Sharing my observations…
Creative resume writing is an “art”. Over the years I have worked out some rules of thumb.
- Be careful with the dates in the CV, as they can be used as evidence of cheating.
- o I sometimes specify only the year without month. If recruiter asks for the month, I would say, it means entire year is on that project
- o I don’t massage the dates in the last 7 years, but earlier than that, I’m more creative
- o I’m more careful with *perm employee* project dates as the employer often has a compliance requirement to release the dates when requested
- o Contract agencies may close down or change name. The account managers in charge of my assignment often change job. The dates they have in their system is less reliable.
- Also, Under one agency, I could have 2 assignments at two sites, so the dates are fuzzy.
- o Since I changed jobs too many times, I sometimes combine the earliest 3 jobs into one, when I know the employer is already gone, and it’s 12 years ago.
- Job duty is really up to me to write, esp. with my contract jobs. Also jobs done 7 years ago are not so relevant, so the background checkers are less concerned. I often shift or copy my “job duties” section from one job to another job.
- The technical experience or domain experience are up to me to write.
- o I used to mention java swing in 5 out of 7 past jobs. This way, my resume looked like a java swing veteran.
- o I used to mention connectivity in 5 out of 7 past jobs.
- o I used to mention c# in all of my past jobs.
- o I used to mention Forex in 4 out of 6 past jobs (To create an impression of “Forex focus” I delete all jobs that are unrelated to forex. If recruiter ask about the gap, I say it’s irrelevant or I say I was jobless). Actually, only 2 jobs had some forex element.
- I keep 3 versions of resume. I create a temporary version when a job application requires it. I don’t spend more than 20 minutes creating each version, as the effort is unlikely to pay dividends.
This is a trial-and-error process. I sometimes become over-creative and test the market. If no one notices or questions me over a few (10?) job interviews, then it’s considered very safe creativity. If they do spot any inconsistency, then I back off and admit a typo mistake.
I now think some hiring managers are suspicious or very perceptive so they could see through my creativity but won’t say anything, so I am completely unaware.
I see the resume as advertisement. The goal is an initial interview. If I ace the interview, they basically accept the resume as is.