Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Padded Resume Will Come Unstuffed Upon Close Scrutiny

Dear Tazi:

I will be graduating high school this June and entering into the full-time work force while attending school part-time, at night. I realize that this is a lot to handle, but I am determined to make this work. My big problem is my resume. I have written it, but there is not much on it except for summer jobs and babysitting work, so I was thinking of embellishing it a bit.

Rather than writing that I worked as a babysitter for a local family, I am considering writing that I was a Child Care Provider. Also, instead of writing how I mowed lawns for extra money, I want to write that I was a Landscape Engineer. My Guidance Counselor told me to stick to "plain language", but something tells me that plain language isn't going to get me hired over someone with more professional experience than me. What do you think, Tazi?

Young Professional

Dear Young Professional:

I think that you should reserve the title of "Engineer" for those who have actually earned a degree in Engineering and look to enhance your resume through other means. You are still quite young; no employer is going to expect a stand-out work history from you. In fact, many employers will be quite impressed that you took the initiative to take on babysitting and lawn mowing jobs. Neither of these positions is for the faint of heart, and it shows that you have a strong work ethic as well as varied talents.

Instead of attempting to pad your resume with ridiculous titles, why not add actual skills or accomplishments? How fast can you type? Do you speak any foreign languages with any level of fluency? Were you an honor roll student? Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities or sports at school or in your community? Have you performed volunteer work? Do you have any unique but marketable skills? I suggest you make a list of answers to these questions and return to your Guidance Counselor for assistance in building a resume based upon your actual skills, and not upon bloated job titles.

A further suggestion is to include a cover letter with your resume. This letter should detail what kind of work you are seeking and why you are applying for the position to which you are inquiring. Employers want to hire people who want to work for their company, not people who are only looking for a job. Your enthusiasm for a particular employer may help you to overcome your limited job experience which, no matter how you try to hide it, is going to show. Keep your job search - and your resume - realistic and you will be more likely to meet with success.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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