The development of a resume can be a long and involved process. There are so many ideas that others have to share with you, and each person with whom you speak has their own perspective about what is right and what is wrong.
Your resume is also in part an historical document charged with chronicling your career from formal education through most recent work assignment.
Some of the nonsense, misapplied these days, centers on the idea that only the most recent 10 years are of interest to the reader. True, but that doesn’t mean leave off everything earlier.
The formatting and shaping of a resume is so much easier today than it was back in 1991 when I faced my first search as a senior executive that I wonder why people don’t fool around with their resumes more now since it is so easy to “play.”
Format, reformat, write and rewrite need to be the process by which you live. Initially and really throughout the entire process, don’t allow yourself to be mentally constrained by the 2 pages, 12 point type, 1 inch margin requirement of a good resume. Editing down to something you can really use comes later. Let your mind play out the alternatives. Then through a process of editing work it down to the right size.
Of greatest importance is the need to identify your driving force and best stories about your career and to get them down on paper. I unfortunately see most resumes as being a lot LESS than the person who has written them.
Do you have significant international experience? Well, guess what? I don’t. So, if you do, you need to get it out there for all to see, because outsourcing overseas is still very popular. Companies need folks who understand the environment off shore. (Truth be told, I barely leave Weston, Connecticut these days, although I have been off shore sailing.)
What is the most significant project you have been responsible for? What are the “war stories” you like to tell? What is hot right now?
If you have done any of them, you need to get them out there for all to see in readable and understandable form. This is no time to be modest. Saving things for the interview is a strategy designed to ensure that you won’t get any.
There is a mistaken belief that “advertising” promotes the use of products that no one wants. Perhaps true. However, good advertising provides the potential consumer knowledge about the BEST features of products they might want to buy and provides them with the information they need to consider its purchase.
Friends, you are the product that you want people to buy. You want others to understand your best features and how you can make their life perfect.
There is nothing wrong with putting your best foot forward. This is what the game is all about.
Besides, they will have plenty of time to learn about your flaws AFTER they hire you.