Monday, October 24, 2005

The Resume's done. Life can now Resume.

Thursday morning at 9 was the deadline to get our resumes into the Resume Book that goes out to I don't know who but it does. Needless to say, I didn't make the deadline. Well, I uploaded mine about 9:30-ish and I suspect the StoryOfMyLife means this deadline's going to be a no-compromises one.

I'm so out of this whole resume thing man. We had a review as part of career services a few weeks ago and I made some initial changes based on feedback. That was it. Until like wednesday afternoon. There was a table setup by career services and I was there and, no surprises here :), they stopped seeing people right after me. Yup, last in line.

At least, I got some feedback.

And, I still don't get it. Does every resume at the school have to be fine-chiselled so that it ends up sounding like, i don't know, every other resume at the school? Let me just clarify that I don't mean to discount any of the awesome work that second years and the career services people have put in to help us first years. It has actually been remarkable. I saw some folks sit for hours in the Winter Garden reviewing resume after resume with my classmates. I don't know if I could do it. I guess I could, except nobody would want me to review their resume methinks :)

Anyways, back to my nutjob rant. There are folks who have been working for days, nay weeks, on this piece of paper. I understand it is an important piece of paper, but nobody ever got a job because of their resume. They did get interviews because of, but still. I was talking with someone who told me that they got a review from 5 people - and got 5 very different sets of to-do's. I just got one review done late wednesday evening. Then again, I'm not your average hard-charging career-oriented MBA-type guy.

And now, the one person who didn't need to know that knows it too. That is the one thing I wish I could change about my time here thus far. So, I walk into Dean Kole's Coffee Hour and start talking to a woman who was standing by the marshmallows. She asked me how my day was going, and i said that I had just come back from tutoring at the Ray School and that I had to get to my resume which was due next morning. 'so, you've been working hard on it', she asks. 'no, i'm just about getting started'. 'oh, are you really?'. That look was rough, barely concealing a certain amount of WTF. At that time, I didn't know why she had responded thus. A few minutes later, a classmate comes by and said woman introduces herself as the head of Career Services. Damn. I'm sorry, Julie. You and your team've been doing a great job this past month and didn't deserve to hear that.

OK, got to stop digressing so much. The one thing I got universal feedback on was to change my 'Additional' section. I had 3 lines there where I talked about my love of travel - how I had once bushwhacked through a jungle searching for a waterfall, and how - i quote, i once found myself lost without a map in the oh-so-narrow streets of Old Delhi. i end quote. I first showed it to Wakechick and she liked it. Then, I met the career advisor and later a 2y and I was told to prune it, and change the language because it wasn't very business-like. I was caught up in the whole resume-stress-out-vibe I guess and succumbed to the advice, and business-liked that section.

Friday morning, I went to meet our client for my consulting project. I had sent him a version of my previous resume a couple of weeks back, and this was our first meeting. I walk into his office, introduce myself, and he goes:

So, you're the traveller?

Not: So, you're the guy who increased production by 12% and decreased retention by 24% and squeezed 34% more ball bearings into a bigger ball bearing.

Not: So, you're the guy who managed $1billion in assets for a company with $1gazillion in assets.

Not: So, you led a team of 55 to successfully deliver a critical component key to the execution of the corporate strategy that you had spearheaded the strategizing, marketing, accouting, and financing of.

So, you're the traveller.

Say what you want, but I came back and re-Yogi-ed by resume. Of what use is that piece of paper if every word that is supposed to be 'me' has to be edited to fit some acceptable template. Will it not get me an interview? It will probably not get me an interview with someone who wants to only read a straight-jacket resume. And, that's totally fine. I wouldn't want to work with someone like that anyways.

I would like to believe that it wouldn't be that extreme. I definitely think there are recruiters who aren't drones and wouldn't ding someone just because their resume said ooh-la-la. I was talking over the weekend about the very same thing with another officer of the school and she told me a great story. There was this student who sometime ago had on his resume that he sold rubber chickens at a baseball game. She read his resume and was so intrigued that she had to meet him. Apparently, others were too. He ended up at BigName consulting firm, and she with a rubber chicken in her office.

I think resumes today, especially at business schools, are crying out for some creativity. I suspect that Career Services departments have so mastered the science of guiding write the perfect resume for an intended career that they have created a new monster. How is one to distinguish oneself in this sea of sameness? It can't be by saying that they did x% more of y than someone else. It can only be by being what brought them to the school in the first place - themselves.

Of course, all this means naught if the resume never makes it to a resume book :-)


Blogger PowerYogi said...

amen. and wait for it ... amen.
the dirty canuck | Homepage | 10.24.05 - 2:16 pm | #


Totally with you here. I would add, however, that the resume book resume can say one thing while the resume you send out to these firms when applying can say something totally different. So it's not really an either/or thing.
byron | Homepage | 10.24.05 - 11:29 pm | #


for what it's worth i think adding some personal detail will definitely help u stand out from the rest. isn't that what the whole bschool app process is about anyway? And why is a job application so different?
SgHama | Homepage | 10.25.05 - 12:17 am | #

19 November, 2005 03:01  

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