One of the greatest rewards I have as a resume writer is assisting clients of all different backgrounds. I enjoy expanding my own skill set while writing resumes for individuals of varying occupations and career histories. Never knowing what kind of unique role a new client might be targeting; I thrive on finding the perfect way to market their skills and achievements on paper.
On the flip side, one of my greatest challenges is successfully managing the information my clients present to me. You see, in order for me to write a successful resume for a jobseeker, I need to know all the ‘facts’. Yet this request for information is sometimes taken to one of two extremes. The first extreme involves clients that present copious amounts of information on their career history, believing that every last detail is of utmost importance. Their overloaded information is what I call ‘the rambling autobiography’. There is no structure to the information, which reads more like a novel than a marketing tool. Clients of this extreme have a difficult time targeting their content and feel that the more their resume presents, the better. Wrong! Recruiters do not have time to sift through pages of information looking for related skills.
The other extreme is the client who offers little to no information to work with. Getting details out of them is like coaxing a cat into water and their mentality is more along the lines of: ‘just read my mind and work your magic’. These clients have no concern for providing solid or detailed facts; it is assumed I will create something compelling out of the bland, boring or nonexistent facts they haphazardly compiled. Wrong! Even if I do massage the client’s content into something a bit more presentatable I know their chances of landing the job is minimal. Why? Basically, if they can’t answer my straightforward request about what sets them apart, or what their greatest skill sets are – how are they going to ace an interview?
Both information extremes stem from the same problem: lack of confidence. These particular clients are not confident in their skills and abilities, and they are unable to make a relationship between what they have to offer and what the job requires. Only relevant and related facts should make their way into each resume, and there has to be something unique to make the employer take notice!
At the end of the day these challenges are easily overcome with some careful analysis or coaxing and encouragement…..and through it all I like to remind myself, and my clients, that a good resume contains quality of information over quantity.