You Called Us, Now What? : Submitting a Resumé

Some of what follows may sound daunting, so consider this. Most retained search firms are looking for the same information. If they don’t get it, they’ll just chuck your resumé. We want you to succeed, which is why we’re telling it like it is.

We like CVs that are specific and detailed. Lately we have been getting resumés that are more and more vague. We hear of a lot of resumé-writing advice along the lines of “give them a taste, whet their appetite, and they’ll call you for more information” and think it’s misguided. We want the facts and we don’t have a lot of time to pry them out gradually.

Please tell us what your compensation is or was, where you are or aren’t willing to relocate, why you’re looking and how you heard of us. Saying “through a colleague” without saying who is lame. OTOH, an email with a subject line “via Becky Waterman” gets our attention (assuming we actually know Becky Waterman and think well of her, of course!).

We prefer dates in a MM/YY format. Any company you were with for less than five years requires that. Otherwise, if we see “XYZ Corporation, 2007-2009,” a cynic might assume you were hired in December 2007 and fired in January 2009. That sounds harsh, but all too often it’s the reality.

Also, we expect complete resumés, with your company affiliations and activities accounted for in an unbroken chain from college graduation to the present. (Ever since the flap with Al Dunlap, former Chairman of Sunbeam and Scott Paper.) Again, the resumé-writers advice about how to conceal the year you spent in France thinking you could be a landscape painter is plum wrong.

We like candidates with dimension. The people who joined internet startups in 1999 and were out of work in a year we see as risk-takers at a key time in internet history. The Fortune 100 career history broken after a decade by two years running PR for an unknown community college so you could take care of your ailing parent just tells us you have compassion.

We will check, of course, to verify that you were really following your dream or your heart and not serving as assistant henchman to Dr. Evil, but perfect resumés with no missteps and no adventures are implausible and dull. So include it all. Especially that bungee-jumping business you and your sister started!

To submit a resumé, please complete the resumé submission form below:

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