Monday, February 11, 2008

On Resumes and History Class

I was all motivated to update my resume this evening... until I started actually working on it. I've been struggling with it for 45 minutes, finding myself wishing that it would just write itself, darn it. After all, I already know all of the things that I've done - and, for the most part, they're far enough in the past that I don't relish the process of revisiting them in this context.

As I slogged away at it, trying to come up with captivating action verbs that convey my competence in every situation imaginable, while gagging at my own presumption all the while, a thought came to my head: I've never been good at history. It was always my least favorite subject in school, because the information seemed to travel in one ear and out the other - if, indeed, it ever made its way into the first ear to begin with.

I remember discussing this with Betty Lue one day several years ago, and she remarked that Dad is the same way, observing that the two of us are simply not focused on the past - it's over, it's done, there's nothing we can do to change it, so we don't dwell on it, but instead move on to what is coming next. That made me feel much better when confronted with the reality of my abysmal memory for history, even if it didn't help my academic performance.

Now I'm wondering if this isn't why updating my resume is always so hard. It always seems to come after the fact, and forces me to go back and re-live my past work experiences from somebody else's perspective of what's important. I think that's the kicker - I could probably write all kinds of stories about my work experiences if given the chance, but being forced to distill those experiences into pithy, genericized bullet points just sucks all the life out of them and makes me feel like I'm in history class again, struggling to regurgitate rote bits of information that don't appear to have any relevance to my life.

I vote for a new kind of resume - a narrative or artistic resume that lets an applicant express her qualifications in whatever way best suits her. After all, this in itself will give the person reviewing the resume a much better glimpse of the person behind it. ... But I guess that's technically what the interview is for, isn't it? Sigh....

1 comment:

cristie said...

Lacey, I recommend you ask Curtis for a copy of his resume that he just recently did. It's topical, rather than temporal, and is written to showcase his writing talent, which is a major important skill of his. Definitely an atypical and engaging resume, and might help you think about ways you could change yours to better reflect you! :)