Another resume story
A professor recently said to me that the least savvy consumer, (“I’m being politically correct, he actually said the dumbest) is the one that believes in branding with no substantive corroboration and those are the ones business owners typically target in the beginning. Wow!
Nowadays, everyone is an expert and many “professional” resume writers expound on how great they are when writing resumes for their clients. There is an art to resume writing and for the person who can’t afford to have their resume written professionally, it’s something you should definitely try for yourself because if obtaining employment or advancing within an organization is your goal, you need to delve into the primary task of at least tweaking your own product. First of all, I know that not everyone writes well and for those who are ok, decent, fair to middling or straight up bad at it, that’s the point of paying an expert. You wouldn’t build your own house if you were not a competent and licensed building contractor. A resume can fall apart in the wrong hands just as an ill constructed home can and there are a slew of self-made organizations who claim to be the authority on resume writing, even certifying people as professionals for a fee. I know a few agencies and business owners who are making a killing on the fact that anyone can say that they are an expert even if the field in which they claim to be skilled doesn’t even exist. Some people thrive on the ignorance of others. They are counting on you being naïve (if not stupid) enough to believe that because they forked over a couple of bucks, you should entrust your future employability to them. Some have been so clever, that they’ve designed, developed and decreed that if you aren’t using their services, you’re the idiot. That’s the core of many successful businesses today and I get it, but when people are homeless, unable to sustain a livelihood and desperate to support their families, I become angry at the fakers. I find that I may be too honest with my clients because I take the time to teach them how to fend for themselves. I began doing this because so many of them would bring their “professionally written” resumes to me and some would even argue with me as I pointed out the problems. So to those clients, I ask, “How’s that working out for you?” Clearly not so well if you haven’t gotten the job and by the way if you’re gonna come to me for help remember this before you argue with me…I don’t come to your job and tell you how to do it, so grant me the same respect. After everyone has calmed down I get down to the business of showing them in a matter of seconds why they were scammed. As I point out redundant phrases, irrelevant experience (i.e. proficient in Microsoft Word 2003 or certificate in dictation in 1985), many of my clients become dispirited, then happy I pointed it out and finally….finally, angry! Yes, sometimes anger is good! You should be angry with yourself for not conducting their own research into the expert, not asking for testimonials, success stories and data proving the experts’ prowess. Some people just want a quick fix or the quick, fast and in a hurry hook-up (see related article), and in that case, you get what you paid for.
Resumes are living documents that should change as your applications change. They are not “one size fits all” and should be modified accordingly. If you are applying for a position of a logistician and you’ve highlighted 15 years of budget work with the logistics expertise barely mentioned on page 2, shame on you. Realize that chronological is not the only resume out there and double shame on you if you don’t know what a chronological resume is or what type of resume you have currently. I always warn my clients of having someone else write a resume product that you will use as the basis of your interview. Sometimes to further demonstrate my point of “know thy resume” I will switch places with my clients and ask them to interview me with their resume that I’ve written. Many are surprised at how well I can articulate the resume, some even asking if I could go in their place (umm not likely Bob). That’s a true sign of an expert, they will stand by their product or service and believe me, I do. So, the next time you consider a resume writing expert, ask yourself…better yet ask them to “show you the money!”