No fibs on the resume

By Joe Holden
October 18, 2001

Have you ever been stuck in a lie? How about a small white lie? If you answered “yes” then read on. If you answered “no” then move onto the special cryptogram to my left.

When you fill out your skills column on a resume, do you mark that you are fluent in Spanish even though you have only taken a semester? Are you an excellent typist only because you were the master of the home keys in grade school? I just learned that when employers actually look at the skills column and expect you to really be skillful at them. Go figure.

Take my friend for instance. He had about a year of Spanish and wrote it in his skills section. A few months later his employer asked him to cover a Spanish news conference- all spoken in Spanish. He had to ask his questions in Spanish and then translate all of the news conference into English. The end result was a lot of visits to AltaVista.com.

The hard lesson learned here is to be honest with the material on your resume. If you cannot be honest with your resume, at least tell your boss that you would rather not go to a Spanish press conference when the only Spanish you know is “Where’s the bathroom?” and “Food please.”

Resume writing guidebooks line the shelves of local bookstores in abundance. Writing one is not as hard as you think. I did not go to the bookstore to write mine. I went to Cabrini’s own guides for resume writing- Kristi Beucler and Nancy Hutchison. Pay them a visit in the Co-op office in Grace Hall. They will also suggest that you omit that you are fluent in Spanish, even if you have been Taco Bell- sorry amigos.

Little white lies can hurt you in the long run. Say exactly what you are good at on your resume. You never know who is going to see that you can drink a case of beer and still count to 12 in Spanish.

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Joe Holden

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