Thursday, February 12, 2009

On Resume rewriting and applying for EI

Why does it seem everyone has an opinion on how to write an effective resume (or whether to call it a "CV" instead?) All sorts of opinions sound valid - even when in direct conflict with one other.

In the end, you're playing a fool's game where you try desperately to hit the right tone with every word, so that any recruiter would be inspired to call you for an interview. Will they be offended if I include salary expectations? Did I strike the right balance between confidence and humility? Or do I come off sounding like I'm sickeningly infatuated with myself? Do I mention this blog or will that turn them off? Is it flat-out wrong to go to two-pages? Or to only have one? Does it really matter?


Worst of all, the presentation and writing on display are particularly crucial for someone going after jobs with "writer" in their titles. That's pressure, because the use of one font or another might be all it takes to dissuade certain recruiters from getting that warm-fuzzy they need to decide to contact you. But then, do I really want to work for someone that hair-splittingly fickle?

[pauses to breathe...]

I have resigned myself to never being completely happy with the damn thing, but at least I now have a basic one that I'm comfortable with. It's designed so I can tweak it a little here or there to meet the specific criteria of one job or another - hopefully without stretching credulity. In a somewhat bold move, I decided to give the thing a headline and an opening summary:

Copywriter with a head for IT and a gift for writing

I offer a unique mix of experience, skill and creativity that enables me to envision the hands-on application of complex technical concepts, then communicate that effectively to both the IT community and the general public. Whether defining ITIL-informed process structure and documentation; writing copy for marketing or technical documentation needs; or journalism of any sort, I am a versatile copywriter looking for an exciting new challenge with the right organization.

Besides that, I just plain really need a Goddamn Job:
Now to get it proof-read by friends & family; then post the long version on Monster, Quantum, Jobboom, Workopolis and any other sites I can find. Then finally: off to a more active job searching.

Meanwhile, I still haven't managed to finalize my EI application, although I did learn there is Access Management in place on Service Canada' site after all: "Epass Canada" they call it. But it's confusing because when I made my initial online application, it gave me a confirmation number and password outside of that (and with no link or explanation of where to use it - plus no mention of either of those things in the letter they sent by snail-mail). It all seems rather disjointed and if it's putting my skills at navigating online services to the test, how difficult is it for the typical non-savvy IT user to get their heads around?

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