ST. MICHAELS, MD—A resumé apparently written by Donald Rumsfeld that omits his position as Defense Secretary in the current Bush administration was leaked to the press Monday, approximately one month after his departure from the post.
The resumé lists Rumsfeld's most recent position as chairman of the biopharmaceutical firm Gilead Sciences, from which he resigned in 2001.
Dated Jan. 2007, the resumé was distributed at D.C.–area offices, think tanks, lecture agencies, and high-end department stores. It emphasizes Rumsfeld's pre-War On Terror job experience, leaving recipients to wonder why he neglected to cite his most recent and recognizable credential.
"It's a very notable work history as is, but I'm not sure why he chose to stress his cofounding of the Japanese–American Inter-Parliamentary Council as much as he did," said Crystal Hopewell, Director of Human Resources for Nordstrom, Inc. "Perhaps to demonstrate that he could work well with others?"
Contacted for comment at the phone number listed on the resumé, the former defense secretary said that he wanted to present a "well-rounded" account of his lengthy career, not an "exhaustive list of every last little thing [he] had ever done."
"Certain decisions were made to ensure success in my job search," said Rumsfeld, who evidently believed that employers would be more impressed by his year-long stint as a member of the National Economic Commission than his previous position in which he was sixth in the U.S. line of presidential succession. "I felt that, in today's job market, the administrative work I did in the 1950s for several congressmen would be especially resonant. Employers these days are looking for practical, versatile skills, not flashy titles."
"'Defense Secretary? Great. Can he type 85 words per minute?' That's what they're thinking," Rumsfeld added.
After including his four terms in Congress, a two-year stint at an investment banking firm in the early 1960s, and all the volunteer work he did in college, Rumsfeld said he simply "ran out of room" to mention the high-ranking Cabinet position. Instead, the second-longest-serving Defense Secretary in history only indirectly addresses the past six years under the "Skills" portion of the resumé, touting his extensive experience with "strategic policy, international conflict management, and PowerPoint." He also mentions several awards he won in 2003.
"I'm used to working long hours, multitasking, and extensive travel, particularly in the Middle East," Rumsfeld said. "What more does an employer need to know? He's just looking for the most important points, anyway. Where I'll really sell him is in the interview."
"What's most important about the last six years is that I discovered what I definitely don't want to be doing," Rumsfeld continued.
Though he has yet to receive any responses to the more than 50 resumés he has hand-delivered over the past month, Rumsfeld remains convinced that his job summary "covered the most important bases."
"I had already included my previous Defense Secretary stint in the '70s, and I thought another mention would be redundant," said Rumsfeld, who also believed the two peacetime years he spent under President Ford better illustrate his more "transferable" skills, such as increasing a budget by 5 percent and maintaining a relationship with China. "I'm not going to put down every president I worked for. Best to keep it to one page."
"Why is no one talking about the strength of my cover letter, which I customized for each company?" Rumsfeld added.
After leaving the high-ranking Pentagon position in December, Rumsfeld reportedly asked friends around Washington to "keep their eyes peeled" for job openings as he began "pounding the pavement" on K Street in search of prospective employers. He bought a new suit in anticipation of upcoming interviews, and started perusing his Princeton alumni directory and Monster.com for leads.
"I've got a lot of feelers out there," Rumsfeld said. "When [employers] see the recommendation letters I've received from my college professors and my various Eagle Scout honors, I'll have my pick of great positions."
Rumsfeld added that if he does not receive a satisfactory offer by next fall, he may have to consider using President Bush as a reference.