When we moved from San Francisco to Manhattan last year, I was faced with the unholy task of sprucing up my resume. And in the process of doing so (or more aptly, procrastinating from doing so), I couldn’t help but wonder:
Why do we only have career-based resumes? Why aren’t there Life Resumes to categorize and commemorate all the random and interesting adventures we’ve had in life?
Where am I supposed to memorialize the fact that I’ve ridden a camel? Or run two half-marathons? Or had purple hair for one glorious year in high school? And isn’t all of this far, far more important to keep track of than whether or not I have working knowledge of Microsoft Access?
I don’t know about you, but my memory sucks. And I’m a bit worried that in thirty years, when I’m trying to recount stories to tell the grandkids, my sundry life adventures will have fallen through the cracks.
So while I was supposed to be updating my boring adult resume, I ended up creating a far more fascinating Life Resume.
The beauty of the Life Resume is that there are no ‘supposed to’s’… you can include anything you deem worthy, and it can be as simple as a list on a napkin or as OCD as a real resume, complete with headings and mission statements. Why? Because I made it up, and I said so.
If you’re having trouble getting started, here are some of my thoughts:
*Don’t forget the not-so-distant past. Having difficulty dredging up wild & crazy anecdotes from years gone by? Start with the adventures you’ve had since the start of 2012. Or even last week, which surprisingly, may fall into your chronological blind spot. If you can’t think of anything worth commemorating from the past year, you need to take a sick day and have yourself 24 hours of excitement. Make Ferris Bueller proud.
*Allow yourself the freedom to include career-related items. They’re not mutually exclusive! There are most definitely aspects of your professional life that you’ll want celebrated. Some, like becoming a veterinarian (woo hoo!), already exist on my standard resume, but they’re just so awesome that they must be restated. Others simply aren’t ‘professional’ enough to make the cut: like the one time I had an axolotl patient. And yes, although it was similar to treating other amphibians and fish, I did have to google it before I went into the exam room.
*Be silly. Does every entry in the Life Resume need to include you saving orphans from burning buildings or base-jumping off the Eiffel Tower? Decidedly not- although if this is truly your life, by all means include it… and write an autobiography, stat. Be silly. And be lenient with your Life Resume standards. If it makes you feel any better, mine includes gems like “Rode a mechanical bull.” No judgments. Just good stories.
*Label your life resume with a distinctive title. One day I know I will end up accidentally emailing a potential employer the wrong resume, and he or she will be very confused about why I found it necessary to inform them that I’m a fairly decent Tahitian dancer who once got trapped in an elevator. For when that faux pas inevitably occurs, I have a pre-emptive plea: at least deem me interesting enough for an interview.
Happy life resume writing!