Truth in advertising?

As a resume writer, I have the opportunity to help people “sell” themselves. Many of us have difficulty articulating our achievements verbally, let alone putting them down on paper as some form of permanent record, and being an external party I can bring objectivity.

A recent client, with whose workplace contributions I am familiar, commented that she “looked too good for the job!”. This wasn’t because the information was exaggerated or inaccurate, it was simply that when presented with her achievements and skills via a professionally prepared resume, she was surprised at just how valuable her contributions had been.

This is human nature. Most of us discount our contributions and experience. I do not think this is part of what we refer to in Australia as the “tall poppy” syndrome, I reckon we think just because we are able to do something competently, that this is somehow the standard for everyone.

What we advertise to others (employers, for instance) whilst truthful, may only be part of the story. This could explain why we feel we’re missing out on opportunities or that our potential is not being realised. We obviously need transparency and honesty in all communications, but we do need to ensure we’re sharing the full story. Through objectively assessing our input to a situation or relationship we may find we added value in more ways than our first thinking suggested.

We were there in the midst of the project / challenge / transformation and the people to whom we’re seeking to sell ourselves were not. We understand the context and significance because we were there – those who weren’t there, cannot.

My challenge to us all is to stop under-valuing our skills, abilities and talents. Let’s look for opportunities that utilise and expand our entire skill-set. Let’s provide the full truth!


You can find out more about my resume writing and other career development services here.

Image credit: shock77 / 123RF Stock Photo

What do you think?