Resume Tip: Limit the ‘Jargon’…

Many people seem to think that fancy language yields the best results. Do one Google Search on resume samples and you will see hundreds of resumes that contain long descriptions and big words. You are impressed, and also, perhaps, embarrassed: you have no idea what the resume is saying, even if it’s in your field. Guess what? You’re not alone.

Resumes are read by human beings, not robots. You want to describe your skills and experience in clear, concise terms that anyone (your kid, your not-so-tech-savvy parents, your friends) can understand. Further, it doesn’t hurt to break some rules when you write your resume – it’s your resume, after all. For instance, I am a fan of writing in the first person (yup – go ahead and use “I”). It makes the resume more conversational and accessible, which is a good thing, particularly if you are collaborative and friendly, and wish to highlight your communication skills.

This article by Paul Solman on PBS Newshour highlights the importance of writing a resume in your own voice. He writes: “I strongly recommend that people write their own resumes. I know it’s not an easy task, but it’s worth the effort. It will help you crystallize your story about why employers should hire you. Unless you work with a rare resume writer who interviews you in depth, this “story development” won’t happen when you let someone else do it.”

As a resume writer, I agree with him – writing your own resume is a valuable process. That said, I work with clients who find it difficult to put their experience and skills on paper; I spend time getting to know each client so that we can work together to develop a resume that reflects their unique skills and personality (hence the highlighted text above). No matter how you get there, having a resume that clearly tells the employer why they should hire you is your key to success.

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