For You or Them?

When I see long, in-depth resumes (and this means three pages or more), I get worried. Why?–because at this length, the resume is more about who you are than what you can do for the employer.

To clarify: The employer, at the time of screening resumes to decide who to interview, does not care who you are.

All the employer cares about when they’re sifting through a pile of resumes is finding out, quickly and concisely, what you can do for them.

Juxtaposed with this is the fact that you need to stand out. You want to show them you’re different. I understand. But is telling them about your kids’ interests truly helpful at this point?

Save that stuff for the interview. That is the time to show them what a warm and wonderful individual you are. On your resume, stick to what you can do for them that makes you different.


1. I have both sales & marketing and production management experience. This makes me stand out to employers, because it means I’ll ‘get’ why and how things happen in different departments within their organization–and how to grease the wheels to ensure they happen more effectively. (If you’ll forgive a gross generalization, in all honesty my perception is this: most people think that they, in their department, work their butt off, and everyone else and especially in every other department is a lazy idiot.) That goes way up top on my resume.

2. I have an interest and training in tarot card reading. This nugget of information has, in fact (I was told so by the person who became my boss for the next four years), helped push the curiosity factor over the edge for the employer to want to meet me. Yet it does nothing to actually help my employer, so it goes at the very end of my resume–if at all.


Your resume is not for you.

It is for employers, to assist them in determining that you are a suitable candidate for them to meet. Employers, like everyone else, are self-interested, and want only to know what you can do for them.

Make sure the prime real estate–the top 1/3 of the first page–of your resume isn’t wasted. Keep it clear. How do you benefit them? Keep the warm and fuzzies for the bottom, or the interview.

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