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The Free Elf Gets a Free Resume

With Halloween just around the corner, we decided to focus on an iconic creature from one of the most beloved book series of all time. Although he’s not a main character, the subject of this latest resume brings such personality, dedication, and loyalty to the Harry Potter series that we couldn’t pass up a chance to showcase him!

Additionally, this was a great opportunity to focus on a hardworking individual – er, Elf! – by clearly demonstrating how he was impactful in each of his roles. “I solemnly swear that I am up to no good” with this document focused on Dobby the House Elf.

Right from the opening header, it’s apparent that Dobby stands up for his ideals. While proclaiming personal viewpoints is not a strategy we recommend in career documents often, we opted to include pertinent info here because it was essential to Dobby’s life journey and a critical component of the story. Full disclosure: the inclusion of a quote from the client himself is a bit of a departure from a typical resume. However, using testimonials from supervisors, colleagues, or clients is a great way to provide a potential employer insight into your strengths. It’s a technique we use at RYS to position clients from all fields to achieve their future goals.

While we consistently seek to call out successes from throughout a client’s career in every resume we draft, you’ll see we changed it up a bit right from the top of this fictional resume by pointing out how Dobby’s plans frequently went awry. For those of us in the Muggle population, it can be a great strategy to outline how you overcame a difficult challenge, though we don’t recommend highlighting how you made a mess of a project!

Even so, calling out Dobby’s uncanny ability to unintentionally cause problems was just too much fun (and also key to what made Dobby successful along the way!). Who doesn’t recall being horrified (while simultaneously feeling it was SO well-deserved for the way Aunt Petunia treated Harry) when Dobby smashed that massive pudding? Additionally, his gumption in requesting (gasp!) wages for his work at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry – an unprecedented ask from a house elf – is nothing short of admirable. When it comes to career advancement, we definitely encourage our Muggle-born clients to make similar strategic moves, like negotiating a higher salary, requesting flex scheduling, or seeking other perks.

The core competencies section – essential to any resume – was also a bit unorthodox. Who hasn’t had a day where they haven’t felt like “General Drudgery” should be a key skill? And surely, “Apparition” and “Summoning” could be helpful in nearly any sector!

Across the “Experience & Achievements ” section, it’s important to emphasize that the timelines are a bit wonky given that *spoiler alert* Dobby doesn’t live through the final book AND the length of his tenure as a house elf is a bit blurry given the book’s focus on a certain wizard with a lightning shaped scar. Although the timing is atypical when compared to our non-magic clients, the inclusion of achievements demonstrating how he contributed to the company and assisted others throughout each of his roles is NOT. Establishing this consistent track record of success (Pattern of Excellence) is a crucial tool in landing the all-important interview!

Since this document focuses on an individual contributor, it illustrates how essential this ever-important Pattern of Excellence strategy is no matter a person’s current position. Regardless of job title, we use the POE principle to emphasize success for clients spanning all organizational levels, not solely for executives like Dumbledore or the evil-but-still-senior Death Eater Voldemort.

Up next is an essential part of any resume outlining education, certifications, or in this case, “Training.” While Dobby never had a formal education (at least not that he mentions), it’s important for us Muggles to emphasize how we continue to enhance our skills whether through higher education, professional development, or even internships. In Dobby’s case, we focused on his extensive and highly relevant personal background.

Finally, we closed with a component that is entirely optional, but that can be critical to grabbing an employer’s attention. The “Of Note” section can be used to call out a hobby or interest important to you, and if it ties in with the industry or company where you’re seeking a role, even better! These concise snippets can be a great conversation-starter and help position you for next steps in your career. Perhaps the combination of Dobby’s love for clothing and his success aiding Hogwarts students could have landed be him a job at a school uniform manufacturer!

As a final note, we don’t recommend sending your resume via owl post. Odds are owl pellets will NOT improve your chances of impressing a potential employer and could even earn you a terse reply through the ever-dreaded Howler. Good old-fashioned email is often the best way to go!

We hope you enjoyed reading our portrayal of Dobby’s achievements. Until next time, “Mischief Managed!”

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