Building Resumes-BEWARE THE SIRENS

Fagan with "The Artful Dodger" standing beside him in original illustration Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist speaks with Fagan and "The Artful Dodger"

Resume. That paralyzing word.

The resume is just one ingredient in the career marketing salad mixture, as I have said before. For me, keeping this fact in mind cuts the resume down to size. Resumes come in at least three main kinds though they may appear in different packaging. You see, resumes, like cough medicines, have changed over the years.

Just as in those medicines, certain known basic elements ought to be in a resume. Some  optional elements may be in it and certain other elements should never be found in it. They are poisionous, just like the alcohol and opiates in old fashioned cough mixtures.

For those who may now have to create a resume for the first time in many years, Mount Everest may seem easier to do. Those who still have the means may choose to pay someone else to do this odious task, but beware.

Scads of pickpockets and common theives are loose in the marketplace–some of them with respectable names. (I will not name names here, but maybe you will warn us in your comments.)   They include websites that sing “siren songs” about how successful you will be if you buy their “exclusive” services and products. This practice is becoming more common since double-digit unemployment figures began to be reported. They are con men who wave “free resume critiques” bait before unsuspecting  eyes, but beneath that pretty little wiggler is the hook.

Some of the online “experts” even appear in discussions on professional networks like Linked In. They entice you with promises of “free information” and direct you to click a link where there will be just enough information to make you want more…but you have to pay big ducats for the “more”. Believe an honest job gypsy lady–there is nothing free. Everything costs something and if it does not, be sure it is something you really want (I love networking, by the way. You can find me on LinkedIn. Look up my professional profile at ).

Siren given body of bird and upper part of women

a siren pipes her song

Of course, if you do not prefer to scour the earth for pro-bono services, you are a control freak like me and/or you are now too cash strapped to pay a professional resume writer, there is still hope. Helpful resources exist. An exhaustive  literature review of these resources can be found by walking the aisles of the poor man’s university–your local public library, visiting the neighborhood bookstore of choice, or by googling, “resume books reviews“.  You could also begin by seeking out “Resume Writing For Dummies” on and click around from there.

 Let’s do this! Let’s EAT THAT FROG! (Click on the title to see Simple Truths short movie about the book) We will build a resume together in these few weeks of summer and crash the walls of procrastination. We will stop our ears to the siren songs that tell us that others are oh-so-much-wiser and lash ourselves to the mast of determination.

Fellow seekers,  it does pay to get all the good advice we can get, but when all is said and done, nobody knows the self like the self. Feel free to review “The Shape-Shifting Job Gypsy Game”. All the self-research gleaned from the game and the reading you have done up to now in the job search process is good preparation for building this marketing piece called, the resume. It is doable.

We will talk about the major elements of good resumes next time we meet. Meanwhile, enjoy summer and be careful what you listen to.