Edible Resumes

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Edible Resumes Many of us have taken for granted the dominant place of the resume in our culture. Though itmay seem absurd, a concise two-page summary of the self has been the driving force in our livelihoodsfor generations. Begrudgingly, we write the resume, seldom answering the question of why it hasbecome necessary that we reduce ourselves to our essential skills, and package and market ourselvesto someone who will spend less than thirty seconds reviewing “us.” Out of necessity for job seekers tocommunicate quickly and efficiently with potential employers, the structure and guidelines for thegenre of resumes have emerged. These structures and guidelines, in turn, respond to and reflect ourcultural ideologies. As Bernadette Longo has noted about the cultural nature of texts, such “largersocial relations may not appear directly because we have misrecognized many of them as naturalstates of affairs, being enmeshed in intricate webs of institutional influences that appear inevitable”(Longo 25). Resumes are one of these enmeshed, cultural artifacts that contribute to and participate inthe knowledge, power, and social systems we have constructed. An exploration of an emerging form ofthe resume—the scannable resume—will help to examine these concepts, allowing a discussion of theassumptions of cultural norms, epistemologies, and social relations embedded within this genre.The genreThe resume is a representation of the self, abbreviated, bulleted, and in standard serif fonts.Through highlighting relevant experience and qualifications, its main goal is to win its author aninterview with a prospective employer. In the neo-Darwinian business world, it is presumed that theemployer does not know the author, and that the employer n... ... middle of paper ... ...nk whether this is what we really want. Or is this simply another example of howtechnology is becoming so engrained in our everyday lives? Are we becoming cyborgs? Works Cited Kennedy, Joyce L. and Thomas J. Morrow. Electronic Job Search Revolution. New York: John Wileyand Sons, Inc., 1994. Accessed via Internet November 4, 1999. <http://www.obs-us.com/obs/english/books/Kennedy/JSCH3.html>Longo, Bernadette. “Textbooks as Cultural Artifacts, Technical Writing as Cultural Practice” in SpuriousCoin: Science, Management, and the History of Technical Writing in the Twentieth CenturyUnited States. Dissertation, Rensselaer, 1996.Berkenkotter and Huckin. “Rethinking Genre from a Sociocognitive Experience”Bazerman, Charles. Shaping Written Knowledge: The Genre and Activity of the Experimental Article inScience. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1988.
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