The Most Amazing Resume Tip that Broke the Internet!

Now that I have your attention, I apologize. I might have exaggerated a tiny bit.   Perhaps this tip won’t be that amazing, but it’s still pretty darn good. I gave it the snazzy title to illustrate our real lesson for the day: Watch out for hyperbolic descriptions on your resume.   

No doubt you have surfed the web and had your attention grabbed by “click-bait” headlines like these ones that I recently grabbed from Yahoo:

  • Titanic Photos Are Revealed, Not For Weak Hearts
  • Simone Biles Nails An Astonishing Move And People Are ‘SPEECHLESS’
  • Shark Tank Star Reveals Brilliant Mortgage Payoff Tip
  • The Genius Reason Disney World has no Mosquitos

Let’s face it, sometimes our temptation gets the better of us and we click.  And then we are soon let down by landing on a website with tons of annoying ads and a less-than-amazing junk piece hidden somewhere among those ads.  If this has happened to you, then you just lost 5-10 minutes of your precious time that you aren’t getting back.  

Think of exaggerated adjectives and adverbs on your resume as internet click-bait. You might get some naïve person’s attention, only for them to be let down when they probe deeper. For example, can you really defend that you completed a 10-month project flawlessly? Do you mean that absolutely nothing went wrong at all?  

Here are some of the more problematic descriptors to avoid: flawless, amazing, incredible, perfect, unprecedented, astonishing, staggering, spectacular, unbelievable, astounding, extraordinary, stupendous.  

Here’s the reality: Hiring managers and recruiters don’t have the time or patience to wade through exaggerated and superfluous language. If you did something truly amazing, then let the results speak for themselves. And if you can make those results stand out by quantifying them, then you won’t need hyperbole to convince them. Crafting your accomplishments as such will allow you to brag without going over the top.

John Zornick