Trimming the Fat

Updating your resume should be a quarterly exercise. It’s a document that has remained relevant in society – and will likely remain that way – in spite of the booming nature of the innumerable social media options that now occupy our every waking second.

If you’re applying for a job you’re going to need a resume. A real sharp LinkedIn profile – while definitely impressive to bring up on the iPad at your high school reunion – just doesn’t cut it. This is not to suggest that social media isn’t important; it can certainly help in losing a potential position. It just won’t win you one.

It all comes back to the resume. Not having one still isn’t an option in terms of job applications.

Which isn’t anything profound; having a resume at the ready when applying for new positions is standard practice. However, I learned this week that having an updated version holds much more value than any possible job aspirations. Better said, the value is found in the act of updating.

As I sat and pondered what to include – and in what capacity – I realized that I needed to leave a lot of what I currently do off of it. Having been in the position of hire-er, as opposed to the hire-ee that I’m going to be shortly, I know that in resume lingo less is most certainly more.

From that which you omit springs reflection.

As I debated against myself with the decisions of inclusion and exclusion, I made a separate list of those things that, for one reason or another, I chose to omit. The resume that I’m currently concocting is ESL specific, so for reasons surrounding that I obviously rationalized leaving some things out that I’d be very proud to include as options for other genres.

But with every omission came examination. What’s the reason for leaving it off? Would it be included in a non-ESL resume? If not, why?

Time is money, as they say. Over the last year I’ve definitely found that to be truer rather than not –in both the phrase’s literal and metaphorical sense. If I don’t consider including an activity that I currently allot time to, why am I giving time to it at all? This is not to say that everything you do must be able to end up on a resume. Rather, updating that same resume allows for perspective of those things that we choose to spend time on as opposed to those things that we simply spend time on because “that’s what I do.”

The latter example is what I’m trying to trim down. For one reason or another I seem to have accumulated responsibilities somewhat how one collects sea shells. You see a few that look cool, and pick them up. A few days later, you do the same. Before you know it you have a lot of shells and nowhere to put them.

Having many responsibilities naturally follows with neglect. To what extent that neglect reaches is dependent on how much of your personal time you’re willing to forfeit. But whether in quality or quantity, neglect surely exists.

It comes down to priorities. I’m the type of person that, if I’m going to do something, I want to do it well. With responsibilities spread out across numerous platforms, the quality of each individual act is bound to decrease – at least in some capacity. With a decrease in quality comes a similar decrease in enjoyment – which, presumably, is contrary to why you picked it up in the first place.

Even if you’re not looking for employment, the act of updating your resume is invaluable. It allows for a fresh perspective of the worth of what you dedicate time to. While the less is more philosophy isn’t often enacted on social media, it certainly counts where it actually matters: enjoying what you do. And isn’t that the idea, after all?

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