Your Friend, the Thesaurus

Imagine you’re reading a novel, and the author uses the same words over and over and over again (see what I did there?).  The book starts to feel a bit dry; you wonder where the imagination went.  Well, the same applies to our resumes and CVs.

One rule of resume writing that hasn’t gone out of style is to use powerful verbs and descriptions throughout the document.  This takes some work, but is well worth it because it makes the resume more interesting for a hiring manager to read.  Strong action words make a resume “pop” with accomplishments.  Diversity of vocabulary shows an investment of time and thought, qualities desirable to any potential employer.

Of course, since in real life we don’t write the way we speak, it can be difficult to come up with unique ways to describe your responsibilities, achievements and strengths.  This is particularly challenging if you’ve held the same type of job at different companies.  Here is where an online thesaurus comes in handy.  Just Google “another way to say handled” and you’ll get a slew of related words.

Still stuck?  Ask Pinto Employment Search for help!  We will create a one-of-a-kind resume – no templates – that will showcase your talents while being reader-friendly.  And we will not repeat ourselves.  I repeat, we will not repeat ourselves!

My Resume Is A Living, Breathing Document

Certain dates are unchangeable: birth dates, wedding dates, death dates (sorry!).  The start date was a specific day, as was the end date.  No gray area here.

Titles are also pretty firm.  President, Accountant, King.  Pretty obvious what each role entails.

Yet we continue to see discrepancies such as this:

Old Resume:  Granny Annie Logistics Inc., Manager, Customer Service, January 2000 – August 2002 / Peyton Grace Consolidators LLC., Supervisor, November 2002 – January 2003

New Resume:  Granny Annie Logistics Inc., Manager, Customer Service, January 2000 – January 2003  (no mention of Peyton Grace Consolidators)


Old Resume:  Export Coordinator, May 2013 –May 2014, Export Manager, May 2014 – Present

New Resume:  Export Manager, May 2013 – Present                                                                             (Made yourself manager for a year longer than you were)

Why do we fudge titles and dates of employment on a resume?  Because we’re trying to hide something.  It may look good on paper, but the gesture may backfire.

Here are a few ways companies find out:

  • the new resume doesn’t match one previously submitted (assume wherever you submit keeps database records!)
  • the resume doesn’t match the candidate’s LinkedIn profile (assume it’s going to be viewed!)
  • people get accidentally “outed” by a mutual acquaintance, especially in a niche industry (assume six degrees of separation!)

The risk you take is that the company or recruiter thinks you’re trying to get one over on them.  Remember, this precious document is the first impression people get of you as a worker.  Companies are a lot more understanding and sympathetic than they’re given credit for, so I would err on the side of honesty and a good explanation.

Consulting Dual Paradigm Synergies to Conduct A New Vision For Global Solutional Fulfillment

The beauty of a buzzword is skin deep.  Strung together, they sound impressive.  Look closely though, and there’s no depth.  Questions immediately come to mind, such as:  “What exactly was done, and how?” and “What was the result?”  Buzzwords look great in company brochures; they’re big and colorful and important-sounding.  But in a resume, they are often used to disguise a lack of actual achievement.

When a hiring manager reviews a resume, they want to see facts and figures (e.g., “Closed 5 new accounts in Q1 representing $1 million in air freight revenue.”).  They’re not interested in fluffy words that ultimately mean “I looked up a company on the internet, and then made a to-do list.”  It’s not that they’re unimpressed by a strong command of the English language; on the contrary, companies want people with great overall communication skills.  They merely want to see what you accomplished at work, plain and simple.

So, go ahead and pepper your resume with intelligent vocabulary and industry jargon!  Just make sure to back it up with some substance.  If you need assistance, Pinto Employment will happily write your resume!  We’ll make it look and sound good.  We promise.

Mind the Gap

It used to be that people would find a job and stay there forever and ever until retirement.  That has not been the case for quite some time.  Today’s American workforce is likely to experience more job changes than even a generation ago.  There are many factors affecting this relatively recent societal trend, but a major one is the economy, which has experienced a lot of turbulence over the past decade.  Many organizations have been forced to cut payroll, downsize, merge or close.

What does this look like on a resume?

Traditionally, this would look like unreliable job-hopping.  Potential employers would assume that the candidate was inept, selfish, or must have a personality problem.  Nowadays, frequent job changes, or stints of temporary employment, are normal and acceptable.

What should you do if you’re worried that a company might think negatively?

First of all, I cringe when candidates tell me that they’ve been advised to omit certain jobs, or fudge dates of employment, to hide a gap.  Companies are legally allowed to call former employers to confirm this information.  Generally, hiring managers are a lot more understanding of extenuating circumstances than a perceived deliberate cover up.  They’re realizing that a lot of good employees have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.  With free time forced upon them, people may decide to explore a new career, go back to school, travel, or simply decompress while spending quality time with loved ones before returning to work.

I’m in favor of including all jobs, temp assignments, projects, contract work, volunteer work and schooling, (and designate each as such), on the resume itself.  A full explanation can be provided during an interview, and a recruiter can guide you on how to best present each situation.

Unless, of course, you really are inept, selfish, or have a personality problem. 😉

Resume Writing

Writing a resume is not an easy task!  How to condense the millions of things you’ve done throughout your career into a 1- or 2-page summary?  Unfortunately, many job seekers panic and just literally copy and paste the job description obtained from their Human Resources department.  The dead giveaway is when it’s unedited and reads something like this: “The ideal candidate will have knowledge of…”  Another challenge is when you’ve had the same job at two or more different companies.  Many people use the same exact wording for every job!  This comes across as lazy and unprofessional.  It tells the potential employer – whether it’s true or not – that you are not creative, you cut corners, and you aren’t taking your job search seriously.  It may cause them to wonder if that’s how you’ll do your job if hired.

But it doesn’t have to be this way!  We are here to help!  Hire Pinto to write your resume, and we will create a personalized resume with uniquely-worded career accomplishments.  We will rescue a humdrum, generic resume by incorporating strong action verbs and figures to showcase your personal achievements and set you apart.