Resumes - is there an alternative?

My job continues to suck at an alarming rate. It’s all I can do not to run screaming out the place. I’m forced to make work for myself (essential work, but not appreciated).
I work with idiots. Childish idiots. There’s backstabbing, complaining, and all the other stuff that makes you think of going mental with high-powered weapons.

So, my question is this: Is there an alternative to the standard resume? If I were to put the basics (where? when? how much?) it doesn’t say very much. I am capable of quite a lot ('scuse me while I pat myself on the back :)), but I’m not sure how to put it in writing. A couple of personal references who could speak for me can’t, being dead and all. It looks ridiculous putting phrases like “fast learner” and “adaptable” on the resume. I might as well put “Me know stuff. Me like learn.” like I’m the Incredible Hulk.

HELP!!! I going to go quite mad you know if I can’t break free from my living hell.

There really isn’t an alternative to a resume. There are, however, different acceptable resume formats. Rather than going with a standard job history, it sounds like the main body of your resume should focus on qualifications, rather than work history.

I’ve helped quite a few people with resumes… if you like, I’d be glad to help you with yours. I’ll even let you see my different resumes so you can judge for yourself whether or not you want to “hire” me. :wink:

My email is available!

Veni, Vidi, Visa … I came, I saw, I bought.

Yes, Chris is right…you need a resume, but you can be pretty creative with the format if all the required information is represented somewhere and it’s clearly organized!

Having done a lot of hiring, I can tell you that a creative, enthusiastic resume with not that much experience can certainly outweigh a more filled-out but clinical one. Of course, this may not be true of every field.

What job are you thinking of applying for? Maybe we can give you some suggestions…

I’m not sure what I’m looking for!! Damned indecisiveness. I tend to be more of a task-driven person. Give me a list of something to do and, gosh-darnit, I’ll do it! I’ve been in some sort of retail for 18 years and have seen it all (of course by saying THAT, I’m liable to see something completely weird tomorrow :)). I’m tired of public relations. I’m tired of bosses who complain about employees and don’t do anything about it. The CEO of my company on why we don’t have an employee handbook or any kind of written rules: “I never put anything like that in writing. It might come back to bite me.”
Bite me? Oh yeah, he can bite me, alright! We’ve got salesmen who don’t sell. We’ve got employees who will tell you your face: “I don’t care. It’s not my job.” No one cares and no one is willing to change. A couple of fellow employees and I (the ones who have usuable brains) were discusssing the whole mess today and one of them came up with a theory: the bosses are paying themselves huge amounts of money and bonuses, but not enough to alarm the stockholders. The CEO is a racist cheapskate who worships money. The president is a childish buffoon who likes to talk about you behind your back under your nose (you know, says things about you indirectly in front of you, sheeez, what a baby!). Our company is owned by a group of doctors and lawyers who don’t mess with us unless the profits drop and then they let us figure out how to fix it. The buildings and equipment are paid for. I believe we make a very large profit so the owners aren’t really all that concerned. I think when the profits drop, we are tapping into the two aformentioned person’s take. Of course, this is all conjecture, I could be wrong, but I don’t think I am.

Oops, got carried away there.

Anyhoo, what should I do? I can’t afford to quit without having a new job ready. I was offered another job last year by a company I used to work for. (A small grocery store that neede help getting their scanners up and running and maintained) They didn’t want to come off the cash though. (same salary I was making at the time, but more travel time was involved). I could probably still get the job, but I don’t want to look like I’m desparate (getting close, though) and they still don’t have the system working properly.

I must admit I’m not good at confrontations or putting a value on my knowledge and skills.

Hep me! (note: I meant to say “hep” :))

Alternatives to a resume? May I suggest that you buy a boom box and write a rap song describing your qualifications? If you don’t like rap, I think one of those lounge-lizard type tunes might work just as well. You could perform it at interviews.

Or, you could put yourself in a big box, and mail yourself to him. Start reciting your qualifications when he opens it. If he’s angry that you scared the holy hell out of him, tell him that he wouldn’t have problems like this if he had people like you working for him.

But seriously, have you ever visited one of those job-search sites? They will practically write your resume for you.

Also, consider making a web site of your job skills and qualifications where you would have a little more freedom of format.

Some employers like potential employees that have their own web sites because it shows the person to be computer literate. Plus, having a website would make you stick out in employers’ minds.

Some possible alternatives to resumes:

Know someone (ie networking) - Find someone who knows you or who you could develop a relationship with that is in a position to hire you. He or she can hire you based on their personal knowledge of you rather than your paper qualifications.

Civil Service - Most government jobs hire on the basis of test results rather than on resumes. Granted you start at an entry level job but if you’re on the ball, you can rise pretty quickly. (It worked for me anyway.)

Start at the bottom - Find a job in a business you want to be in and take a job way down the ladder where they’ll basically hire anyone who shows enough ability to show up for work every day. Once you’ve got your foot in the door, show people in the company that you’re capable of better things and move up to a better position.

A job search service - Have professionals look for you. You tell them about yourself and they present your qualifications to employers.

If you want an alternative, I know of some people who put their resumes on a CD-ROM complete with graphics, audio and whatnot…

Yer pal,

You probably could get away with a curriculum vitae instead.

Another alternative would be unemployment.

It would be difficult to manage without any resume at all; nearly all employers are going to ask you for one (unless its a friend who owns his own business).

Definitely write a functional resume that lists your job skills and interests, not just one listing your work history. Include a brief work history, though (otherwise many employers will get suspicious), but don’t list your job titles. List the tasks you did that are relevant to the job you’re applying for.

For instance, at one job my job title was desktop publisher. My job tasks included training people how to use the computers and troubleshooting computer problems. When I applied for a job in the computer field, that’s what I talked about. If I were applying for a job as a webmaster, I’d hit on my design and writing experience. If I were applying to a brokerage firm, I’d hit on my experience as a Supervisory Stock Analyst. You always end up doing many more things than your job description indicates and you need to stress the relevant ones.

Don’t stick with one resume, BTW. Change it for each job to highlight the tasks you’ve done that are relevant to the new position. (But don’t lie).

The cover letter is even more important than the resume. Be assertive, talking about what you can bring to help them. Start out by explaning in one sentence why you’re right for the job, then start a new paragraph that shows you know what you’re talking about. Don’t say “I think” or “I believe”; stick with “I can.” Also write in plain language – not some sort of business circumlocation. The idea is to treat the recipient as an equal – you’re not begging for a job, but rather stating the qualifications that make you a good candidate to come in for an interview.

Go to your local bookstore or library & get “Resumes For Dummies” A great resource, with a format for problems just like yours.

Also, call prospective employers & ask for the FAX # of their personnel office. By FAXing your resume, you keep the original & distribute copies all over town, without postage costs or wasting time on Personnel depts that are ‘just testing the job market’

We have met the enemy, and He is Us.–Walt Kelly

I dunno, Daniel. Are you in HR? Is this really acceptable. I’m not claiming that this must be a bad idea, but the HR folks I’ve known tended to be a bit conservative and I’m not sure how sending them an unsolicited resumè that they had to pay for would have gone over.

There is also the issue (especially in technical fields) that the line manager doesn’t belive that HR could find a large pum[kin in a small closet with a searchlight. Starting with HR gets over one hurdle, but raises a second: tech bosses who do not want HR shoving newhires down their throat.

I’d be curious to hear what any HR people have to say on the issue.


Judging by the reaction in the publishing industry, faxing your resume cold is going to hurt you a hell of a lot more than it helps you. Even ignoring the fact you’re using their paper, if you don’t care enough to pay for a stamp, why should they care enough to hire you?

From what I hear, Lockheed Martin and several other companies accept e-mailed resumes, all of which are entered into a database which is actually searched via key-words, and the top five to ten results are considered when a position opens up.

There is no safety for honest men but by believing all possible evil of evil men.

–Edmund Burke

I got this job through a ‘job fair’.
I was working at a very prestigous hellhole of a callcenter renowned for its screening of applicants and superior training.

I went to this job fair thing where prospective employers had booths set up giving out info, taking resumes. They got a chance to meet the people handing in the resumes, and I am pretty sure they would jot down a comment or two when you left. I got 4 offers including this one from that ONE stop!

The other offers sucked and this was the only job there that really appealed to me…this is the one I felt was CREATED for me…and so far so good! I hit 150% of my quota this month, and I only started May 10th.

I digress…I had NO SKILLS IN THIS FIELD WHATSOEVER, but, BUT, I made an impression. I talked at length with the company rep, and she told me she would make sure my resume got to Mr X…( now I did wonder if she was blowing smoke up my ass) but a few weeks later, I got the call from him, after the interview, he basically said he thought I was perfect for the job, and as long as the company testing went ok, I was in.

My point?

Dont be just a resume. Go in person, try to speak to someone in HR, shake hands, dress the part. Call in a few days to see if the have any questions.
If you must mail your resume, follow up by phone with HR in a week…make sure they recieved your package(resume cover letter)…then they must look at it, and it wont just lie on the desk.

My resume would not have done the job on its own. Sure I had the call center gig on the page, but inbound telephone banking is a far cry from advertising sales.Before that I sold clothes at the mall, assistant manager at a gas station, etc…nothing really relevant to this position…but with the face to face, I do well. People like me, and I used that to find work I wanted.

If you face to face skills arent really that great, just keep the chats brief, but you must be confident! Remember, they will be luck to get YOU!

A ‘job fair’ or a technology exhibit or whatever they do in your area to promote business is an EXCELLENT place to look. Have resumes with you at ALL times, you never know when you will ‘click’ with someone, or you may just be in the right place at the right time.

Best of Luck…keep us informed!