If There Are Two People Represented In Your Resume – Which One Are You?

Sometimes I wonder, and not in a mean or snarky way but in a “is it just me” way, if some people do not read their resumes before they send them out.

I’m going beyond the spelling and grammatical errors here.  Don’t count on auto-check.  If I typed “I worked four Company…” guess what – it didn’t tell me that I used the wrong for – human eyes are always best.

Maybe not your eyes, but definitely get a second opinion from someone that is good at proofreading.  I used to do a lot of workshops in various libraries and at every single one the librarians said they would help review resumes.

What I find more than anything is individuals paint a portrait of two different people in their resume: the one they say they are and the one they prove to be.

For example: stating in your qualifying statements that you are very detail-oriented yet later in your resume there are spelling or grammatical errors is a little contradictory.  So are you the detail-oriented person or are you the poor speller?

I once read a resume that not only did she proclaim to be very detail-oriented but also a former proof-reader.  This was very promising, until the second section where the errors began to appear; then it was very disappointing.

The language you choose also should support you and your message.  If you are stating that you are a dynamic or outgoing person then the language throughout your resume should reflect this trait.  Using tired and overused phrases and words do not support dynamic.

Your words should also reflect your expertise.  If you are claiming to be proficient in certain systems or within an industry then this should be communicated throughout the resume by using industry words or key words.  Demonstrate, don’t just state.

Your resume is like a conversation.  The opening statement is your selling statement.  This is your proclamation of who you are, what you do and what value you bring.  From there you will either be supporting or debunking what you originally said.  Like a date.

Not too long ago I went out with a guy who had a very definite opening statement: he said he is laid back, easy going, really just takes everything in stride, never really getting upset, very open and non-judgmental.  This was like his opening statement to his resume.  Great – sounds good.

Then we went out, i.e. I read the rest of the resume.  It wasn’t that his actions did not support his opening; it was that they completely contradicted them.  The evening consisted of him pretty much being an agitated, angry little elf; full of immediate and harsh assumptions and conclusions about those in the vicinity and overall just not a very nice guy to be around.

So which version do you think I took as the real version?  The second – because the actions were more than just a statement.  Just like your resume.

A great opening like can hook someone but to keep them on the line you have to have the full package and that package has to support what your original sales statement.  If I am in the market for a black leather couch and that is what you tell me you are selling then do not start talking to me about cotton blend, wool, or microfiber in blues, reds or plaid.

Your opening statement can be amazing and get the reader excited to get to know you; however if the rest of your resume is in direct conflict with that then you will have them running – away.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


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