August 01, 2006, 5:17 PM — Susan Joyce recently spoke with Susan Ireland, author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Resume". Following is an edited transcript of that conversation. You may also listen to the original interview here, or visit our Career Strategy Center to get additional career-related information.
Hi. I'm Susan Joyce, Editor and Publisher of Job-Hunt.org, a website recently selected by US News and World Report Magazine as one of the top sites for finding work. Today we're talking with another Susan, Susan Ireland. Among Susan Ireland's many accomplishments, she's the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Resume, and she's also the person behind the excellent resume website www.susanireland.com. Susan has been a professional resume writer since 1989 with literally thousands of happily employed clients.
Susan, in the introduction to your latest edition of Perfect Resumes, you tell your readers, welcome to the world of marketing. What did you mean by that?
Susan Ireland: First of all, thank you for asking me to be interviewed by you. And I want to talk about marketing because that is exactly what resume writing is. A lot of people think of their resume as a document, kind of a historical document about their past. But I think if we take a different approach to it and think of it as a marketing piece that's going to launch you into the future, the resume writing process itself can be much more interesting and the results of that resume will be much more productive. So if we think of this as a marketing project where we're going to present you, the job seeker, to the employer, it is very likely that the resume is going to be the first piece of marketing that will come before the reader's eyes. And so therefore, the resume is a marketing piece that will represent you and it's something that we want to create with the idea of creating your future. So when we think of the resume as a document, we want to think of it as a document about your future, not about your past. Even though you'll be writing about your past, you're going to be very careful to write about your past in such a way that it creates the future that you want. In that way it becomes a marketing piece for you.
Susan Joyce: I can see how people get caught up very much in the historical aspect of it, and they write down every job they've ever had. And that's really not appropriate for a marketing document.