A Short Argument in Favor of Disfavoring Resumes
In my current role, part of my job is to prepare career changers for the job search. I give them tips for building their portfolios, advice on how to approach companies they’re interested in, and best practices for presenting themselves in this new field.
Of all the things we work on during career support, resumes typically result in the most questions, the most anxiety, and the most work. It’s not surprising though — the students who come through our courses are typically entering a totally new field. Their backgrounds vary — from educators to project managers to machine operators — but they’re all moving into technology. Figuring out how to construct a resume that positions you for the job you want, while including the experience you have can be very tricky!
So when my pal Miles sent this TedTalk my way, I couldn’t have been happier. In her talk about silver spoons versus scrappers, Regina Hartley discusses why the best hire might not have the perfect resume. “Choose the underestimated contender, whose secret weapons are passion and purpose,” she says.
“Choose the underestimated contender, whose secret weapons are passion and purpose,” she says.
“Yes!” I shouted (to myself). I couldn’t agree with her more.
This theory applies specifically well to our students here at The Iron Yard. It’s not easy to go back to (or start) school as an adult. It’s definitely difficult to do so by entering an immersive program that requires you to work upwards of 60 hours a week, quit your job, and continue to support yourself (and many times your family) during the class. These folks don’t have years of tech or dev experience behind them — but they do have experience that matters.
For some of these students, it has taken them a bit longer than expected to figure out what they want to be when they grow up. For others, the “traditional” route wasn’t accessible. More often than not, though, the path that lead them to us has been hilly and bumpy, requiring a determination and perseverance that you don’t see everyday.
More often than not, though, the path that lead them to us has been hilly and bumpy, requiring a determination and perseverance that you don’t see everyday.
The support we’ve received from our local community is outstanding — but our number of supporters and our number of employers aren’t aligned. So my challenge (hope and wish) is that employers in Indy will heed Regina’s advice — and take a chance on the scrappers. I think they’ll be pleasantly surprised with the diversity that brings to their teams.