Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The perils of the self-edited resume

There are so many different kinds of resumes. Traditionally, a resume is a snapshot of your personal history, highlighting your skills and experience. However, for the academically inclined, the resume goes a step further and grows into the curriculum vitae (CV). In some ways, a CV is much easier to create than a traditional resume, because a CV is not bound to one page. Most of them go well beyond ten pages, including every academic accomplishment imaginable. A more traditional resume, however, has to give that aforementioned snapshot - it has to capture the attention of the hiring manager in one glance. Outside of a university setting, no one has the time to wade through the CV.
It can be incredibly difficult to prioritize content, though, so whittling one's experience down to one page can be daunting.

Add to that the fact that traditional resumes take many forms. The most popular one currently is the dynamic functional resume, which eschews the standard list of work history, focusing instead upon specific skills and the number of years associated with those skills. How can you figure out which kind is correct for you? And where does a copy editor come in? Does a copy editor also become the content editor when it comes to resumes?

For this particular editor, I would answer yes, to that last question. Resume editing requires an editor to put on both editing hats. But why is an editor even needed? Surely simply talking to your parents, your friends, even a college advisor, could offer you enough guidance regarding what to put on your resume.

Unfortunately, that's far from the case. Your resume's goal is to put your very best face forward. While an advisor, relatives, or friends can certainly offer you guidance about what should be prioritized, and might be able to offer some guidance regarding which type of resume might be best, nothing can compare to the touch of a professional editor.