The modern résumé

I get asked sometimes about résumés, and last year I helped some of the interns with theirs. I think it’s usually good to look at what experts say, but in the area of résumés, I listen to my gut. My gut tells me the following:

  1. One page. That’s it. It can be two columns, but just one page.
  2. Use appropriate colors and fonts and typography. This isn’t 1975 and we’re not limited by the IBM Selectric typewriter.
  3. Make it interesting. It shouldn’t be strange, but there’s no need for it to be boring.
  4. For heaven’s sake, no typos or misspellings! Have multiple friends and family members read it.
  5. It’s important for you to convey what you’ve done, but it’s just as important to convey who you are. You have a good story to tell about your life; make sure it comes across.

This is purportedly Marissa Mayer’s résumé. She was until recently the CEO at Yahoo! and before that was an executive at Google. Her résumé tells the story of someone who is confident, knows who she is, and is likable. This isn’t a bad one to emulate! I think I like hers better than my own so maybe I’ll make some changes. Which brings me to the last point: Don’t wait until your résumé is needed to update it. Working on your résumé is a little like writing in a journal in that it’s a way to check-in with yourself. If you don’t document your life, who will?