I turned a food scientist into a Java programmer. It was magic.
It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. He was proud of his PhD, and that was hurting him. He had to stop emphasizing the $100,000,000 product revenue stream he had generated for his company. Instead he had to emphasize his work in developing computer systems. He had to finish getting his Java programming certifications. He also agreed to a 40% pay cut.
When we finished, he found his own job.
Writers fall in love with their work. Every word is a work of art. When you put together your resume, you are even more in love with your work because it is about you. You can’t possibly leave out how you gave CPR to a chipmunk and saved its life. Leave it out anyway.
Now do something even harder. Stop looking at the things YOU find most interesting. Look in your career for proof that you can do the job you are applying for. Make a list of all the duties of the job you want. Now make a list of all of the times you have done those duties.
That food scientist had helped design computer systems. He had put together a few small applications to help him track data. He passed the Java certification test. We expanded those programming related accomplishments. It took him a year, but he got the job.
Magic is the art of misdirection and illusion. Illusion is achieved by getting people to concentrate on what you want them to perceive. Put a little magic into your resume. Get rid of the things that don’t apply. Emphasize what is important. Just for the exercise, take a job you want to apply for and create a ½ page resume for it. Only leave your greatest accomplishments that apply towards that job. I’ll bet you cut out a lot of fluff. Now cut it to 1/4 page. It will focus your resume wonderfully.