Monday, February 20, 2012

Redlined Resumes: straightforward, clear, and sharp

CT's resume, our submission for today, is just...well done.  It's clear and well constructed, not just in terms of the format but also the content.  As usual, I advise that CT remove the Eagle Scouts awards and the Interests section, but my remaining comments are just small tweaks on a good thing.

Double-click image to see enlarged image in separate browser or tab.

My one graphic concern is CT's use of the yellow slash at each section--this is a nice feature, but it might not show up if this is printed in black and white.  If CT is looking for a warmer color (that's not red, which everyone seems to use), then maybe a more orangey-yellow or rust-color might be appropriate.  That would more likely show up as some shade of grey instead of barely a smudge, which I suspect might happen with the yellow. CT can emphasize his* ability to speak various languages (which could be very helpful depending on where the firm works) and his ability to coordinate meal prep for a large number of people (catering is a tough job, and it requires mental and physical fortitude as well as the ability to organize and coordinate lots of people and activities).

CT has also managed to do something that's difficult for even 25-year veterans of architecture: he's summarized his jobs and tasks into three sentences, each starting with an active verb.  "Created construction documents..."  "Prepared exhibit materials..."  "Manage hundreds of orders..."  Architects are taught, whether by school or starchitects' books or both or neither, that we need to be verbose and use $20 words throughout our writing.  However, using fairly simple writing and well-edited sentences allow our readers to be entertained and informed without having to work so damn hard to understand what's being written, and that's what CT's resume ultimately does here.  Everything is explained in 1-3 sentences, some of which have concrete examples ("...projects up to 40,000 square feet").  CT, my hat's off to you!

*I generally keep these resume reviews gender neutral--however, the fact that CT was an Eagle Scout pretty clearly makes him a "he".

If you have a resume you'd like to have edited for Redlined Resumes, or if you have a question you'd like to ask or a topic you'd like to see discussed here, let me know in the coments or via email in the sidebar.  Thanks!


  1. I question why you advise the people whose resume you critique to remove the Eagle Scout resignation. It is an extremely honorable quality to have. Only 2.5% of scout achieve the rank of Eagle and likely, it leads to further careers choices, such as architecture. The rank of Eagle shows that a scout has the ability to lead a group of people to the competition of a task, that the scout has the ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances, and that the scout can work well with a group of people. I am biased because I am an Eagle Scout, but I have always been told to put it on my resume.

  2. Rob: it's a fair question. My advice to remove it has to do with how long ago the honor was received more so than the honor itself. I knew that Eagle Scout was a rare acheivement, but I didn't know how rare until you posted your comment above. All I knew (and all that many folks know, I would argue) was that it was a high honor that most Boy Scouts achieve while in high school or perhaps their first year of college (age 18-19). After someone has gone through five or six years of college, which presumably included some interesting projects and competitions along with work experience (architectural or not), anything from high school might make it look like you're trying to pad your resume.

    If young men want to keep such an honor on their resume, then they may well do so. Perhaps their resume will go to someone who was also in Boy Scouts, or was an Eagle Scout, or is head of a Boy Scout troop (all quite possible, by the way), and it could help them get an interview. If you need to get your resume down to one page, though, it might the item a young man decides to remove. (I presume there is an equivalent to Eagle Scout in the Girl Scouts, but I haven't heard of it.)

  3. Wow, for someone who supposedly knows much about resumes, you are uninformed about the basics of the Eagle Scout Award. I have met Federal Judges (2) who include it on their curriculum vitae. If that doesn't tell you what a high honor it is, I don't know what will. And yes, there is an equivalent for Girl Scouts - the Gold Award. There is also now another organization called American Heritage Girls which has the Stars and Stripes Award which is actually more involved than achieving Eagle. I can't compare it to the Gold Award because I don't have a Girl Scout.

    I have met two very successful gentlemen who have said their biggest regret in life is not achieving Eagle. They both have said anybody who is an Eagle Scout automatically get an interview in their companies.

  4. Beth in Texas: I'm not sure why I must know what the basics are about an Eagle Scout Award in order to know a lot about resumes. What I do know when looking for good candidates to work at an architecture firm is that being an Eagle Scout is no more indicative to me of a good architecture intern than being from Harvard GSD is. Both being an Eagle Scout and graduating from Harvard with an architecture degree are very high honors of which someone should be proud. But success in one venture, no matter how difficult, does not necessarily translate to success at an architecture firm, or at any firm. I've met great Eagle Scouts, and I've met Eagles Scouts that I wouldn't trust to water my houseplants. Likewise, I've met amazing, conscientious architects with Harvard architectural degrees, and I've met blithering idiots with Harvard architecture degrees.

    It's also good to know that there's an Eagle Scout equivalent for the Girl Scouts. Glad to see some parity there.

    But ultimately, Beth in Texas, resumes are a personal expression of someone's skills and abilities. As I state at the end of this post, if someone really wants to include it on their resume and not doing so feels incomplete or untrue to themselves, then please do. There will be some, like the folks you mention in your comment, who automatically get an interview because of that honor. I know of some companies who automatically interview (or refuse to interview) a candidate based on their architecture school. I just wouldn't count on it being the tie-breaker between you and anyone else going for a job.

  5. I came upon this through a google search. Because your blog is still active you may catch this comment...
    True story: A gentleman was called into an interview with a high level executive at one of the most prestigious firms in his field. During the interview it came out that there wasn't actually a job available. The senior executive just always wanted to meet the mythical "Eagle Scout". About a year later, the Eagle got a call from the executive who recommended him for a job at the company where the Eagle would later become CEO.
    Point is: Eagle should always be included. Anyone who knows what goes into earning it would want to see it.