You’ll Never Please ’em All So Don’t Try!

Just had a conversation with a client that prompted this quick post.

The client loves his new resume except for one feature. This feature is a little unusual (can’t tell you what it is – trade secret!) but really makes his resume pop. It will not appeal to everyone – some recruiters may even dislike it – but for his target audience it’s perfect.

When I explained this, my client said ‘but I don’t want to have a resume that some people dislike.’ And that’s when I knew I had to write this post! People, someone somewhere will dislike your resume no matter what you do. It won’t have the right this or that for this or that company and it will be discarded. The cliche about not being able to please all the people all the time is only a cliche because it’s so true that we use it all the time. And the truth is that if your resume is totally conventional, it will be overlooked more often that it’s paid attention to – just one more in a pile of unremarkable documents.

By doing something different, you will at least attract attention. And if the different thing you do is calibrated to appeal to your target audience (you do know who your target audience is, right?), then how can you go wrong? For every person who is put off by your unconventional approach, there will be one or two who really notice you. Having 50% of readers pay real attention to you is already a huge leap up from where most people are – lying in that pile of unremarkable but totally safe resumes.

What do you think? Have you ever done anything unconventional with your resume? Would you dare to give it a try?

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