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.