[08.23.11]
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The Really Honest Resume

Let’s be honest.  There’s probably a small % of resumes out there that accurately depict someone’s full career and life experience.

Everyone has little bits to hide.  And to embellish.

And some of that’s accepted since we all know a resume is a marketing document.  It is created to help land a job interview.  And as long as you don’t lie on a resume, misrepresent your role on a project or make up a better title for yourself, you should be OK.

But I had a thought the other day.

What would would it be like to read a really honest resume?

One that was so honest that it would evoke a cringe.  It would include very personal comments.  And share too much information.

So it would never work to write one that way.  Bit of a shame though really as we are all human.  And should be able to forgive each others mistakes, poor decisions and the like.

Until then, we’ll just have to imagine . . .

So here are 11 things you might find on a really honest resume:

1. On the address line, after the current city: “This is actually a P.O. Box since I don’t actually live there right now.  But if I told you that, you may never call. Forgive me?”

2. Next to a link to a LinkedIn profile: “Hopefully this will show that I am social media savvy, but honestly I’m not really using LinkedIn much beyond accepting generic connection requests and joining LinkedIn groups. Still figuring it out!”

3. Instead of a positioning statement: “Desperately Trying To Change Industries (and I’m hoping you’ll give me a chance)”

4. Within the career summary: “After a successful first 15 years of my career, I completely lost focus. While I still love to work, I really don’t want to do it for a big company any more.  I used to love to work in teams and now I just can’t stand how it seems to slow the work down.  I know my function requires a real detail orientation, but I really like the big picture projects where I can play a more strategic role.  But since I need to find a job, you’ll hear a positive reaction when you ask about my detail orientation.  I really do want to get back to work.  I need the money.”

5. Instead of key strengths: “In deference to your applicant tracking system, here are a list of keywords that I expect you’ll be looking for in a great candidate.  Not all of these are dead-on, but I think I’m a pretty good fit for the job, so I’ve added a few that aren’t a great fit so you’ll see me in the best light. I need every advantage I can get!”

6. In the gap between today and the last job: “I want to wrap my bare hands around the neck of this entire job search process. I’ve never needed to look for a job before.  Yet, it seems that getting a call back is next to impossible.  I’ve wasted a lot of time learning what to do.  I never would have guessed that this was going to take over a year to find a job.”

7. In that same gap: “I spent the last year caring for my Mom who just recently passed away.  I know that is too personal to share here,  but it was the most important use of my time and life. I’d make the same decision again. Not exactly sure how to share this with you.”

8. For the most recent job, under accomplishments: “I got laid off and let out the door so fast that I didn’t have time get any of my files.  I’m having trouble remembering any specifics to write good accomplishment statements. Hope these help you understand what I can do!”

9. For the job prior, under responsibilities: Here you will find a summary of all the projects I worked on.  Well, some I just got exposure to, but this job is not actually the flagship role on my resume so I need to find a way to create just a bit more extra depth to my background. Hope you understand!”

10. Next to undergraduate degree: “I was so close to getting this degree and I know you want to me to have it.  I am only missing one class.  Cut me a break?”

11. Another next to undergraduate degree: “I didn’t include the year I graduated because I’m worried that you’ll discriminate because of my age.  I’m only 52 but it’s been an issue before so I won’t give it away this time.”

So no resume is perfectly honest.  We all embellish a bit and hide a few things, right?  But, what if you wrote a really honest one?

What would it say and reveal about you?

Thanks quinn.anya for this amazing photo via Flickr


Written by: Tim Tyrell-Smith
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Categories: Cover Letters And Resumes

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