If you’re afraid to let someone else see your weakness, take heart: Nobody’s perfect. Besides, your attempts to hide your flaws don’t work as well as you think they do. (Morgenstern)
Hiding real problems
The trick to hiding things on your resume is the same one that stars use to hide flaws. For instance, what if you had to be perfectly honest and still answer the question:
“Does this make my butt look big?”
A good honest answer would be, “No. Your butt looks big anyway. Let me find something that makes people look at your smile. It is ravishing. They will never care about what you are sitting on.”
More than one starlet has played an irresistible vixen on TV while 8 months pregnant. How? They focused on everything above and below the swollen pregnant belly, and the actress stayed out of the tabloids until fully recovered. No one ever saw the belly.
If you have problems, even severe problems, you have to make sure the camera focuses somewhere else.
Common problems people want to hide are frequent job changes, being fired, bad references, a several year sabbatical from your field, not accomplishing much, working for a disreputable employer, an ogre boss, etc.
One way to hide problems is to point out what you did well. If you switched jobs too much, create a resume format that draws the reader’s eyes away from your employment dates and to your accomplishments. If you have bad references, you may want to emphasize how long you worked for a company so that those bad references will sound like sour grapes. If you left your desired field for a few years and want to get back, make those few years a one line entry, not a detailed account. You may want to put your jobs in order at the top of your resume, but put the dates at the bottom of the resume in another section on the third page.
If your problem might get your hiring manager in trouble later, make sure he knows about it before you receive an offer. If you are using a recruiter, tell him up front before he submits you anywhere. If you hurt someone who is trying to help you, your bad reputation will be spread very quickly.
Accentuate the positive. Make people’s eyes slide past the negative to get to the ravishing. It’s a game you see every day on TV.
Something To Do Today
Do you have a real problem? Emphasize the positive and make the negative insignificant. Don’t lie. Just put your emphasis on all the good things you have done.
Next: When is your resume being thrown away?
Getting past the trash can
Coyote traps – when to gnaw off your arm
The hours game