I am increasingly amused while reading current resumes. I know that in today's competitive workplace you need to stand out and I am the first to say that a resume is a place to brag on and embellish accomplishments. However, we are seeing a blurring of embellishment and downright misrepresentation. The rule of thumb seems to be - exaggerate and confuse.
Rather than reporting being a greeter at Wal-Mart, the new resume shows "customer service coordinator for Fortune 500 company." The grease monkey at Jiffy Lube becomes a "petroleum distribution specialist." Yesterday's taxi cab driver appears on the resume as a "transportation logistics manager." The credentials for an 18-yr-old McDonald's worker become "Engineer for meat inspection and preparation." The kid who asked three friends to join FaceBook is now a "social media consultant."
Keep in mind that today's "VP of Personnel" was a likely a struggling college student herself a few years ago. She probably knows the tricks of the trade, having presented herself as a "human resource specialist" rather than a babysitter.
The bottom line is this: the purpose of a resume is to help you get an interview. But in today's workplace it plays only one small part in the hiring process - if any. You can bypass the competition with:
- An overview of a major project you've handled
- Photos or examples of your work
- Extraordinary letters of recommendation from people your prospective employer knows well
- A website that showcases your talents
- A blog that is compelling and engaging
If all you have is a great resume, you may be seen as simply one more person needing a job, whether you are a recent college graduate or a former CEO. Be prepared to show how you are remarkable, amazing and spectacular. Then present yourself with confidence, boldness and enthusiasm.
March 10, 2010
Dan Miller is today's leading authority and personality on careers and 'Work You LoveTM'. As bestselling author of 48 Days To The Work You Love, and now No More Mondays, Dan reaches over a million people every month in his newsletter, podcast, and blog with the best trends and opportunities in the workplace and small business. For more information, visit http://www.48days.com.