Executive Resume Templates Will Short-Change Your Career Journey
Yes. I am late to the party, but recent events have inspired me to chime in on this infographic resume template fad.
In recent days, a couple of clients emailed me this cool-looking infographic type resume. I have seen it before, but I had not realized the level of buzz around this particular resume. (Yes, I’ve been living under a rock—no, actually, under a pile of resumes.)
First, I acknowledge that this resume is fresh, easy on the eyes, and beautiful. If this is Marissa’s actual resume, considering the super recognized employers she can list (Yahoo and Google)– it probably would work great for her, but is it right for you? Most likely, no. Why?
It is now akin to a template. In under just a few minutes, you too can have an executive resume that looks like the one above. I bet that with the popularity of articles showcasing this resume and since Marissa Mayer is a high-visibility executive, ‘everyone’ probably already owns one.
It is not ideal for executives. Although this resume/CV belongs to the CEO of Yahoo, this junior-style resume is not the best business ‘outfit’ for executives.
There is no strategy behind it. As you build your executive resume with the app that produced this template, you will be forced to write your career story confined by pre-determined sections.
In my 15 years of experience writing resumes, I have never limited my clients by using fill-in templates/forms/apps. Not all careerists have enjoyed a straightforward career path with global icons as employers. Some leaders offer complex and multifaceted career journeys: lateral moves, international relocations, startups under current company umbrella, independent ventures, concurrent global projects, etc.
Broad and diverse backgrounds demand the flexibility and potential that a blank page offers—where each ‘brushstroke’ can roam freely to add value and build a strong and individualized branded resume.
You are not Marissa Mayer. She is the CEO of Yahoo! This is a globally recognized giant. Marissa’s real executive resume (Yahoo’s business performance) is streamed to millions across the globe periodically. She could probably put her name, email, phone number, and employers on any decent-looking dossier and call it a dynamic resume. Can you? Neither can I.
I love innovation. For individuals in more junior roles or those with career tracks that speak for themselves, this template might be enough. If so, great. This is not about knocking design or infographic executive resumes (which we do create as one-page networking resumes) — the message here is that resume templates are too generic and constricting for the today’s nimble executive.
Your Executive Resume Must Be An Organic and Customized Dossier
If you are like the rest of us, you most likely made career choices that require value translation:
Maybe you have worked for corporations that promised you personal success, but things don’t always work out as planned.
Perhaps you have built a product from scratch with the intention of disrupting the market as an underdog–but the funds ran out.
You may have creatively kept your company profitable by reinventing the company’s business model to protect returns to stakeholders/stockholders, but did not meet original financial goals.
You might have held accountability beyond what your job title required.
Maybe the company you worked for failed, but you gave them all the right tools and created all the right opportunities.
In other words, you might have a career tale to share that cannot be marketed well within the constraints of infographic resume formats.
If you need to help employers understand unusual circumstances and the value of a diverse career, then unleash your full market potential by telling your career story first with a focus on value, legacy, and takeaways. Then, and only then, design to draw the eyes toward huge wins!
Visual marketing leveraged the right way, to influence and move a story forward, should never be arbitrary.