This morning I had a groundswell in the number of people at my step class.  After we completed our final stretches and were putting away our equipment, I said, “I thought I was going to get stage fright.” Where did everyone come from?”

“We like your music, Mike.” A few of them said. “Most of the other instructors choose music that is from the 70s, 80s, and 90s.” one said. “You choose stuff that our kids listen to on the radio right now.”

“But some of is shouldn’t be played ever,” I said. “In fact, a few of them I would consider to be ear worms.”

“Which ones?” One  asked.

“How about ‘Call Me Maybe.’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWNaR-rxAic )” I asked.

“Are you kidding? That’s Carly Rae Jepson. She just won a Juno for the best pop album of the year, and she only lives an hour’s drive from here.

“How about, ‘I’m A Single Lady.’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4m1EFMoRFvY )” One shot of that and it’ll be stuck in your head for a month

“That’s Beyoncé. She’s another multi-award winner.”

Okay, you’ll have to agree with me on this one. ‘What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger?’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEZDP_NVklc.”

“Are you kidding me,”  said one of my male participants. “That’s Kelly Clarkson, and that’s one of the most empowering songs for women there is.”

“Yeah, Mike, why can’t you just take a complement? Your Top 40 music is what we like, and you have it in your class.”

“And your class isn’t bad either,” said another male participant drenched in sweat.

“Well, maybe you guys are right. Maybe I am sort of contemporary – for an old guy.”

“You are SO contemporary.” Now if you can just learn to insert the word ‘SO’ in front of all your adjectives, you’ll be really SO contemporary.

I wonder if my contemporaneousness fits in with my work as a resume writer. Probably not. This week I lost a client after I finished his resume. He was an architect with experience with website construction ad graphic design. He wrote that he wanted a resume that would reflect his graphic design capabilities. In short, the document I presented had all the elements on it to make him an acceptable applicant for any position. It followed a simple format with a powerfully written profile, a roster of key strengths and an employment history that would leave nothing to chance as far as the job description was concerned.

But he wanted graphics.

There are three reasons not to put graphics on a resume:

  1. Many employers will scanners and global searches to screen resumes for key words. I have learned that scanners often reject key words that are presented in graphics, so all those skills will go unrecognized.
  2. Some HR people don’t understand what is being emphasized in graphics, or misinterpret your graphic intentions.
  3. Some people don’t understand graphics. They might be graphically challenged (such as me trying to understand flow diagrams) or they may simply have different tastes. It is a mistake to hire me to do graphics because all my taste is in my mouth.

My resumes are simple yet comprehensive. They are clearly written and use language that complements your strengths and style. They may not be contemporary, but at least they’re accessible.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.
He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at michael_broderick@telus.net or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.



One Response to “I’M SO CONTEMPORARY”

  1. energywriterSharon Says:

    Great story, Mike. I understand where you are coming from both musically and resume-wise. Will write more at your email.

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