Is There Too Much Fluff In Your Resume?
Having a resume and cover letter full of positive messages about yourself seems like a no brainer. Who is going to put that they habitually steal lunches from the break room on their cover letter? Still, sometimes when writing your resume, especially if you’re just setting foot in the job market, the temptation to go overboard and talk about how awesome you is overwhelming. No one is going to hire you because you stapled a copy of a paper from third grade with a big smiley face on it. Employers want to hire people who have quantifiable skills.
What makes a skill quantifiable? Easily enough, it is something that a job recruiter or human resources person can look at and immediately see the benefit it brings. For example, when you’re putting together your resume, saying that you are a hard worker isn’t going to seal the deal. So you’re a hard worker. Compared to what? A rock? A baby? Avoid being subjective. Just because you say you work hard doesn’t mean it’s true. Hiring managers aren’t inherently negative or pessimistic people. They do take people’s word. However, if you just tell them something without any actual objective evidence it’s hard for them to make a call.
The same goes for saying that you are well organized. How organized are you? Compared to some of your friends who live in an apartment with dishes pouring out of the sink and more bottle caps on the floor than actual carpet, you’re apartment with piles of laundry is suddenly quite well kept. Still, saying you’re organized and having physical proof that you are organized is as different from night and day.
What proof is needed? Did you get any recommendations or awards from a prior job? Even something small like employee of the month has more weight when you claim to be a hard worker than having nothing at all. It’s something you can point to as proof of your success, like notches on a belt or bed post. Even if you weren’t given an award, do you have at least figures you can provide that show that your organization skills contributed to something. For example, did you organize some big event for a club or fraternity that turned out to be a big hit? That’s a great tangible element for you to display. It may not sound like much but it makes for a stronger case.
Just remember when you’re writing your resume to be specific. Being a college graduate gives you a lot of leeway when it comes to putting info on your CV. Anything that is physical proof or has some sort of outside point of view to back up your claims is solid gold. Recruiters and hiring managers see the words hard worker and organized all the time. Just saying them isn’t going to do it. Prove it.
Any questions about what goes or doesn’t go on a resume? Sound off on the comment section.