Sunday, November 22, 2009

Eat This, Not That! (Write This, Not That!)

Are you familiar with the hit book series Eat This, Not That!, guides helping tweak your food selections one choice at a time? Following the authors’ advice, you get more bang for your buck--or calorie--as you hone in on the leanest choice in the food category, whether ice cream, buffalo wings, or fast food burgers.

Eat This, Not That! sprung to mind when I clicked through Chris Ferdinandi’s social media resume.

“Write This, Not That!” I thought wistfully, mentally reviewing the stacks of resumes that flood my in-box weekly. 49% are competent but quite traditional. 49% could use a good deal of assistance and coaching (most of my applicants are low wage sector service workers, many coming from cultures that probably employ very different application procedures than we’re used to in the US).

Two percent of the resumes make me pause and sometimes even say “Wow, I like that!” But none has ever knocked my HR socks off the way that clicking on Chris Ferdinand’s resume would--if I was so lucky as to have it grace my in-box.

I’m not suggesting that you clone Chris’ resume. But I do encourage you to take a little bit of a chance. Be bold. Be creative. Or be a little bolder and a little more creative. Look at each component of the resume with a “Write This, Not That!” approach. Where can you employ technology, and add pizzazz, color and personal interest?

“I can’t take that chance!” I can hear job seekers protesting in a panic. “I’ve been told to follow all the resume rules. They’ll throw my resume out!”

I can sympathize and all I can do is agree. It is true: they might throw your resume out.But if so, is that really the kind of place you want to work? A progressive, cutting edge, forward-thinking company will be curious and intrigued, even excited, to receive your creative endeavor. An old school organization might react very differently, perhaps even feel threatened by your boldness. “This person does not follow the rules,” they might sniff dismissively. “Dangerous.”

But again: do you really want to work there? If the answer is yes, write a traditional resume. If not, throw out your old CV and start over. Take a walk on the resume wild side and Write This, Not That!