Career Development Strategies E069 Is Marissa Mayer's Resume Perfect? Should You Use Her Template For Your Job Applications?

September 14th 2021

Some time ago, in the recent history of the recruitment industry, a discussion upon the CV of Marissa Mayer flared up. Back then, she was the CEO and the President of Yahoo! And a former executive, usability leader, and key spokeswoman for Google. At some point, Marissa publicized her resume in 2016, which was soon critically assessed in public by a number of experts in the recruitment industry (starring Rosa Elisabeth Vergas and Bruce M. Anderson).

To some, her resume was impeccable and became an inspiration for millions of professionals active in the job market and working on career advancement. To others, it lacked strategy and structure, and could never become a part of a viable professional development strategy.

The template of Mayer’s CV was soon copied and adopted by millions of job seekers around the globe, who made this pitch a part of their professional development plan.

However, what is the truth about this CV? If you copy the template, will you skyrocket your career and land jobs in a blink of an eye? Or perhaps, it’s quite the opposite: your application will get drowned in the pile of other applications and become invisible in the job market.

The source material:
Marissa Mayer’s CV template: https://enhancv.com/resume-examples/famous/marissa-mayer/
Other photos and video materials: all on the Creative Commons license.

Please also find this topic elaborated in this article: https://ontologyofvalue.com/perfect-cv-and-why-it-is-not-perfect-for-you-marissa-mayers-story/

00:00 Hello everyone. Today we will be talking about this lady about the reasons why you should not copy her resume. Welcome.

00:22 Welcome. In my practice as a career advisor, I often help job hunters in drafting their motivational letters and resumes. And what appears to me is that for some reason, Marissa Mayer’s resume has become a golden standard in recruitment in the job market. I meet so many candidates who decided this is the template I want to use. And initially, I thought it was just an isolated case. I thought, ‘Oh, yeah, this guy just made this little mistake on the way that he just corrected’.

00:56 And then, Oh, one more. Oh, another one. Another one. Another one. Another one, another one. And at some point, I realized this is not just a problem with one person. This is a general problem. What is this buzz about? In 2016, the former employee of Google Marissa Mayer, at the time, also CEO and president of Yahoo, publicly published her resume. I’m not sure what her intention was, perhaps it was a selfless act to help job hunters around the world to get inspired by her resume.

01:36 Perhaps it was just to tell the wider audience what she likes to do with her time. Yet, her resume goes publicized. And then it started huge debate in the recruitment industry. And today, I’d like to tell you a little bit about what I think about the topic, and why I believe that probably as much as this template is great for Marissa Mayer, it is not good for you or me. Let me explain.

02:01 And when I say that this is not the most fortunate template to choose, I usually hear questions like, ‘Oh, is this not original enough if I copy someone else’s template?’ No, this has nothing to do with originality. And believe it or not, recruitment industry is the most conservative, one of the most conservative industries out there. It has nothing to do with novelty and originality of your resume.

02:24 Your resume has to contain the right type of information, and has to be informative; and that’s all. It doesn’t matter how novel or how expressive it is. And the reason why this is not the right template is different than that.

02:41 And the key to understand why Marissa Mayer’s resume is not good for you or me, is who Marissa Mayer is. Marissa Mayer first graduated from Stanford University, where she studied symbolic systems, which combined computer science, philosophy, cognitive psychology and linguistics. Then she started her professional career in 1999, as the 20th employee of Google, where she was coding and managing small teams.

03:04 She was soon promoted to a product manager, and then to the head of consumer web products in the company. She also actively contributed to Google’s flagship AdWords algorithm. In 2002, She started the mentoring program within Google; the Associate Product Manager Program. Each year, she embarked on a large group of junior employees onto a two-year program, where they had extra assignments and evening classes with the intention to become future leaders.

03:27 She plays crucial roles in many of Google’s key initiatives, including Gmail, Google search, Google Images, Google News, Google Maps, Google Books, Google Toolbar, and iGoogle. In 2005, she was promoted to the Vice President of (Google) Search Products and User Experience. While working at Google, she was still serving as an academic teacher at Stanford. In 2012, she started her service as the CEO and president of Yahoo.

03:52 In 2017, she left the company and establish Sunshine Labs. The company is focused on applying artificial intelligence to consumer products. One conclusion from the story is that Marissa Mayer is not yet another job hunter. First of all, she has her own company, of course, so she doesn’t even need a job. But even if she did, if she ever goes to a job interview, she would have a star status.

04:15 Her Wikipedia page speaks for her. And the recruiter will probably be much better prepared to talk to Marissa Mayer and much better informed about who she is and what she already accomplished. Then she would know about the recruiter and the team. We cannot really compare the two situations, my situation or your situation, to Marissa’s situation. She doesn’t need to use the same tools and she doesn’t need to put the same type of information in her resume as any regular job hunter. Firstly, her resume misses few crucial bits of information that you should put on your resume in order to build your career path.

04:52 First of all, lack of professional profile. Marissa links in her resume to her personal blog that she used to write back then, when she was an employee of Yahoo, which is fine. Although it’s quite personal, and there’s a lot of personal information related to her family life. There are also opinioned articles about her professional field, of course, also articles about her progress. Her everyday life at Yahoo and everyday problems that she has to solve, and the current state of affairs in the company, which is, I think, much more interesting to the recruiter and then her family life.

05:28 But it’s a mixture of both worlds. It’s much better to link to a professional profile, such as your personal website where you list all your education and professional history. Some of the former projects. Some of the deliverables; output from these projects, if you can, or may be linked to some extracurricular activities. Also, might be, potentially, interesting to the employer, such as Art Gallery with your artworks, that builds a story of you as a professional, such as your artworks. But would not mix talking about your private and professional life that close together.

06:06 Next, she is also highly selective of talking about her achievements. For instance, she lists some of her top achievements from her time at Yahoo. However, she doesn’t mention any details about her projects from Google, although she has an impressive list of achievements. She doesn’t have to because whoever is the person to recruit her, they will be perfectly prepared and her Wikipedia page speaks for her.

06:30 However, you or me if we go to a job interview, we have to be our own advocate and list all the projects that we successfully completed. And you’ve got to remember that in the job market of today, projects land you jobs, not your position titles. The recruiter doesn’t care at all, what your job title is and what was written on your door in your previous job. Everything that they care about is what projects you successfully brought to the end.

06:57 Because today, the definition of your loyalty in the job market is different than it used to be 5 or 10 years ago. Today, employers don’t expect their employees to stay around for 10 or 20 years. They expect them to successfully finish projects and then go and rock the world somewhere else. Marissa also doesn’t mention her top professional skills. And again, she doesn’t need to. Because everyone who would ever read her resume, would already know how much she accomplished and with how many professional skills these accomplishments are associated.

07:29 However, when you apply for a job, you have to list the top values you have, hard skills and top soft skills, everything from programming skills, laboratory skills to management skills. The things you believe are your core competencies and you have to list all those qualities that you believe are your strengths.

07:47 She also introduces herself as a businesswoman and proud geek. Again, she can introduce herself this way. However, it would be better to choose a personal statement here. Choose your personal mission. Choose what you believe your personal mission is at the moment. For instance, I help PhD graduates with building amazing careers. Whatever else it is, it’s better to put a mission statement there because it shows what you’re passionate about and that you’re really driven to do it.

08:22 Rather than expressions such as a geek or mother, or any other category. Just don’t put yourself in a box in a category but rather talk about your mission. Next, there are also certain elements on this resume that are spurious and might even cause that you don’t get the job. First of all, there’s the photo on the resume. Depending on the country, it might be acceptable or not It might even be expected. But it really depends where in the world you apply.

08:51 Marissa lives and works in the US. And it comes as a surprise that she chose to put her photo on the resume. Because as a rule of thumb, you should not do it in the American job market. And if you do, you might get rejected because your photo should not give a recruiter reasons to possibly accept or reject your application based on non-professional factors such as age, gender, looks health or etc. That’s why you have to always adjust your style to the local standards.

09:25 Next, we have this controversial figure showing the division of her time into different types of tasks. All from talking to the investors, to baking cupcakes and spending time with her children. I mean if you put this type of figure in your resume, probably it won’t make a good impression. It’s a bit of a humble bragging on her side, I think.

09:49 Because this figure shows, ‘Hey, I achieved everything on my career path. I’m on the top in my industry yet I still have time for cupcakes and for everything. I have at all.’ This is how I feel looking at this figure. When you apply for a job the recruiter doesn’t give a damn about what do you spend time on after working hours and how many hours per day. This is completely irrelevant.

10:12 Last year I found a few titles in her resume such as Pale Alto instead of Palo Alto. Small details. Yet when you think about it, if someone is applying for a position such as a CEO of Yahoo, I would think that they have enough budget and they should pay enough attention to make their resume impeccable, especially given how little text there is. Remember that. Every single typo in your resume makes a bad impression on the recruiter.

10:44 And regardless who you are, it’s always better to triple check your resume looking for all the potential typos. To sum it up, is Marissa Mayer’s CV a bad example? It works perfectly well, if you’re well known. If you go to that level of achievement when recruiters invite you to interviews and they are aware of what you’ve achieved. Yes, you can use it. this type of template. However, if you’re like me, if you’re not any close to that level. If you’re just yet another job hunter looking for a better position in the job market and looking for a new challenge on your career path. And yet, there isn’t any massive Wikipedia page about all your achievements so far.

11:30 I would rather advise you to stick to the regular template, maybe not as visually impressive, maybe not as clever yet containing all the information that the recruiter needs to know to invite you to the interview. I wish you all the very best with your job applications.

11:47 If you’d like to get some more guidance, career wise, and also with respect to passing job interviews, please check out our information below; information about our aptitude test books and courses. And please don’t forget to subscribe to the channel. And leave a comment below if you also had interesting stories related to your own resume and some tips to share with others. Thank you so much for watching, and have a great day. 

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Please cite as:

Bielczyk, N. (2021, September 14th). Career Development Strategies E069 Is Marissa Mayer’s Resume Perfect? Should You Use Her Template For Your Job Applications?? Retrieved from https://ontologyofvalue.com/career-development-strategies-e069-is-marissa-mayers-resume-perfect-should-you-use-her-template-for-your-job-applications/

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