My oldest got home from college last night for a week of Spring Break. There’s a new normal around here when he’s away, but I am always glad when he returns, if even for only a week. I like the old normal better, when all five of us are together.
Dan shared his resume with me on LinkedIn a few days ago. He’ll be twenty in a few days and he just seems so grown up. You know you are old when one of your kids has their own LinkedIn page.
Just shy of completing his second year toward getting a marketing and communications degree, Dan is thinking ahead to graduation so much more than I did when I was his age. When I looked closely at his resume, I was immediately struck by the skills he has already developed in the field of his choice. Along with a friend, he started an American Sign Language Club at his college and he does all of the marketing and communications. Dan is also handling some of the marketing for a local basketball trainer’s Twitter and Instagram accounts.
I started thinking…what did my resume look like when I was twenty? How would I measure up to Dan? I had to find out.
Buried away deep in a box of files from my younger days, I found the only copy that exists of my very first resume. It dates back to the spring of 1987, when I graduated from college with a communications degree, $10,000 of college debt, and a pit in my stomach about finding a real job.
A friend’s mom typed it up for me and it couldn’t have taken her more than a minute or two, as it is mostly just white space and huge margins all around, with some tiny flecks of center-justified information about an unqualified and inexperienced job-seeker.
Perusing the three jobs that I listed, a potential employer looking for someone to add to their communications staff back then would have seen the sum total of the skills I’d acquired by age twenty-three: lawn mowing, painting, running a cash register, stocking grocery store shelves, and being a “warehouse personnel” person, whatever that means.
To distract attention away from my meager assortment of manual labor skills, I developed an “Activities” section for my resume. Brief as well, it listed the fact that I volunteered (once) on a college committee that planned beer blasts and that I played intramural sports (along with 90% of my graduating classmates). I closed with the classic line, “enjoy sports, music, and travel,” that populated so many of my friends’ resumes at the time and added exactly nothing in convincing a personnel director to grant anyone an interview. Ever.
I mean, what was I thinking by putting that on there? That the phone would ring and on the other end I’d hear a recruiter breathlessly say, “Hello! Matthew? Our company is looking for someone with extensive interest in sports, music, and travel and we think you’re our man! Can you come down right now for an interview…?”
What was I thinking? I wasn’t thinking when I was twenty.
But Dan already is. And that’s worth tweeting about.