What You Didn’t Know About Your Resume

Resumés, and what to put on them, have been a hot topic in our comment pages the last few days. Hide experience? Forget about writing for humans and just create a list of keywords? Be honest? Lie? Give up and just start applying for jobs with a crayon drawing of a camel?

We found the following advice, from AdAge columnist Paul Gumbinner, to be sensible. He calls it “resume heresy.” It ain’t the be-all end-all, and it might not totally work for you, but we found it, as we said, sensible and smart.

The rule of resumés: Remember how it’ll be used.

For example.

“Your resume won’t be read until you go on the interview. If then…Interviewers and potential interviewers actually want to know very little about you. In advertising, all anyone wants to know is where you worked, how long you were there, what you worked on and, importantly, whether you were promoted.”

“If you have a date gap, it will be noticed. If you have been on maternity leave or raising children, those are valid jobs and should not be left out.”

We’re especially flummoxed by point #8, which says that recruiters hate PDFs. If that’s so, how should we send our vital info? Surely not Microsoft Word…and he really lost us at points 9 and 10, saying that nobody reads cover letters and you can print your resume on plain paper.

Even if everything’s digitized, if you hand in a physical copy of your resume and it feels flimsy, that’s not going to look good. We’d suggest buying some nice paper and then just making it last—you’ll be sending so few hardcopies that it won’t be hard to stretch that pack out for months.

And if nobody reads cover letters and nobody reads resumes…well then, what’s left?

Back to crayon drawings?