Thought Experiment: New Resume Sections

When it comes to resumes, as subjective as they can be, it's important to stick to a commonly accepted standard. There's simple enough reason why: It makes it easier for the hiring manager to compare one candidate to another when everyone follows the same format and approach (that's why applications are so appealing.)

All that being said, while I appreciate structural standards, I was thinking today: If there was 1 thing I could somehow make a standard for all resumes what would it be? Beyond the typical Professional Experience, Project Experience, Education sections - what is something missing?

Resumes don't just need to provide the base level information. They can be used to drive the conversation forward so the interview doesn't just fall back to a typical Q&A. Resumes can give you something to talk about.

So while I'm typically not in favor of straying from the standard and precedent, I think - if there was one thing I could add to the existing standard, it would be a new "Experience" section.

We have "Professional Experience" and (sometimes) "Project Experience" - what if we had an additional one that framed our overall experience in a different way: Solution Experience. A section dedicated to tangible problems we tackled in a structured way:

It would cover the information you may not necessarily want to attribute to a specific company in your Professional Experience. Moreover, because it's not tied to professional experience the Solution Experience can be sourced from anything: professional, personal projects, coursework, whatever!

Your Professional Experience would continue to focus on the details of your employment experience and the impacts you drove there while your Solution Experience would focus more on specific problems.

While I don't think I can change a standard that's been in place for decades, I do think it's worth keeping track of your own Solution Experience. (Maybe even include it in a portfolio?) Your Solution Experience doesn't need to be on paper for you to talk about with an interviewer, and it will give you some great material to review with them.


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