Dolling up that portion of the resume equates to selling one's strong suits, but that's where bullet points come in. I love bullet points. What other symbol has humankind ever created which can make a custodian appear as capable, professionally, as a senior sales executive? Add bullets, gain credibility. Ah, perception.

Rewriting a resume is challenging, but it's also a creative process which I enjoy. I view it as an opportunity to shine, much like stapling circus posters to all the telephone poles in town. Come see Rob launch from a cannon and into a new job! You'll be astounded by his superhuman ability to jump through the flaming hoops of data collation! Free balloons for the kids!

My resume is coming along nicely. It feels good to take a moment in order to share the experience. Now it's time to put the wheels on the car and give it a test drive.

Just in time, too: the sign ahead says "resume speed".

I shall.



  1. Love it! You are amazing! I will be a reference for you! You need non-family references you know....but don't tell them 'available on request' because that's a 'duh' and if they want 'em, they will ask for 'em. I helped a man rewrite his resume' where his accomplishments were, "1973 bowling champion in VA" and "Green belt in karate" bless his heart! Literally, bless his heart! If I can be of assistance, I will certainly help. In the mean time, I will send you a copy of my resume' now that I've gone to Best Buy today to get Word 2010 to work again!!!! because you can not apply for a job these days without a Rob, you are half way there! You got 'puter skills!

    1. Thanks e-laine! I appreciate the offer for the reference. I might need that.