There are two types of resumes out there: employed resumes vs unemployed resumes. Or that is to say bragging resumes vs qualifications resumes. There is a time and place for both… and mixing them up may not be in your best interest.
The Employed Resume
This is the resume that you’ll see most often with people who haven’t had to search for a job for a long time or are gainfully employed. I call it the bragging resume. This talks about how great the person is at abstract sort of things. Phrases you read may make you want to bring out your card for office bingo.
The Unemployed Resume
This is kind of a rare beast. And, when someone makes one of these, they generally aren’t unemployed for long, right? This is the kind of resume that you can read and you know immediately what this person’s qualifications are for the specific job this resume is for. It has numbers, facts, nothing is abstract. It describes what they do. It’s the difference between saying “I travel some distance” and “I drive in my car for up to 400 miles.”
Why does this matter?
One of the biggest problems I’ve seen is that people create these bragging style resumes while they are gainfully employed and keep that same resume when they leave. A friend of mine forwarded me his resume the other day after he lost his job. Granted, I did not know what he did before he lost it. After reading it, I still had no idea. I had no idea if he worked with large/small clients, programmed, was a project manager or a business analyst. His problem is that while he was working, he created a brilliantly descriptive and flowing resume but never added in facts afterwards.
What should you do?
It’s fine to create an employed resume. This is sometimes useful if you’re doing other work (like side jobs or writing). This helps show people your qualifications (to some extent) but is not in the format of actively seeking a job. However, when you’re actually looking for a job, skip all of this. The HR representative should be able to read your resume and know you exactly qualify. If they have to ‘think’ about whether you do, you don’t. Then, your hiring managers care about your exact skills. I want to know what level of experience you have specifically, not that you’re experienced. Fly one time, and you’ve experienced the airport process. This is not the same as the traveler who will fly 80 times this year.
I’m all for people being proud of your work. But do it with facts, not with pretty words. :)