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How to Strip Your Resume of Kitsch



By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

In Jessica Ann Media’s recent article, “How to Avoid Kitsch in Your Content,” one of the ways she defined the word,” kitsch,” was “content that lacks context.” She also continued by describing how “content (can become) clutter,” an untidy mess if not curated properly.

In your career, creating a resume is akin to content creation. You must undergo a process of sorting through vast amounts of content from the Web of your career, and then present it in a meaningful, organized and impactful way.

Based on the article’s apt description, the following tips will help to ensure your resume is cleansed of all kitsch. Displayed below are examples of the before (kitschy resume content) followed by their after, cleaned-up, more meaningful counterparts.

1. Headline. A good resume headline should not only clarify the type of role you will fill in a robust, sharp manner, but it should also speak to the bottom-line needs of your organization. Headlines can—and often should be—stacked, layered with the right, targeted words and phrasing.

Before (Kitschy):

Data Analysis Professional Seeking Advancement Within a Progressive, Growing Company

After (Focused and Meaningful):

Business and Systems Analysis | Project Management

Unravel complex problems and weave intricate solutions enriched by analysis, testing and quality assurance. As a result, deliver products for operational, enterprise success, saving time and money and most recently, helping add $120K in profit to the organization’s bottom line.

For the rest of this post, please visit, 3 Ways to Clean Up Your Resume.

Your Resume: Be the Red Balloon in a Field of Yellow Ones

image via flickr | thelou137

By Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter

It seems so simple, doesn’t it? After all, who better knows where you’ve been and what you’ve done than you? Open up your Word file and dump all that information into a pleasing format, forward it to a prospective employer or two, then sit back and wait for the phone to ring.

Before you hit “send” on your resume, there are a few things you may want to consider, or you may be waiting a very long time.

1. Ask: “Would I Hire Me?”

First, take a hard look at the document you’ve created and ask yourself this question: “Would I hire this person?” Before you answer, remember, there is a very good chance you are not the only person applying for this position. With that in mind, repeat the question. If your answer is anything other than a resounding “Yes,” you may want to hold off hitting that send button.

2. Be the Red Balloon in a Field of Yellow Ones

The resume is so much more than just a “data dump,” if you will, yet it is treated thusly all too often. This happens much to the chagrin of the sender as well as the recipient.

It is vital to the success of this document that it sets you apart from the competition. You are likely rivaling candidates whose qualifications are similar to your own. So, you must be the red balloon in the field of yellow ones if you want to get noticed.

Give the reader something to get excited about that can’t be duplicated on any other resume they may encounter. It simply does not matter that you spent X years in X position and accomplished X goals during your tenure. Your competition has probably done similar things. While this information is important, don’t stop there. Dig a little deeper to mine the career gold that only you possess.

Were the goals you reached achievable by anyone who may have held that position? Or, is there something unique about the way you go about getting things done that gave life to them? Did you have a differentiating way of coalescing disparate teams, shortening processes or clarifying complexity? Did your distinctive voice offer a value-add that set you apart from peers?

For the remaining three tips on how to exploit your uniqueness to take your resume from “blah” to “wow,” please visit my latest Glassdoor post, HERE.

Is Your Resume a 3-Ring Circus?


image: elsie esq (flickr)

By Robert P. Poindexter

As many of you are (based on the ratings), I find myself especially attracted to these various talent contest type programs. I wish I could say it is only because I truly care about someone whom I’ve never met making it into the “Big Time.”  I’m afraid my feelings are more sordid than this, as someone I’ve never met before making it big typically has little or no impact on my day to day.

No, I only watch these shows to satisfy my own morbid curiosity, the same curiosity that causes people to slow down for a better look at a crash site along the highway or to gather around an impromptu fistfight.

I know that what I may see could be disturbing, but I look anyway.

Thanks to these types of shows, I’ve had the displeasure of watching a guy in a bathrobe dance in front of millions of people while peeling off a dozen or so pairs of underwear, only to end his act by flashing the audience.


I’ve also witnessed a pair of girlfriends who stuffed themselves into costumes three sizes too small in order to perform a dance routine that no human eye should have ever had to witness. Luckily, the routine was only 90 seconds long, and it would have taken me two minutes to retrieve a steak knife from the kitchen drawer in order to gouge out the organs being offended.

You can add to this list the juggler who couldn’t juggle, the songbird who couldn’t carry a tune in a bucket, and the magician who only received applause when the judges made him disappear.

And on and on it goes. One act after another by people with so little talent in their chosen category one has to wonder what possessed them to attempt this mind-boggling show of self deprecation to start with: perhaps a good-intentioned spouse said a few encouraging words, never realizing where it might lead. Maybe a friend gave them a high-five and a fist bump as they left the karaoke microphone and the slightly inebriated crowd made them feel like it was time to take their act on the road.

Maybe some of them just wanted to get on TV ever since the neighborhood action committee where they live began protesting the annual “Fire Dance” they insisted on performing in the front yard.

Whatever caused them to show up, I for one am happy they did. Because without these colorful characters, I’d probably be watching the political debates, which are just as humorous, but tend to be much more consequential, sadly enough.

Talent is as unique as a person’s DNA. I know a guy who belches the Star-Spangled Banner, which is great for a backyard BBQ, but probably not something that would get him a record contract. I know people who have great joke-telling ability, but the odds of them becoming the next Robin Williams are pretty slim.

Are you truly a talented professional? Does your resume do enough to spell out those talents in a clear and concise manner?

If the resume you’re using has you looking more like a sideshow then the main-attraction, you may want to consider the writing services available to you by someone who is skilled in making certain you have a real shot at the “Big Time.”

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