I loathe writing resumes. Everything about it bothers me: the tediousness, the constricting feeling, the frustration of not being able to express myself… It’s a truly awful way to spend time.
I’m comforted that I’m not alone in this hatred for resumes. I’ve heard many multipotentialites complain that it’s a tremendous point of pain for them too.
Not only does everybody seem to hate contorting into a specialist shape, it’s common for multipotentialites to have a complex career trajectory, and this doesn’t lend itself well to writing a coherent CV. If you’ve spent a few years in one industry, a few years in another–again and again!–then it’s easy to worry that your resume may appear off-putting to potential employers.
So, how can multipotentialites write resumes that highlight their best qualities (ideally, as quickly and pleasantly as possible, too)? There’s plenty of great resume advice already on the internet, so let’s focus on a few general principles which might be helpful to multipods in particular.
1. Trust yourself
This advice is especially important when seeking other perspectives online. No advice is applicable in all circumstances, especially when it comes to cultural expectations such as “what makes a good resume.”
What works great in Europe or India may come off strangely in the USA or New Zealand.* Trust your instincts and cultural knowledge, and if you’re applying for jobs in a new place, consider making it your first step to acquire the relevant cultural knowledge somehow.
* (I don’t mean to pair those places specifically; just pointing out that expectations differ greatly around the globe.)
2. You don’t have to include EVERYTHING on one resume
A complain I hear often is that it hurts to leave parts of ourselves off a resume:
“But they simply MUST know everything about me!”
It’s great to come off as well-rounded, but once that’s been achieved you don’t need to list literally every interest you’ve ever had.
Remember the purpose of the document: it’s to get you a job. It’s not a manifesto you have to live by afterwards, so leaving off “poetry” doesn’t mean you have to give it up. It’s just a judgement call: will this resume be more focused without it? Or will showing off a small amount of your poetic side help in this case?
3. …But don’t be scared to show off your breadth
The opposite temptation is to cut off everything that isn’t strictly relevant to the job. Again, this is a judgement call: how attractive are your other passions likely to be to this company?
Try putting yourself in the shoes of someone interviewing for this role; would you see these other passions as interesting, useful, or as irrelevant – or perhaps even detrimental?
4. Explain shifts in your career
Explaining a complicated career history doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Flip the narrative on its head and ask yourself “how has each of my previous lives contributed to who I am now?”
If you’re worried that a past career move might appear inexplicable, then explain it! You had a good reason for that move so tell your potential new employer what drove you, what skills you picked up along the way, and (most importantly) how that experience will help you in the new role you’re applying for.
We gain experience and knowledge from everything we do, so look for the positives that your complex history can bring to your glorious future!
5. It’s okay to have multiple resumes
Perhaps it’s misleading that we often talk about “our resume” as if we only have one. If you’re a multipod with a slash career you might have one resume for one part of your life, and a completely different one for another.
It might be easier to maintain one master resume with everything on it, and then you cut it down as necessary–knock off most of the engineering bits for a dance production, and vice versa for a new engineering job.
All the usual advice still stands
Multipods aren’t a different species (honest!), so all of the usual advice still stands: sell yourself well, don’t go overboard, come off as human, be honest, keep it brief, don’t trail off lists by just writing “and so on”… and so on. 😉
Nobody likes writing resumes, but hopefully these thoughts will help you get past any multipod-specific struggles and create a document which shows you at your best. For more tips, check out this post series on crafting a multipotentialite resume.
Got any tips for crafting a strong multipotentialite resume? Please share them with the community in the comments below!