Lets Marie Kondo That Resume!
Updated: Mar 9
Even if you’re not a pop culture addict, I’m sure you’re aware of the KonMari revolution happening worldwide. A few years ago, Kondo published her best-selling book titled “The Art of Tidying Up.” Then in December 2018, Netflix released her video series, aptly called, “Tidying Up with Marie Kondo.” For those of you that aren’t familiar with Kondo’s hurricane of fame, you might be familiar with her most popular phrase, “does it spark JOY?”
The declutter expert has created mass mania in the US by teaching Americans that they don’t need 90% of what fills their houses, how they can determine what they do and don’t need, and then how to clean and organize what’s left. Personally, I watched her show in awe … I'm weird about cleaning things (thanks to my OCD), I’m also a minimalist. Visitors consistently ask me if I’m “moving in” to the apartment I’ve inhabited for 7 years; besides a couch, a bed, and my desk, the only thing visible is my color-coded book collection. My OCD also tends to go a bit crazy while I’m working my day job in talent acquisition. As a recruiter, I have the pleasure of perusing anywhere from 30 to 100 resume’s per day. Since watching the KonMari series, my thoughts whilst perusing said resumes seems to usually be, “this person needs to Marie Kondo their resume.”
Now, if you’re like me you didn’t grow up knowing the secret to writing a resume. None of my high school teachers taught classes in resume writing. Nor did my college professors hold seminars or tutorials in how to effectively translate my skills and my work history into a targeted story for each job in which I applied. On top of that, no one told me that my story would have to be tweaked and changed based on which companies I applied to, utilizing their values and the buzz words provided in their job descriptions. The internet helped me learn the basics. But… let’s forget everything we think we know about writing a resume and apply Marie’s decluttering steps to revamp our LinkedIn/resumes.
Marie Kondo has six rules for tidying up (I’ve taken some editorial liberties to fit these rules into our context): commit yourself to the process, imagine your ideal resume, finish discarding first, tidy by category, follow the right order, and ask yourself if it sparks joy.
Let’s apply them to writing your resume.
Commit to the process. Resume writing is beyond difficult. It can be frustrating to accurately portray yourself in 2 pages or less. If you commit to figuring it out (and give yourself a strict deadline), you will.
Imagine your ideal resume. Do your research. Find templates that you like and can recreate in your own way. Business Insider has a sample resume that distinguishes great resumes from others. Choose a basic template that will be easy to tweak for different jobs.
Finish discarding first. Take everything out of your resume that isn’t vital. Your BASIC resume (which you’ll be able to make changes to per job) should be filled with company information, actionable items that resulted in impact and achievements that you can quantify. Everything else is just fluff.
Tidy by category. If you need more than one resume, organize your resumes in categories. For example: my background isn’t linear. Before I fell into recruitment, I was nannying while finishing my undergrad and my graduate degree. Before that, I worked as an aesthetician. Some of the skills that I developed from previous jobs have assisted me in becoming a successful recruiter. However, some of my skills don’t apply; performing a 15-minute Brazilian wax isn’t going to be the skill I highlight on my recruiting resume (who would have guessed?). So, I suggest that if your job history doesn’t “fit” with the path you’re trying to forge, create two resumes to help better organize your accomplishments.
Follow the right order. Resumes should start with a heading: your name, under that should be your contact information (email, phone number, and city—not your actual address), and your LinkedIn account (if you haven’t customized your LinkedIn URL, click here).Then other headings for each of the following: summary, professional experience, education, technical skills, and hobbies. Some people are getting really fancy with their resumes… in some fields, I’m sure that pie charts and rating yourself from 1-10 on your skills is relevant. Most resumes should be kept really simple. Resumes don’t require a crazy template or a picture of yourself (that’s what LinkedIn is for), or 14 bullet points demonstrating every responsibility you’ve ever had. Your resume should be clear, concise, and should illustrate your value.
Ask yourself if what you’ve created “sparks joy.” Your resume is a reflection of you and the work that you've done. The way that you present yourself to each new opportunity is important. Only put on your resume what is absolutely necessary. Every word counts when it comes to creating something that electrifies you with happiness.
As you can see, Kondo’s rules for ‘tidying up’ extend beyond the household. Even if you’ve never been taught to write a CV, we live in a unique time where you can seek answers to any resume-related questions you have with a click of a button. The web provides expert videos, articles, and even ready-made templates to assist you in constructing the perfect summation of your experience. KonMari states, “The space in which we live should be for the person we are becoming now, not for the person we were in the past.” Your CV will change; whether it be for another role, a different company, or because you’re learning new skills. It doesn’t have to be perfect, as long as you’re striving to tidy and improve.