Putting the life on a single piece of paper

Just spent a good hour rewriting my CV. No, I didn't get fired or leave the company - it's just something I was asked to do for a project I undertook recently, and of which you will hear in due time (next spring-ish, is my guess).

Anyhoo, it's always been difficult for me to write a CV. On the other hand, I would very much like to write a small essay of each of the things that I've done, but that is obviously not possible for both size and confidentiality limitations. On the other hand, when you squeeze your CV down to a few lines, it sort of trivializes it all - how do you capture all the trials and challenges onto three lines? How do you explain how pivotal something has been to you, or what are the wonderful things and people you have learned during that time? How do you accurately describe your knowledge and assets?

It's even more difficult because different cultures treat CVs differently. Finns like a short, to the point-style with little ornaments. In some countries, you are supposed to exaggerate your accomplishments, which can sometimes lead to odd situations, when these people take a Finnish CV, and subtract the bullshit they would normally expect from a CV. Essentially, they'll end up with a document which says "Janne knows how to hold a spoon and no longer poops indoors."

But really the most difficult thing is the fact that once you've written it, and it all fit in a single A4, you look at it and remember all the jobs and the people, and you realize that that is all there is.

A single A4.

All your life's accomplishments. All the things you have been. And you can see whether you are going forward or backward, up or down, frying pan to a boiling kettle. It's unavoidably clear.

I don't know what makes me sad about it - the "that's it" -part, or the part that I care.

Which is probably why so many people take such a proud look at their children. You see, they don't fit on a piece of paper. They will write their own, in due time, and, I suppose, that gets added to your own.

(If you're interested, here's my A4(info). I'm not looking for work, but if you've got something really amazing going on, I am willing to listen. And hold a spoon for you.)




Comments

Wow! You worked in space industry! :)

Very concise and clear CV I'd say. I find it fantastic and will think about such a format next time I am applying for a job (at least if it happens in a short-CV culture). Typically I target for a two page CV, but earlier I didn't realize how clear you can make a single page version.

--Artem Marchenko, 31-Oct-2008


Yup. I'm a qualified rocket scientist. I minored in space technology :-)

--JanneJalkanen, 31-Oct-2008


Agreed, it's very good. However I think most people want to have some personal stuff as well, maybe what kind of person you are and such. But that can then go to the second page of course.

--Jukka Eklund, 01-Nov-2008


Space technology ftw!

It also seems that almost everyone who has majored or minored in space technology has worked in SSF at some point. I worked there for the summers of 1999 and 2000.

--Pare, 03-Nov-2008


I think the point of the CV is to get the interview; there you can then convince people of your social skills.

What is written does not always match reality. I've been on internet blind dates. I know.

--JanneJalkanen, 03-Nov-2008


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