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Writing a successful resumé is a skill as essential as engineering or accounting, either of which would have already landed you a job, so you wouldn’t need a resumé.

Resumé writing is fraught with pitfalls, according to a recent Internet article forwarded to me by a Write Good! reader. By the way – or as the Web savvy abbreviate it, LOL – “recent” in Internet terms means that the article was written less than .000342 nano-parsecs ago. Hence by the time you read the word “recent” that term is “outdated.” To gauge the immediacy of an Internet post, use the following rule of thumb: 10 Internet nano-parsecs is equivalent to 57 dog years, which is about seven human years or 123 pints. Now let’s get back to those pitfalls.

The astute article written by Charles Purdy, Monster Senior Editor, is titled “10 Words and Terms That Ruin a Resumé.” Sadly, that title was as far as the Write Good! research staff read before coming up with their own list, as our genius resides in an ability to form opinions without the distraction of facts, expertise or knowledge.

While Mr. Purdy soundly advises resumé writers to avoid “empty cliches, annoying jargon and recycled buzzwords” we at Write Good! hysterically warn readers to avoid, for their own safety, phrases best described as “freakin’ stupid!” Thus we recommend steering clear of words and terms that discerning hiring administrators tend to group under the category “litigious.” Those terms include:

1. Festering
2. Convicted
3. Hitler (or Hitleresque)
4. Uncontrollable rage
5. Blood soaked
6. Manslaughter (acceptable in Massachusetts and Arizona)
7. Enron-like
8. Lynch mob
9. Naughty list
10. Satan-friendly

While a list of your outstanding professional qualifications and unsurpassed achievements might have a place on a resumé, more important is that the document looks real purdy. Many a corporate CEO will admit, after a few martinis sipped from gold-rimmed goblets, that it was their resumé, printed on hot pink paper and decorated with little hearts and kittens, that won them an interview where they could then expand on their thieving, cheating, back-stabbing, rival-pushed-out-window accomplishments.

However, email has grown into so accepted a communications vehicle that paper no longer exists, which has led to a dangerously uncontrollable spread of the world’s rainforests and with it a lot of those really big, creepy bugs. Thus to make your resumé stand out from the competition you must be creative with typography, which up until now I thought had something to do with maps.

Research I just made up reveals that employers make a judgment about your resumé within seven seconds, and most of that time is spent thinking about lunch. By employing mixed fonts, bolding and italics, lower and uppercase characters, you can make your resumé both memorable and laughable. Compare the following resumé entries, then ask yourself, “Who would I hire and should I have the shrimp tacos for lunch?”

Previous experience:
Chancellor of the exchequer for Great Britain, second lord of Her Majesty’s treasury

or

Previous experience:
Camp I’m-a-Big-Boy-or-Girl aSSIStant CounSELor!!! (Ret.)

The choice is clear. Now, what’s for lunch?

Permission to re-use this material for non-commercial purposes is granted provided that Dave Jaffe, www.davejaffecomm.com is appropriately credited as the author and source. Please feel free to link to this page.

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