Resume Reminder: You’re More Than A Word Document

You know the moral based lesson, “don’t judge a book by it’s cover”? It’s been engrained in us since pre-k…and for good reason, right? The outer appearance of a person should have no bearing on the content of their character.

This past weekend (and also ten minutes ago) I was slaving over a resume to send off for potential summer internships. I tried to squeeze the contents my life’s work onto a single page while maintaining a (painfully) business professional tone. I say “painful” because the robotic rhetoric that weighed down my first draft starkly contrasted the creative, passionate person I try to be.

The piece of paper with “Emma M. Ahlert” bolded at the top, was followed by none of the personality that I could actually bring to the organization. This is not because I’m a liar, or trying to be someone that I’m not. This is because I followed online templates and my business-man dad’s advice to make my cover letter and resume concise and “easy to skim”. But my soul is not easy to skim. My ambitions, and the experiences that motivate me towards them, can not be condensed to bullet points on a monochromatic word document.

For that reason, I think resumes are stupid. I think society should do away with one-page-long embodiments of complex and intelligent people. Don’t judge me by my cover; how I dress or my physical attractiveness. And don’t evaluate my achievements based on awards or name recognition.

I know that upon reading this, there will be inevitable eye-rolling. Because what’s the alternative to resumes – interview every applicant in an effort to know them personally?  It’s not possible. As such, this resume-less, fantasy world has one inhabitant that I know of…me. And I’m fine with that. Because I really believe that we’re more than a list of accomplishments.

Keep in mind that after I wrap up this article, I’ll go back to crafting my cover letter. I’ll continue to work on the balance between formality and individuality. Let’s face it; If I refuse to ever submit a resume… I’ll remain in my parent’s basement forever.

In this, seemingly, 100th draft that I’m working on, I’ll worry less about fitting the mold I’ve convinced myself that employers want. I’ll remain business professional while staying unapologetically true to myself. I think as long as we keep an essence of ourselves present in each step throughout life; buying a car, raising our kids, writing a resume… everything will turn out beautiful, and colorful, and OK.

Featured Image via Amelia Kramer

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