Resume writing breakthrough

I just submitted my application for the perfect job. Fortunately, this morning I had a resume-writing breakthrough!

My breakthrough has made writing about how perfect I am for the perfect job SO MUCH EASIER!

Q. What’s one of the hardest aspects of writing a good resume?

A. For me, it’s definitely writing about how awesome I am. (If you don’t find it hard to do this you’re probably an egomaniac and almost certainly not Australian).

One of the reasons I hate writing about my stellar achievements at my past jobs is the niggling feeling that someone I know, maybe my old boss, would read it. They would think, ‘phfff, she makes it sound like the best job ever when in actual fact it was just an ordinary job’.

But here’s the thing, that’s not true! That’s not what your old boss or anyone else would think. Here’s why:

  1. Your resume will probably override any lasting memory of you, so when you say that you achieved a whole lot of cool stuff, the reader will be inclined to say, ‘That sounds impressive and, come to think of it, it’s true! Wow, she’s impressive!’
  2. Everyone wants to be on the winning team, so unless the reader is your arch nemesis, they’ll be happy to be associated with that awesomeness – this would be especially true for colleagues/bosses. They’ll probably be happy to steal your best lines.

There is two exceptions to this theory I can think of:

  1. Some people will think that your awesomeness somehow detracts from their awesomeness so they might be inclined to cut you down to size. They’re dumb.
  2. If you blatantly lie on your resume people are going to see through it (maybe not your new employer, but they’ll figure it out sooner or later)

I know that plenty of people think you need to lie on your CV because everyone else is doing it, but I’m of the Penelope Trunk school of thought that there is a fine art of almost-lying-but-not-lying on a resume. Which is essentially just good marketing.

This might be a good litmus test –

  • If you can’t show your resume to your old boss, you’re probably lying too much
  • If you won’t show it to your nonjudgmental best friend, you’re probably lying too much
  • If you’re embarrassed or bashful about showing your resume to your old boss, you’ve probably done a good job of selling yourself
  • If your best friend beams with pride when they read your resume, you’ve probably done a good job of selling yourself
  • If you feel completely comfortable about showing your old boss your resume you probably need to rewrite it
  • If your best friend says, ‘that’s great’ but there are no beams of pride, you definitely need to rewrite it

Maybe you should send your up-to-date resume to your current boss so they can look at it and think, ‘hey, this person’s excellent! They make our project/office/organisation sound amazing!’


Inspiration for the resume breakthrough

Posts by Penelope Trunk

Rowan‘s resume – thanks Ro.


One thought on “Resume writing breakthrough

  1. Yvonne

    I like to show my former bosses the section I wrote about what I thought I accomplished at that job to make sure I fairly represented my work. This works to not only remind them of you and your work, but if future employers decide to call references, then you’ll all be on the same page.

    Huzzah for you!

    P.S. Is there any country where people feel comfortable writing about the awesomeness of their selves? The Braggart Populous of America?????

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