Bob Goldman

Know Your Resume No-No's

Wondering why the subject of resumes is suddenly dominating your screens, both computer and TV? Turns out September is the 10th annual celebration of "International Update Your Resume Month." Or so proclaim the global thinkers at Career Directors International of Melbourne, Fla., and they should know. After all, they were smart enough to steal the name of Australia's second largest city for a backwater burg in Florida.

Now, I know what you are asking yourself. You're asking: "If September is truly International Update Your Resume Month, how am I going to celebrate?" Good question! Is this an appropriate time to give a lavish gift to your favorite HR professional? No, that's what we do on "International Pretend HR People Are Humans, Too, Month," which comes in February, every third leap year. Instead of a gift, why not mark this grand occasion by joining the multitudes that are updating their resumes. And if you are honest, you will have to admit a little updating is not a terrible idea. Yes, I know that your position with the Studebaker Motor Co. shows your executive abilities, but it might be time to bring your work history into the 21st century.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of resume experts available to help with the heavy lifting. Like Tory Johnson, who I caught on ABC's Good Morning America, sharing her best ideas for building a better resume, and whose advice you can find at www.abcnews/gma.com.

The first of Tory's tips did strike me as troublesome. "A fun e-mail address (hotmama, muscleman, vodkaqueen, and so on) may be fine to communicate with friends, but think again before putting it on your resume." Think again, sure, but definitely do it. Who wouldn't want to hire the vodkaqueen? Or to put it another way, who would want to work at a company that didn't appreciate the vodkaqueen's honesty and lack of pretension? Plus, consider the possibilities that vodkaqueen could be applying for a job with the person who turns out to be tonicking. Talk about synergy in the workplace!

I do agree with Tory's Tip No. 2, in which she suggests that "referencing '30 years' of experience screams 'older worker' and it'll often knock you out of the running in this market." Perhaps, but if a potential employer wants fresh thinking, you can point out that no matter how many times you've handled an issue in the past, your poor, porous senior brain can retain almost nothing, so every situation you could come across will seem totally new to you.


Bob Goldman

Bob Goldman is a business humor writer.

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