4 min read
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that résumés are daunting to perfect.
For those who are still in school or just starting out, you barely have any experience to begin with, so you have to euphemism the heck out of simple tasks (yes, I just used euphemism as a verb).
“I maintained the visual identity of our brand by selectively transferring products to primary merchandising locations”. Translation: “I re-arranged and re-stocked shelves”.
– Example from a real life résumé I’ve screened
What aggravates the issue is that most people have never been taught how to do it properly. Particularly if you did not study business, meaning you were likely left to your own devices without structured and credible guidance provided by your school. In a previous post, I dive deep into what a good résumé should look like for new grads looking to start their marketing careers.
But today, I want to address a specific part of the résumé that I see way too often, that I plead for you to avoid like seeing your ex on the street.
Of course you’ll tell me you’re amazing. But I don’t believe you.
The most pointless, non-value add, waste of printer toner thing you can put on your resume is a “Profile” section (sometimes it masquerades as a “Summary”). For most, it takes up at least a quarter of their precious single page résumé real estate. Eager job applicants will litter this section with flattering yet generic descriptions, hoping a few carefully crafted sentences will tip the scales to get them the job.
The problem is, I don’t believe you.
Everyone is going to tell a recruiter they’re amazing, so why would I single you out over someone else? In fact, it shocks me how every profile ends up sounding the same. Some of these might be familiar:
- “Exceptional communication skills”
- “Passionate about marketing”
- “Effective problem-solver”
- “Strong attention to detail”
If you’ve ever been a culprit of putting sentences like these on your résumé, you are definitely not alone. A quick Google search shows that 9 out of the top 10 results from “résumé template” yielded ones with some kind of profile section. If Google’s first page results say so, it must be right…right?
Let your experience, achievements and results do the talking.
Before you read on, please Select and Delete that profile off of your résumé 🙂
Now, with all that newfound free space, think about how you can effectively demonstrate those same sentiments drawing from real life examples. “Effective problem-solver”? Talk about the time you identified a new market opportunity to address declining sales. “Exceptional communication skills”? Talk about how you were able to convince your boss to implement a new initiative. “Passionate marketer”? If that were true, you’ve probably been a part of marketing clubs or events on campus, or even held an internship position in the field. “Attention to detail”? I love this one for its irony when on the same résumé, I find several obvious typo’s and grammatical mistakes.
Like the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. If you are who you say you are, you should have no shortage of relevant examples that will shine a light on your rock-stardom.