You know it is coming, you feel your heart rate rise, you try to find ways tack and deflect, but the momentum is building and it is unavoidable. Your conversation that just seconds ago was safely benign, in now accelerating towards Will Robinson-style danger. Time slows a little as you wait for it to hit you. The thing for which you have no good answer  — the awkward question — is nigh!

I was helping a friend improve their resume recently and as we were talking I could tell that he was going to ask to see mine.  I hemmed, I hawed but I finally shared it with him and he was shocked. Being in pricing, he was flabbergasted.  His response was “well, this doesn’t help me at all.” And it doesn’t.

I don’t have a resume.  I have a personal data sheet.

In marketing we have to show off what we do.  Anyone can write a good CV and do a good phone interview, but when I hire people I always want to see work product. How do you put pen to parter to sell and explain a product and make it interesting? How do you market? So, I decided that my resume WAS a work product.  After all, aren’t I marketing myself to a potential boss?

Screen Shot 2017-05-03 at 9.35.18 PM

We do data sheets all the time to explain what our products are so I applied those same techniques to my resume. Color? Check. Product photo? Check. Key highlights? Check. Areas for main and supporting content? Check. I also added a pretty large section dedicated to a highlighting my skills in a simple visual way and I tied them back (in color) to my work experience.

How effective is it? I used it successfully to get my current job. And it certainly is a conversation starter. “Wow” or “unusual” are the typical responses. But it always starts a conversation that will highlight my creative strengths. Every n=know and then I get a recruiter who can’t handle it — literally.  They want a MS Word version they can upload into some software tool and analyze it for keywords and such.  I did create a less creative version but I have stopped giving it out after finding that those interviews lead to jobs that I didn’t want. I want a job where creativity is a stretch and fitting into a tool is not a requirement.

Marketing should not stop at the office door.