Making resumes is an iterative process.
A long, arduous one – depending on your proclivity towards the same.
Which, unless you’re a resume-maker by profession, is probably close to zero.
You ask someone who has a keen eye for detail, an OCD for accuracy, unwillingness to haphazardly copy-paste something together, patience to give every word and structured sentence multiple readings and a relatively poor long-term memory to make his resume, and what you have is the equivalent of trudging along for eternity and beyond.
In my quest to make an ideal resume (which actually depends more on what the reader is expecting to find), I came across a few insights that would make the entire process (slightly) less painful.
Everyone I know makes resumes in Microsoft Word. They might publish it as a pdf, but not always.
This creates many problems for the discerning resume writer.
1 — There are multiple, and I mean, multiple variants of the resume that need to properly sorted and kept. For those of us who are fans of Gmail’s labels and realize how they are much better than folders, choosing to keep these resumes in different folders doesn’t solve the problem. Folders usually end up making you forget something’s inside, till the time you open them, almost like a blind spot, if you may call it that.
This leaves us with the choice of renaming our resumes – now, sending out resumes is a delicate enough matter without having to add a name like “My resume – strong focus on xyz” to your resume of choice. As is evident, it makes the recipient wonder – “Focus?” – “Why would a strong focus be required – shouldn’t it come out naturally enough?”
So long drawn out names that help YOU, the resume writer, wade through the sea of versions is not an option.
Which leaves us with special key words – like short forms like Ops for Operations, Tech for Technology, An for Analytics (you do not want to make it longer, trust me).
2 — You also want the latest versions of your resume to be clumped together so that you don’t accidentally send out the wrong attachment to the right person, which becomes slightly difficult unless you use operators like _ or __ or ___ smartly.
3 — There is almost no way you can accurately track which person – on which date – did you send out what version – of which resume – unless you diligently jot all those details down. Over a period of time, all you can do is hope that the version of the resume from two weeks ago – in which you forgot to mention a key contribution from 3 years ago – doesn’t matter. That, or if you’re grammatically challenged (not me), that the person viewing your resume will not notice that you misspelt the word separate as seperate, and even if he does, will not judge you.
4 — Everyone is accustomed to the visual format that Microsoft Word offers – the ability to make demarcations for the resume, headings, tables and the like – and I’m not only talking from the point of the resume maker. Even the resume viewer expects it to be a Word document with the appropriate structure and content.
Which brings us to the solution for this predicament –
There should be a online service that offers your resume for viewing in the format it exists today.
What do you mean?
You don’t send across your resume – only a link to where your resume resides.
How would it work?
The way to get people to use it would obviously mean it allows for an upload of your existing resume in Word format. But that’s only to begin with. Once your version of the truth has been uploaded, the UI should allow you to edit it in the same way you can do it on MS Word.
What would it need?
A service like this would, first and foremost, need the following to be possible –
- entire fonts family to be available
- change font size with equivalent granularity (1 font size onwards)
- ability to copy paste content in identical form
- ability to insert images (if required)
- ability to add messages
- ability to colour text, background, select portions
- bullet points
- paragraph indentation
- and more…
What else could you do?
Publishing – At any point, you could choose to flag the resume as Ready and publish it online – hence, making it viewable by anyone who has the link.
Multiple versions – You could also choose to make separate versions from one version – with separate viewing links for every version. This is especially important because different recipients expect different versions – in terms of number of pages, chronological order of experience or something else.
Privacy – A link anonymizer would be a great addition here, depending on whether the user prefers his resume to be viewable by anyone who wishes to explore, or for specific sets of eyes only.
Security – For the extremely discerning, there should be the option of a password that the viewer needs to enter to be able to view the specific resume.
User-friendliness – Needless to say, for those who still prefer receiving attachments, the user should be able to download a copy of their resume from this site.
Printing – Also, as is obvious, this UI should offer for print-friendly versions – both for online links and for downloaded files.
Ease of management – Depending on the link you send, you should be able to control
- the profile of the resume you wish to display – Operations, Technology, Analytics
- the number of pages you wish to display (you can also choose to allow the viewer to browse through resumes of different lengths, if you so wish)
- visibility of date of last update
The fact that you are doing all of the above online only helps because you can log in from anywhere and make that one change you need to make before your latest reference views it.
This solution will totally take away the pain of managing multiple resumes and keeping track of who has which version – and life, as we resume-makers know, will become much much simpler.