Exaggeration On Resumes

How to make your experience look good to an employer without lying.

When it comes to writing a resume there are ways to make yourself look good, and then there are flat out lies. But, how do you know what is crossing the line and what is just embellishing? Let's take a look at the subject and zoom in on how you can make a great resume, without being dishonest.

The first thing that you want to do when building a resume is decide on making your best features apparent from the get go. What would look most impressive on your resume? The awards you have won in your industry or your first rate Ivy League education? Whatever you decide is most impressive needs to go first on your resume to catch the reviewers eye.

Of course, you'll put this under your objective statement, which is also very important if you want to impress. Remember to state clearly what you want from the job, but don't put your goals too high, like, "I would like to be department manager within the next month." This not only will make the person wonder why you're applying for a mail-boy job, but also will make the reviewer wonder if you are nuts. Keep you dreams to yourself by planting both feet on the ground and looking, objectively, at what the person hiring you would want to hear.



Next, you need to decide what jobs you can leave out under "work history." That time you worked at Burger Hut really shouldn't be listed, and neither should that summer you mowed lawns. You want too look good here! Omitting these facts aren't lying, it's just not relevant. While you are at it, be sure to cut any awards or schooling references that wouldn't be relevant to the job you are applying for. This means that award you got for "Top Dog Trainer" would look out of place, and even strange, on a job resume for executive copy editor.

Finally, you need to describe yourself. That's right, at length, no matter how big your head feels like it is getting. The point here is to look good. Toot your own horn!

You should do this in your Qualifications summary. Here is an example:

I am a highly organized, goal oriented professional with solid research and communication skills, with the ability to manage multiple projects.

To this you could add a major amount of skills and specialties. Put down every skill that you have acquired by working at various jobs, doing volunteer work, etc. If you have worked as an assistant, for example, you probably have phone skills, computer skills, scheduling skills, filing skills, and many more. Be sure that you add more abstract skills such as being highly organized and goal oriented, commitment to excellence, works well with others, good communication skills, etc.

If you have a lot of computer skills, you may want to have a category just for that. Make sure you list the programs that you are comfortable using and any repair skills you may have, but don't add any that you don't. You may have to use the skill one day and really be in trouble when you can't. This goes for typing speed, as well. It wouldn't look good if you told an employer you could type 100 words a minuet, then when he wants a report typed up ASAP it takes you three days to finish. Remember, this is a resume, not a place for wishful thinking. All of the information should be truthful and tweaked to fit the purpose of your job search.

© High Speed Ventures 2011