I hate resume building. So much, in fact, that some of my least favorite words in college have become, “that will look good on your resume.” Something about them makes me want to defiantly stop whatever it is that I’m doing that is deemed “resume-worthy” out of frustration, because that’s not why I chose to do it in the first place.
This approach, however, has not been the most practical, I’ve discovered, since I am now on the brink of entering the job market and resumes are pretty necessary.
So, to overcome my unhealthy disgust of resumes, portfolios and the like, I began to dig deeper into the actual purpose and function of a resume.
Resumes, in their early history, were just formalities people wrote on scraps of paper during lunch with an employer. They used to include height, weight, marital status and religion (granted this was in the 1940s when employers weren’t yet prohibited from inquiring about these topics). Yet, the primary function was the same, to tell someone who a person is and what he or she can do.
Modern resumes have taken on a different tone and are no longer a true picture of a person at all. Most are shaped to portray a self-inflated view of someone that is exaggerated to match the equally inflated competing resumes. What used to be listed as “waited tables at a restaurant” is now closer to “customer satisfaction and sales liaison in dining facility.” Students no longer can simply list work they have done, but must now get the wording just right so each resume item sounds prestigious.
However, employers only really want to know one thing: what can that person do? That’s it. The employer isn’t looking for an employee who is tearing others down to get ahead; they want a humble team player.
So, how can students look at resume writing in a way that fulfills its purpose without seeming egotistical or snobby? They shouldn’t write it just to convince employers of their greatness, but to tell them plainly what they are good at.
Everyone has some sort of talent to contribute, students should seek an employer that wants them for the talents they have rather than talents that are fabricated or forced. Instead of merely collecting resume pieces, they could take on things that will teach them things they genuinely want to learn.
God created each person to be a different part of the body, gifted with different strengths in a way that, when put together, complement each other. Students should find out, through trial and error if need be, what they were made to do, what they love to do, and their resume should Â communicate that ability.