Career Calling

August 8, 2012

Experts and Their Templates

Filed under: Resume Writing — claycerny @ 2:00 am
Tags: , , ,

Two of my clients called me recently.  They were panicked because the resume we had written didn’t fit the templates used by graduate schools they were attending.  The schools accepted both clients with the resumes they wrote with me.  Then the schools required them to rewrite the resumes according to a template they use for all of their students.  Over ten years, I’ve seen several school use this model.  In almost every case, the resume focuses on how a document should look rather than what it will say.

Why would a school do this?  Templates are easy to evaluate.  If I ask someone to follow a given model, I can judge her work on the features of that model (margin/font size, all bullets, centered header at the top) and never address content of what is being written.  Experts like forms and rules because they want to be in control and forces others to bow to their “wisdom.”

In writing a resume, there is only one question to ask: What is this document doing to make an employer want to interview me?  The answer to that question should focus on content: experience, achievements, skills, education, certification, and technical skills.  Content is more important than format.  It is also harder to develop and work with.  Anybody can fill out a template, and it sounds like the right thing to do if everyone in a group is required to follow the same model.  It must be the right way.  An expert told me to do this.

Emerson put it best: “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines.”

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