Archive for August, 2014

What not to say on a resume

Aug 20 2014 Published by under Uncategorized

By Julia Richardson – Honesty isn’t always the best policy. This fact is hard to comprehend, especially since the idea has been drilled into most of us from birth. There is gray area and many of us encounter it daily. Although we wouldn’t consider these “white” lies to be devious, they serve a purpose – some beneficial to us, some beneficial to others.

While you should avoid fibbing outright on your resume and when speaking with a recruiter about a job position, there are a few things that you should omit.

  1. Your previous boss was so terrible and made the work environment so awful, you were physically sick to your stomach every day when you had to go to work.
  2. You were sabotaged by a spiteful co-worker or member of management.
  3. Even though you did your job like you were supposed to as a project manager, an idiot co-worker screwed up the project that you were in charge of.
  4. When you were originally hired for your previous position, you were lied to about what you would be doing and didn’t realize it until after that fact. Because of this you hated that job so much you had no choice but to leave.
  5. The previous company secretly had financial struggles and as a direct result, the company failed and had to shut down.

In your mind these may well be accurate reasons for leaving your previous place of employment. However, when you mention the above statements whether on your resume or to a recruiter, that will leave a bad taste in their mouth about what type of employee you may be. So consider perspective.

  1. If your boss was a jerk, tell the recruiter that the position was challenging and provided valuable experience.
  2. If a spiteful coworker or management sabotaged you, tell the recruiter that you worked with a dynamic workforce interaction, which provided a valuable learning experience.
  3. If a job or task was screwed up by an idiot coworker, tell the recruiter that some interactions were challenging but that you learned how to better interact with a wide range of personalities in order to advance the company goal.
  4. If you were misled about your work tasks, tell the recruiter that while your statement of work did not adequately describe your actual duties, each task provided immeasurable experience.
  5. If your previous company secretly had financial troubles, tell the recruiter that the company made the decision to close and only relate as relevant to your need to seek new employment. Chances are that these financial troubles won’t stay secret for long, but it’s best to only address it in broad terms so as not to unwittingly implicate yourself in its demise.

Don’t think of it as lying, but as phrasing. When I worked at Disney World, my job title was “Merchandise Hostess.” In reality, I worked at a retail store on Sunset Blvd. at Hollywood Studios (then MGM). This alternate phrasing to make jobs, situations, events appear more attractive is not unique. In fact, we encounter it daily. Difficulties become opportunities. Challenges become adventures. It’s all a matter of perspective.

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