Good Ideas Left Behind

Distilling your experience, skills, and accomplishments down to a one page resume isn’t always easy. Some stuff just won’t make the cut. But too many times, stand-out qualities get snubbed in favor of more generic ones – the ones that sounds like they belong on a resume, instead of the ones that might actually distinguish you. Here are some favorites from our ever-growing stack of resumes:

  1. Trained Concert Pianist: Resenting all those Saturdays you spent serenading seniors in the assisted living rec room? No longer! That’s discipline, sacrifice, and mastery of a skill. Boom goes the dynamite. And the foot pedals.
  2. Fluent in Portuguese: Even if the job you’re seeking has no need for Portuguese on the regular, fluency in any language is a coveted skill. And one that might lead to a great conversation about your background, your values, and your opinion on Cristiano Ronaldo’s hair.
  3. Certified Bartender: Nothing wrong with being able to whip up a top notch margarita – hello new work friends! But more than that, you know how to entertain clients, hustle under fire, make fast change, and police the unruly! Who wouldn’t want that?!
  4. Elected class graduation speaker: People like what you have to say! Opening yourself up to feedback (and even some haters) isn’t unfamiliar territory for you, and clearly you bring a fresh perspective. Earned respect from your peers is nothing to sneeze at!
  5. Your crappy side jobs: Sometimes you just need the money – and that is a-ok! And oh by the way, you were also balancing a full course load and a student government position? Start calling yourself Anthony Gatto (check him out!) because we’ve got a master juggler in the house!
  6. Recruited Varsity Athlete: One dimensional jock? Maybe. Or maybe you made the most of your classes and maintained an above average GPA, all while managing a two-a-day practices, a travel game schedule, and a commitment to your team. Not too shabby!

All this to say, before you ditch a resume line item, ask yourself if there’s a good story behind it – one that could add more nuance and a little depth to the narrative you’re creating. If so, try making space for it. We bet you a job it will take you farther than a line about “proficiency in Microsoft Word”.

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