I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the benefits of managing a site like this is that you can change the challenge rules as you go along.
Take this challenge for example. It specified the use of 5 building blocks and I used 10. It specified 15 minutes and I used more than 20.
More important, I mentioned something about creating the “ideal” resume or CV.” And, of course, that is subject both to opinion and context. It can depend on the particular job, the type of organization etc.
So, with those caveats, here is my proposed “ideal” preparation and submission process for a resume or CV.
(Click image to see larger version)
It begins with discovering a particular opportunity and then following up with the organization or search committee chair to find out more about the position from their perspective. After that, the next step is to conduct additional research via the Web and by working through my personal network of contacts. I want to know everything I can about the organization, from as many perspectives as possible, before sitting down to work on my CV.
Once I’m satisfied that I understand the opportunity, I can begin work editing my CV. In my case, this is a document that has all the pertinent information about my career, but that continues to evolve according to new projects and experiences. Depending on the position I’m applying for, I may want to delete extraneous or non-applicable qualifications, or highlight those that will be of specific interest to reviewers.
During this drafting and editing stage, I also take the time to create an Executive Profile. This is a narrative alternative to my traditional CV, that is written to address, in a more focused manner, the particular qualifications and philosophy (related to leadership, organizational management, business development, etc.), that make me the ideal candidate for the job.
Once I have completed drafts of these items, I begin crafting a cover letter. I want this document to provide an overview of my qualifications, and to explain succinctly why I am interested in working with this organization. If possible, I want to make it clear that I understand the organization’s needs as well as the opportunities that we could partner to address.
Whew! That felt like real work. And, not surprisingly, it is real work!
Now, with my drafts complete, I am ready for editing.
I pass my documents to someone who can make suggestions and advise me on tone, style, and message. I take this feedback, finalize my documents, along with any requested references, and submit them for consideration. After sending them in, I follow-up with an e-mail to ensure that they have been received and that everything is in order.
I’ve followed a deliberate, thoughtful process, and I feel like I’ve created a good environment for people who want to learn more about me. If I am the right match for the position, the organization will contact me for an interview, which is evidence that I have communicated my capabilities well.