Enjoying New Rules of Resumes and Identity

She looked at my resume, then at me, back at my resume, back at me. “You know what? From this resume you could have been just any typical person.”

Yes, my new acquaintance was absolutely right. My resume is white bread, while I am multigrain with nutty pieces. It’s how my generation was trained professionally. My social work professors talked about us needing to provide a “blank screen” to clients. And as a rabbi, I was supposed to be a “suit”. And we were warned not to disclose too much to clients, congregants and the like.

The rules have changed to such a degree, that the young generation entering the work force doesn’t even know that there was a time in which our lives weren’t totally transparent. I vividly remember complaining to a supervisor, decades ago, about having to play a role like an actor onstage. She didn’t deny it; just explained why it was important to do so. I admit that I still write my resume as if I am protecting who I am as a human and separating it from my professional persona. So, my friend read the resume accurately: it could be anyone’s resume. I have however, let my guard down somewhat on social media, including LinkedIn as well as the obvious Facebook page and Twitter feed.

I’m taking the plunge here, and filling in the blanks on my resume, just like folks my kids’ age do quite naturally. Here goes:

  • Yes, I do have interests. For example, I took a course on how to be a scratch DJ at age 53. Proudly.
  • I love people that are smart (in all sorts of different ways) and a bit quirky. I totally identify with USA Network’s tag line, Characters Welcome.
  • I collect beer signs. Not because I like beer (I don’t), but because I love Americana, and love to know what makes people tick. Electric beer signs only. Preferably ones that have some motion.
  • Ditto for Elvis stuff. I can give or take his music, but the pop culture phenomenon around him is fascinating to me.
  • I collect Jewish amulets. Not because I believe in their power, but because I find folk religion (like everything else about people) fascinating.
  • My favorite long weekend away is heading to the Brimfield Antique Show in the summer. The trip is, in part, a tribute to my late brother.
  • I go to George Clinton and P-Funk performances when I can. Because there is a human and a Jewish obligation to be happy. And those performances make it happen.
  • My retirement dream would be a place in Tiberias, Israel
  • I have incredibly wonderful kids.
  • My wife married me for entertainment value, which is perfectly fine with me.
  • Despite all sorts of challenges, I continue to be optimistic about humanity and about humanity’s power to bring a better and more peaceful world to fruition.

That pretty much fills in many of the blanks. Thanks for a world in which what makes us unique is valued rather than hidden.


2 responses

  1. Powerful piece Arnie! And I do believe your right. Character matters; only through being who you are can touch people with your spirit. And you have done that ten-fold. May your journey continue and lead you wherever you want to go.


  2. stephanie freese | Reply

    enjoyed your new resume entries!
    i’m no longer sure what any employer is looking for nowadays!
    but i do know we are not going back to the old models.
    i think flexibility and being “fast on your feet” are 2 things that will serve people well in the coming years.
    i hope you and your family are well.


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