Let Me Write It For You
“Why don’t you have me write your resume and documents next time?”
I was speaking with Henry, the CIO of a $5B division of a $25B international company. Henry led Information Systems and business process automation for the Americas Division. The company looked to his division to be the testbed for enterprise digital transformation solutions that could be rolled out and adopted worldwide.
Henry had sent his resume to me to be critiqued. He was looking for advice on how to present his information better. During the previous five years, the markets shifted away from his company’s traditional strengths, and the company was struggling globally. His projects had been slowed or canceled. These were current projects that would have saved the company up to $100M in annual productivity worldwide. Henry realized it would be years before the company would be able to take advantage of many of the enterprise IT automation solutions in his development pipeline. Henry loved his company and the digital transformation he was leading, but in the IT fluid world, his career would be negatively impacted while the company took several years to revamp their operations.
Henry’s resume was one of the better self-written resumes I had come across. He had included a little of what I call “Recruiter Candy”* in his resume and successfully identified and quantified his significant accomplishments.
Let Me Write It For You
Together we were working on version 3 of his resume. I had already critiqued versions 1 and 2. In our conversation, I suddenly realized that Henry had been putting many, many hours into this exercise. I asked him, “How much time have you spent on your resume so far?”
He took a moment and said, “At least 20 hours, including original writing and rewriting for the critiques.”
“Why don’t you have me write your resume and documents instead of critiquing next time?”
“Henry, you make $300,000 a year. Your time is too valuable to do what you’re doing. You sent me a resume that has the right quantifiable metrics, the right success metrics, the right client identification, all the right information, which is amazing – I rarely get that. You’ve asked me to help you take it to the next level – and it is coming together with great power in Version 3. This version of your resume is strongly impactful and eye-catching to Recruiters and Hiring Managers. But how many hours have you spent on this in total? 20 hours? The resume is in good shape, but this has not been a good use of your time. You would have saved money, time, and anguish by simply asking me to write it from the beginning.”
Let Me Write it For You
Henry replied, “Oh, I know you’re right. It’s not a good use of my time. I know that. See, my brother-in-law, who is in HR in New York City, wrote the original resume for me. I’m spending all this time to fix it up so that if my sister and brother-in-law ever see it, they’ll see that it’s his design and format.”
“Oh. I understand. Please, next time contact me first and you don’t have to spend 20 hours doing this.”
“Yes, I understand. I know. Thank you for your help.”
* Recruiter Candy: Some element of success or experience that jumps off the resume and captures the attention of a recruiter.