I make reasons to update my resume every few months. Not because I’m always looking for a new job but because my ideas are constantly moving and evolving.
Case in point: What I thought was the Best Resume Ever only six months ago now looks at me like a giant wall of text.
No one is very interested in looking at my wall of text, aside from the automated resume-indexing spiders employment websites developed to take the human out of the hiring equation.
That is not to imply a resume can’t be a great experiment in typography and writing to a specific audience. Some of the most graphically boring and bland resumes carry so much vital information they are impossible to criticize.
Not every potential employer wants to see a clever resume. In a sea of resumes and rising competition in the struggling job market taking a chance on something eye-catching and different from those other wall of text resumes could mean important eyeball time.
It could also mean an eye-roll and immediate rejection.
So the challenge of resume design unfolds: How do I convey who I am and what I am capable of?
There is no solve-all answer. No single solution exists for resumes. No book, template or tradition will mean the best resume for you.
A resume that isn’t continually adapted won’t reflect you. It will atrophy as you evolve and when you are in a crunch and need that resume you will settle for Just Another Resume.
Resumes are individual. Depending on what your work field encompasses, it is worth the effort to make something yourself.
What I developed for myself was different from any other resume I did before. I threw away the walls of text. I trimmed what comparatively little writing there was into stronger, more confident and positive declarations.
I included a tiny sample of work I’ve done. This meant I had to incorporate visuals — something I hadn’t tackled in a resume before. This forced my resume to go beyond the single page theory and required scrolling.
This works to my advantage because what little text exists prompts an exploration and examination of my entire presentation, not brief keyword searches.
In defense of writing to keywords, my declarations take care of that.
My new resume is bolder and takes more chances.
What would I do next? Experiment in color perhaps.