A robotic resume?? CNBC misses the mark…

A CNBC business on-line article, March 22nd, headlined:

“The Killer Resume. How to Get Hired By the Machines.”

Here is the link, for those of you with time to waste: http://www.cnbc.com/id/46823506

The column gives tips on how to write a CV in order for resume search engines to ‘see’ enough relevant words, and if so, have a human review it next. I shudder at quoting such churlishness- maybe CNBC’s readers are masochistic stand-up comedians, who knows.. I quote:

Remember when we strove to be concise on our resumes and not repeat ourselves? Toss that one on the recycling pile. Today, it’s all about wooing the machines. And in the same way that you choose your words carefully to woo someone you’d like to date, you have to choose your words carefully on your resume to woo the machines reading it.So, what’s the machine-equivalent of “Wow, you have the most striking eyes”?! First, you want to include a target job title and include it up high on your resume, an area favored by algorithms…

Repetition and algorithms do the trick nowadays? The writer’s snarky, juvenescent writing doesn’t help..

But they’re wrong–especially for those who’ve been in the game long enough, who care to market and present themselves with some colour and panache.

A good strong CV shows how you brand yourself, as it is a marketing tool anyhow. It takes some reflective time to think through past accomplishments that mattered; achievements recognised and rewarded; projects measured monetarily or collaboratively; groups managed, built or cut; influencing or lobbying that had results; dealing with adversity and weak markets, and so on.

The important repetition is not about words to please robots, for crissakes, but about strengths. That must be the consistent thread throughout.

A CV must show what one does well. Clearly, concisely, and confidently. Everyone does something well;(er, I’m repeating myself..) not everything, a couple of things are more than ample. And those things one does has a gift for must be accentuated–and repeated. People hire on strength, never on weakness. A well written CV gives license to politely stretch and strut.

That’s its function, and is best read by humans. If you’re planning on working for a robot, digest the CNBC article slowly and go for it. Otherwise, read it for laughs, which may be the point anyhow, hard to tell. Then get back to the work of good clear writing, safe in the comfort of what you’re strong at, and knowing where you [likely] want to go in your career. That’s plenty.


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