How-To Rewrite Your Resume

A walking bridge in New England covered with fall leavesBy Caleb John Clark, March 2005

Shows examples of a good resume suite (1 pager, full, bio, cover letter) from going through the rewrite process with a professional career management coach named David Glober of Glober Associates. David has been the go to guy for all resume writing guy in my circle of geeky friends in San Francisco since the early 1990s. Recently he has been expanding his practice to include counseling and life coaching. It was obvious to me during the three weeks we spent on my resume that a good resume rewrite is really a dose of life coaching, especially if it’s done by a professional like David. And David himself has realized over the years that resume writing was really a combination of therapy and counseling, which is now integrating into Life Coaching (See Life Coaching primer.)

I thought a resume rewrite would be fairly straight forward. Get rid of the typos in my old resume, reformat, and add the latest gig, but I was wrong. The process was really about David going through each job I had, my life, goals, values, past, etc. and making me really think about how I put myself forward via my resume and what I wanted to use my resume to get.

The Process

First David made me describe each job in detail verbally while he read my resume on his computer. He would mine out important things I had totally left out or phrased badly and do amazing things with the language to make me look really professional, but not something I wasn’t. This seemed innocuous at first, but then it started bringing up very deep issues about work and what I was good at, and wasn’t.

All the while we were looking for the two or so words that described what I did and thinking about a bio and cover letter. Was I an instructional designer? or a writer? After diving painfully deep into my life, goals, future, and past we went through several drafts of my resume until there were no typos to be found, sometimes even haggling over one single word for days. Then he drafted a bio and cover letter and made a one page version and had me edit them. Then he made PDFs and checked them on PC and Macs on several printers to make sure they printed well. It was amazing.

My Finished Resume Suite

Here’s PDFs of my finished product for you to use as an example. Notice the language used and length of entries. Shorter entries were for jobs I was not especially into, longer ones were one’s to accentuate. Also notice there’s not “Objective” but rather a an explanation of my skill set, basically summarizing and answering the question, “what can you do for me?”

  1. 1 Page Resume
  2. 2 Page Resume
  3. Cover Letter
  4. Bio

More Info.

  1. Great Book!: “Zen and the Art of Making A Living”
  2. Wikepedia Encyclopedia Entry for Resume with Links
  3. David Glober of Glober Associates