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Blog Post #4: Why does Technical Communication Indoctrination have to Start with Kids?


One of the great opportunities afforded to college students is the access to non-Romance foreign languages. This semester I am taking Hebrew 1001, and since it is not a Romance language, the words, the letters, and their sounds are completely foreign to me. So how do I, an adult with a working knowledge of one language, change my entire writing and grammar system so that I can succeed in this new environment? I play games. In class, we sing songs and take turns asking each other questions in broken Hebrew that a Jewish third grader could word better. At home, I play a game practicing the letters and sounds so that they become familiar to me. I am essentially trying to force myself to learn a language the why a child would: through repetition, through trial and error, and though social exchange. My professor encourages us to try our best, even if we may be wrong, then we correct ourselves so that we can understand what to do correctly the next time.

So what does my playing little kid games to learn Hebrew have to do with technical communication and the abilities of those in a workplace to efficiently use data and information? Just as it would have been easier for me to learn Hebrew as a kid, we, as technical communicators, need to teach school children how to increase their literacy at a young age so that they learn to think critically in a structured but lenient environment.

An Efficient Work Place Starts in Grade School

To begin helping the current work force to improve their literacy, the exact needs of the employees need to be understood and addressed. For example, if employees don’t understand how to use a company website or how to read a chart, this specific issue needs to be known by interviewing the employees and then teaching them how to accomplish these task. However, the easiest way make sure that employees, whether they work at a desk or in a factory, have access to and the ability to interpret “information to ensure safety and productivity, to enable effective interaction, to increase job performance, and so on” is to begin instilling the abilities in the work force as children.

As we read in “Footprints in the Digital Age,” the question of whether you can be Googled well does not just rest on what images go on your Facebook, but how well you can use the internet and social media to network and encourage your audience to not just be passive viewers but respond and take actions themselves. Richardson wrote how we, the adults, are “failing to empower kids” thereby forcing them to learn this new form of literacy on their own. He wrote that we need to help children understand how to properly create and manage content, the extension of this, of course, being that children begin to understand how to interpret and manage content created by someone else. The skill that is ultimately being learned here is how to think critically.

Thinking Critically-Children


     In research done by Dr. Lewis, a Professor at Longwood University and a former teacher, she determined that students who had taken the  2007 and 2008 math SOLs had done poorly because they lacked critical thinking skills. The students knew how to do the math procedurally but misunderstood broader concepts:

“The best example of this is a problem about two shops selling T-shirts at different prices—the difference was 50 cents—the problem asks the student to determine the difference in total price if you buy four shirts. Twenty-five percent of sixth grade students chose 50 cents, instead of two dollars.”


Here, the students knew how to find the difference in the price between two shirts, but did not think about what the original question was actually asking. Teaching students to think critically forces them to become active participants in their own education and shows them how to become problem solvers creating a generation of employees with higher literacy; because even if they do not know the answer they can begin to look for it.

Thinking Critically-Adults

It is important to note that this study came from a professor who no longer teaches students who take the SOLs. This means a third party examined these results, not the schools system, not the teachers, not the parents, and not the students themselves. The “Troubling Stats on Adult Literacy” article blamed adults and higher education for the inability of adults to have high levels of literacy, but that is because no one has bothered to try to get to the very root of the problem. Teachers spend all year trying to teach the SOLs, but once the test are finished and the scores disseminated, the students do not get to go over the questions and answers. They do not get the chance to understand what they did wrong and learn from their mistakes. Because the teachers are forced to not teach critically thinking but to force students to memorize and regurgitate for standardized tests, students are not equipped with this necessary skills and what little they do learn on their own wanes over the years from lack of use. As Clements  in “The Effective Use of Computers with Young Children” wrote, technology and drills (SOL based learning) should be used to introduce information to children, not used as a crutch. Once the basic information is known, children should be encouraged to learn, to discuss, and to create.


Sources Cited:

Clements, D.  (1999). “The Effective Use of Computers with Young Children.” Retireved September 19, 2014

Longwood University. (2014) “Research by Longwood professor aims to help teachers better understand SOL mathematics scores.” Retireved September 19, 2014

Richardson, W. 2008. “Footprints in the Digital Age.” Retrieved September 19, 2014                                                                                -Age.aspx

Rogers, Megan. (2013). Troubling stats on adult literacy. Inside Higher Ed.

Blog # 4: Workers and Literacy

Literacy —”using printed and written information to function in society, to achieve one’s goals, and to develop one’s knowledge and potential” (USDE NCES, 2007, p. 246)—is important to US workers. A slightly extended definition of literacy is “the knowledge and skills needed by adults, in life and at work, to use information from various texts (e.g., news stories, editorials, manuals, brochures) in various formats (e.g., texts, maps, tables, charts, forms, time tables). [Adults need the] ability to retrieve, compare, integrate, and synthesize information from texts and to make inferences, among other skills” (IES).

In this image, “Digital Natives,” (Cristóbal Cobo Romaní, used here courtesy of a CC license), we see young children learning to use the tools of digital media production and consumption. In media and communication studies, the generations who have grown up with the internet and ubiquitous personal computing are sometimes describes as “digital natives” who intuitively understand how to use and communicate via digital and social media. What do you think of this description? Does everyone have equal access to such tools from an early age? Does simply having access to such tools result in enhanced digital literacy?

Many of us are unaware of the extent of literacy problems in the US and mistakenly assume the US has among the highest literacy rates in the world. While reported statistics vary depending on the survey and organization, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) survey indicates the U.S. ranks “16th out of 23 countries in literacy proficiency, 21st in numeracy proficiency, and 14th in problem solving in technology-rich environments” (Rogers, 2013). Who’s ahead of the US in literacy proficiency? A number of countries, including (in order) Japan, Finland, Netherlands, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Belgium, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Canada, Korea, UK, Denmark, and Germany (OECD, p. 29). Continue reading Blog # 4: Workers and Literacy

Blog #3: Resumes in a Digital World

    We live in a digital world in which the traditional resume is no longer sufficient enough. Digital resumes such as professional online profiles, video resumes, and animations are beginning to replace traditional, paper resumes. The benefit that comes along with digital resumes is the opportunity for job seekers to use their creativity to make themselves stand out. In this highly competitive job market, it is important that we utilize our resources and keep up with our peers by creating digital resumes.

    Personally, I will be graduating college very soon, and entering the workforce. The way I present myself professionally will affect my job search, therefore, I must begin considering my professional presence and the ways I can stand out from other applicants. I want to present myself as a driven and hard-working individual. Therefore, I will emphasize that I have had a full time job while attending college and maintaining a high GPA. I would also like to present myself as an outgoing person that can easily adapt to various settings and social situations. I will do this by explaining the diversity I have experienced and adapted to while in college.

    I will distinguish myself from others by using a non-traditional format for my resume. I will use a QR code that will be linked to my Linkedin profile, because using a QR code will grab the attention of hiring managers. A QR code is an efficient way to save time, because it can conveniently lead straight to my profile instead of requiring employers to search for my profile. Also, using a QR code will help me appear innovative and forward-thinking. Although QR codes have been around for a few years, they’re still considered cool and tech savvy.

Here’s an example of a clever QR code resume:

    I will also attempt to distinguish myself by creating a video resume. Unlike the video we watched in class, I won’t include text in the video. Instead, I will record myself discussing my education, qualifications, and communications skills. I am hoping to use the video to demonstrate that I am friendly, charismatic, and comfortable with speaking to people.

Here’s an example of a great video resume:



Doyle, Alison. “How to Use a QR Code on Your Resume.” About Careers. About Careers, n.d. Web. 14 Sept. 2014. <>.

Elliot, Amy-Mae. “Top 5 Tips for Creating Impressive Video Resumes.”Mashable. N.p., 17 Jan. 2011. Web. 14 Sept. 2014.<>.

Is Your Resume Working for You?

In the 2014, the question of whether the traditional black and white  one page resume is still relevant or not. In the age of technology many would find it odd that over 80% of jobs are not posted or advertised online (Nishi, Dennis. “Take Your Job Search Offline.” Wall Street Journal). Displaying creativity using technology for professional purposes is a no-brainier.  No matter what industry of work you are seeking as a professional having an online presence is vital to your success. To answer the question of whether or not the traditional resume is best for you varies greatly on what you are after.


The key to properly answering this question as an individual is to know the industry you are pursuing. Every job is different so understanding the culture of the organization  you are seeking employment with is vital. For example someone seeking a job in a policy related background would want to depict themselves as someone who is professional, educated, and researched focused. One that is seeking employment in the policy field would be expected to know that flashy websites and short videos are not the proper methods used to communicate such skills.  A standard resume when interviewing as well as a detail oriented LinkedIn page such as this are sufficient.

For the creatives and “consultants” of the world the more graphic approach would be the better alternative. For example someone looking to brand themselves as a marketing consultant would want to want to be searchable and reassuring to perspective clients. A website such as this is a great example and method to assist in showing an employer who you are.

Professionals should be cautious of the thin line between innovative and inappropriate as seen here . In this video dedicated to Google, the young man was able to showcase his personality, unfortunately was not interviewing to be a TV or radio personality. He failed to display why he would be the ideal candidate to work for Google. He spent the majority of his four minutes displaying his sense of humor and plugged in an ask of a phone call and fifteen minutes of their time before signing off. While he did think outside of the box rather emailing a copy of his resume he missed the target. There are times when a choice such as this could lead to a greater opportunity but is it truly worth the risk? That’s for you to decide.

The advantages of a digital resume are; they show your progression, display your creativity, shows your trendiness, and allows you to personalize your work ( ).

Sources Used:

Blog #3: When Does It Pay To Be Creative?

Remember my presentation on Wednesday about modalities? I would like to think of this blog post as an extension of my PowerPoint presentation. Specifically, the way audiences’ reactions to modalities shift in various context and cultures. When we are ready to write our resumes, we must apply cognitive empathy. That is, we must put ourselves in our potential employers’ shoes in order to understand their thought processes when analyzing our resumes.

In my PowerPoint, I broke down employers into three very broad groups: general audience, specific audience, and international audience.  General and international audiences would want traditional-style resumes because these have always been deemed professional, and thus, suitable for professional workplaces, such as law firms, investment banks, and government offices.

However, specific audiences are media-based employers like Facebook, film, or radio stations, whose audience is the public. Specific audiences do not like traditional resumes because they do not represent the progressive actions of the company, nor do traditional styles reflect their values in creativity and imagination. So, what should we give them? The examples below are alternative resumes that have landed job interviews. Click one for a closer look.


resume_FB  resume_movie

(Images: “13 Insanely Cool Resumes that Landed Interviews At Google And Other Top Jobs.” 2014. Web. Courtesy of Patricia Laya on Business Insider.)


What does this mean for us? It means that we need to be ready to create multiple styles of resumes in addition to our traditional resumes. Click here for more creative resume ideas to apply to your field.

My field is in English, so I can go into multiple positions for editing anywhere. If I were to go into menu design and editing, I would resemble my resume to a menu:

  • Name of the restaurant: Your name and contact information
  • Appetizers: Your objective/goal
  • Tapas: Your skills
  • Entrees: Your skills applied to experiences
  • Sides: Your education and work history
  • Desserts: Your awards, certificates, or licenses

If I were to go for a position at a greeting card company, I would use a bi-fold card as my resume template:

  • Outside of card: Name, contact information, objective/goal
  • Inside (left page): Skills and skills applied to experiences
  • Inside (right page): Education/work history and awards/certificates/licenses


In addition to alternative resumes as a means of deviating from the crowd, there are a few other ways to distinguish you from others with similar backgrounds:

  • Kill the buzz words, like “team player” or “detail-oriented.” Instead of using these adjectives, provide a concrete example of a project where you had to work with others. Also, show the employer that you are detail-oriented through your resume. Make sure you used correct grammar and that your spaces are parallel and words are aligned.
  • Include your goals. People with similar backgrounds don’t necessarily have the same goals (Veritas Prep). Being able to articulate exactly why you need the job to achieve your goals is a strong tool.
  • Avoid jargons associated with your field.  Employers are subjected to the same words used in multiple resumes, which means they will be inclined to overlooking these words and consider it a poor use of space on resumes.

On the other hand, we need to keep in mind that these alternative resumes can be risky even within the specific audience. For example, I included an animated resume in my PowerPoint with background music that was far too fast-paced, and thereby, affecting the pace of the content in the video. Another example of the risks of alternative resumes is Greg Dizzia’s experience when his “resume became the actual interview.” An employer asked him “what would happen if this was black and white?” and from there he learned that his “resume itself was becoming a pivoting point in the negotiation of [his] position” and that “although he says he’s gotten mostly positive feedback, he says his resume has caused mixed reactions. It mostly depends on who you’re talking to[…]and he gets much better reactions from people in creative positions than people in HR” (Laya).

Other risky ways of representing yourself include social media profiles. We need to step back and ask ourselves not how do we want to portray ourselves, but rather as whom do we want to portray ourselves? This refers us back to my blog post last week about the lack of ethics in resumes and why it is okay.

I have never thought deeply about the image I want to portray on social media. After Brandin’s presentation on Wednesday about audience, I took his advice on what we should keep in mind when we have social media profiles:

  • Likes/dislikes/following whom
  • Memes that we share indicating racism, sexism, violence
  • Grammar, homophones, apostrophes
  • Photos/what is in the background of those photos

In a perfect world, we would want to create a neutral image for our employers. However, it is hard to tell who considers things negative or positive. Personally, regardless of what I want to be or for whom I want to work, I know that my degree will be in English. So, the image I want to create is a person with good grammar and coherent sentences. In addition, I “like” Grammarly on Facebook, and the “Books I’ve Read” section on my profile lists all of the classic novels I have read (even if I did not like them). These factors can work in my favor instead of being risks to my character.

So, when does it pay to be creative? Career coaches say that “it depends on where you’re applying to” (Laya).


Sources Cited

“Distinguishing Yourself in Your MBA Applications.” Veritas Prep. Web. 14 September 2014 <>.

Laya, Patricia. “13 Insanely Cool Resumes that Landed Interviews At Google And Other Top Jobs.” Business Insider. Web. 14 September 2014 <>.

Blog #3: Alternative Resumes: The Alternative way to find that new job you’ve been looking for

In an attempt to get a job after school and finally move out of my parents’ basement an alternative way of presenting myself might be necessary. An easy way to diversify my resume from the thousands of others received by potential employers could be accomplished through using different formats or visual mediums. In this exposition, I will present two examples of alternative resumes that I find appealing to broadcast my skills into the world of internet technology.

The first alternative resume that I stumbled upon is called a Visual CV Resume, an example of this can be found by clicking the following link: Visual CV resumes broadcast an individual’s abilities in an easily viewable format. Nothing bothers future employers more than looking through countless resumes which all appear to be carbon copies of each other. Employers are looking for something new, something different and something innovative. With the rapidly changing world of commerce brought on by the dawn of social media, companies are struggling to find the hot new trend or medium in which they can better advertise their product. What better way to show future employers that you are in keeping with the hottest new internet trends than putting your personal skills on to a new, bold format that is representative of a Visual CV Resume. Personally, I would be able to benefit from a Visual CV Resume because I am a creative person who has big ideas, and this particular medium allows you to put music behind a graphic design and narrative that appeals not only to the sometimes dreary and boring corporate world, but also to the new up-and-coming world of social media and technology.

Social-networking is an constantly expanding industry fueled by people who wish to remain in contact via the internet. Social media is almost unavoidable in today’s technologically savvy population. What better way to represent yourself to a future employer than by putting your list of specific qualifications onto a format that is easily viewed by a large percentage of our population. The following link is a representation of 3 intriguingly different profile resumes: Social Media Resumes give future job employers “direct access to an individual’s ever-expanding professional network of connections and involvement” (Lauby 2010). This shows future job employers that their prospects are not only qualified, also connected. As the old job search cliché goes “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” In the case of presenting yourself through the use of a social media website you can break this old cliché by showing employers what you know AND who know. Being a very social person I find it necessary to connect with people constantly in order to find what jobs are opening, what’s going on, who is succeeding professionally and why. For these reasons a good professional online profile (whether it be Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook) is a necessity.

In conclusion, Alternative Resumes serve a multitude of functions in diversifying yourself from the average job-seeker using traditional resumes. Hopefully, some of the formats I have presented will prompt you to consider approaching your job search in a different way.


Works Cited:

Lauby, Sharlyn. (2010, Oct 05). 4 digital alternatives to the traditional resume. Retrieved from


Foote, Andy. (2013, Feb 07). 3 Stunningly Good Linkedin Profile Summaries. Retrieved from


Duc, Truong Tran. CV presentation Resume (video). Retrieved from

Should you use a non-traditional resume?

I believe that while traditional resumes are still very important, more companies are starting to consider more nontraditional forms as well, especially those such as social media.  However, the issue I find most prevalent in nontraditional forms of resumes is that people tend to forget that even though the method may not be similar to that of their fellow applicants, there is no need to deprofessionalize it (if that’s really a word).

Keep your social media and any other pages that might be open to the public free of photos you would have hesitations about employers viewing, and monitor your friends’ posts on your wall carefully. The worst thing that you could do is to give mixed signals to your employers by providing a clean and polished resume and appearance at the interview, but having photos posted on your social media pages of you partying with alcohol and something that you can’t quite pass off as a cigarette.

Furthermore, if you plan on creating something such as a video resume or a graphic, make sure that it remains classy and business-like.  Don’t get carried away with neon colors or a cluttered layout. Graphic resumes can be a fantastic way of helping you stand out in the crowd but keep them sleek and clean.

For example, an infographic that uses a visual timeline of your employment history instead of merely a list of dates might better illustrate your experience in relation to how long you have been in the work field.

Use your LinkedIn profile- this is the place to expand your resume into something a little more robust or add on projects and accomplishments your resume may not have room for.  The projects portion of LinkedIn allows you to link certain websites or files that provide samples of your skills for future employers to view when glancing over profiles; this gives them an idea of what to expect, and sets you apart from other applicant who have not used this function.

Video resumes are very nifty, but apart from ensuring it remains professional, also keep in mind that because it is very short, it will most likely be supplemented by some form of traditional resume.  Be careful not to overload video resumes with extraneous details, a basic timeline with your contact information and goals should be sufficient. Your linked-in or paper resume will fill in the details for the major points.

Works Cited

“The Anti-Resume: Is Non-traditional the New Answer?” |Vault Blogs| Web. 13 Sept. 2014.

“Does a Non-Traditional Resume Limit Your Odds? [INFOGRAPHIC].” Mashable. Web. 13 Sept. 2014.

“Examples of the Different Types of Nontraditional Resumes.” About. Careers. Web. 13 Sept. 2014.

Blog Project 3: Traditional vs. Non-Traditional

To be blunt, I do not see the traditional resume disappearing anytime soon due to several circumstances. A non-traditional resume may look and/or sound interesting and may be useful in “standing out” in certain job markets where the utmost creativity is necessary, but as far as the vast majority goes it is a distraction and a waste of effort. For one thing, the resume itself in many areas of the market is disappearing as a stand-alone document; many more common jobs are offered on behalf of large organizations and many ask that the hopeful apply online and simply regurgitate what would be on a traditional resume onto their own company specific application. The resume itself, while it can in many circumstances be attached, is not necessarily necessary and is essentially redundant.

As noted in a 2011 article, from the send button ones application goes through an ATS program that automatically filters out keywords and phrases specific to what the company is looking for and, much like a Google search, will offer up the highest percentage matches. Having a more colorful or creatively structured resume many interfere with a programs ability to find these markers and thus disqualify you from a search long before an actual human being can appreciate your rainbow-colored header. Another mark against the non-traditional resume is its very variability. It is too easy to do a creative resume wrong because there are fewer standards of use available. Even if you are not submitting a creative resume until an actual interview, many options that may at first appear “cute” or “interesting” may not be taken that way by a potential employer and simply do not come out as seeming professional. Unlike its more non-descript cousin, what is a welcome use of style or color to one resume pile might not be welcome in another. Unless it is for a job along the lines of Google, graphic designing or perhaps going into business for yourself, the time and effort that goes into creating a creative resume for one job, might have to be completely redone to apply somewhere else, simply put: the more creative one gets, to a certain extent, the less one size fits all.

Of course the exception to the latter statement would most obviously be professional profiles such as Linked-In or Facebook, which I do feel have some universal usability. But these are not resumes any more than resumes are Linked-In profiles, they are two distinct relays of information. Profiles are more personable introductions while still containing relevant information. These kinds of works are worth splurging a bit with creativity because they almost have to be viewed by a human being where the creative effort can be appreciated.

I’ve made no secret about my distaste for many creative resume formats in this post. To be even more honest, when it comes to my professional experience there is not much to separate me from any crowd. Because most of my jobs have been pretty run-of-the-mill, if I had to create a more artful version of my resume I would probably go with either an infographic format or a captioned slideshow ( because they are simple, easy to format and linear making them less distracting to follow.


Blog # 3: Beyond the Resume

This week, everyone will post in response to this prompt by midnight Sunday, September 13. Make sure to identify your post with the category “Beyond the Resume.”Do organizations still want a traditional resume? What about alternative resumes? What about social media profiles? Leslie Stevens-Huffman (2014) reports that a recent survey indicates “although a great majority of companies use platforms such as Twitter or LinkedIn to source candidates, 77 percent always ask for a resume before scheduling an interview and 19 percent request one most of the time.”Simply put, we’re in a transition period, so as a job applicant, you need to be prepared to provide prospective employers with a traditional resume and a presentation of your qualifications in several other formats.

These alternative formats include:

  1. an alternative resume (some creative version of your professional presence, which might be as slight a change as a use of job annotations or as dramatic as a video resume)
  2. a social media presence (some combination of a website, LinkedIn, Twitter, FaceBook)
  3. two versions of a prose biography, one a max of 50 words and a second one 100 words (“Prose versions” of your resume are narrative descriptions of your qualifications and experience, the sort of thing you would include in a cover letter, or an “About Me” page on a social media profile or website. So you should have a longer prose narrative of 100 words, and a shorter version of 50 words.)

For Project 2, you will create a professional website, using a public hosting solution, so that it can become part of your professional presence outside of the university.

This blog post is an opportunity to begin creating or updating alternative presentations of your qualifications, so that you have them available when opportunity presents itself and so that you can integrate them with your online professional profile.

What constitutes an alternative resume? Changing the design or medium. Changing the selection or emphasis of content. Changing the examples.  These are some possible alternative formats (and you can find more by goggling images of alternative resumes):

In your blog post, discuss your choices about your professional presence—and your thoughtful decisions about how to depict yourself. For example, what image do you want to create? What about your experience and strategic knowledge do you want to emphasize? How do you want to distinguish yourself from others with a similar background? How can you use the basic principles of information design to help create strong, effective resumes.

In your post, provide or link to examples of two alternative resume formats (from the bulleted list of alternative/creative resume formats above) for presenting your experience and qualifications that you would like to use when creating your own online professional profile. You don’t actually have to create an alternative resume presentation of your skills, experience, and qualifications, just provide examples of two formats you would like to use when you do create the revised version of your professional profile for submission. In your discussion, provide your rationale for why you think these alternative formats would be appropriate and effective in helping you stand out from the crowd.

Posting: Groups 1 &  2 (by Sunday at midnight)

Commenting: No comments unless you’re doing so for extra credit

Category: Beyond the Resume

References (Use these to generate ideas and learn strategies for alternatives to supplement your traditional resume)

Diaz, Charlsye Smith. (2013). Updating best practices: applying on-screen reading strategies to résumé writing. Business Communication Quarterly, 76(4), 427–445.

Dockweiler Scott. (2014, January 22). The key to answering “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” The Daily Muse. Retrieved from

Lauby, Sharlyn. (2010, Oct 05). 4 digital alternatives to the traditional resume. Retrieved from

Laya, Patricia. (2011, June 11). 13 insanely cool resumes that landed interviews at Google and other top jobs. Retrieved from  [NB: And links to more. A good idea? It depends.]

Lipman, Victor. (2013, June 6). Is the traditional resume dying? Forbes. Retrieved from

Manovich, Lev. (2012, February 26). 5 minute guide: Graphic design principles for information visualization. Retrieved from

NHS Designs. (n.d.). Graphic designs: Principles of layout. Retrieved from (NB: The four graphic design principles are important for you to know and use regularly, including in this assignment; the examples, however, are amateurish.)

Nixon, Barbara B. (2009). Principles of effective design: Joshua tree epiphany and CRAP. Retrieved from (NB: These 10 PPT slides offer a useful, illustrated review of Robin Williams’ graphic design principles. Borrow the Williams’ book from the WCP intern office for a more in-depth review.)

Stevens-Huffman, Leslie. (2014, January 22). Are traditional resumes passé? Dice. Retrieved from

Weber, Lauren. (2014, January 23). In a tough job market applicants try résumé gimmicks. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from

Stretching the truth- okay or no-kay?

For me the issue of lying on a resume causes mixed feelings. I am studying HR administration for Hospitality, so I know that as an HR manager, I would hate to see someone lying on their resume, but as an employee, I feel that sometimes carefully worded phrases that show you in the best light should be acceptable. As Carol Goman claims in her article, small white lies are forgivable and sometimes even expected of applicants, however major lies are more often than not caught and you will have to face the consequences.

I think there is a certain extent to which it’s okay to stretch the truth, if and only if you are confident that you can exceed expectations for the job. Small lies can usually swing two ways- either people feel empowered by their lies and keep lying, or they work even harder to make sure that they are the best they could possibly be.

For example, if I exaggerated, let’s say on an application for a field in journalism and I claimed to have managed a team of writers for the news beat while also doing production design, when I have no production design experience, and the job I was applying for asked for someone with production design, then I would seriously be in hot water. They would find me out, and likely fire me, with a mark on my record saying I was fired for dishonesty.

Even stretching the truth to some extent has its risks. You have to ask yourself- ‘If these new employers call my former boss, will she back up what I have put on my resume?’. This can be anything from your salary to your duties. It’s all a matter of calculating the risk and wording your resume accordingly.

While I’m sure most of us have experience with stretching our resumes, you need to make sure that what you’re writing sounds reasonable, and instead of creating skills you don’t have, enhances the skills you do. Please, do not be like the football coach from Notre Dame who claimed he held a Master’s degree when he did not. Such lies are blatant and will likely result in termination.

Personally, I believe that if you even stretch the truth on your resume, when you get that job, you should work as hard as you can to prove yourself good enough, and better than any of the other candidates who may have been considered for the position. Again, stretching the truth a little bit is one thing, and is acceptable in minor circumstances, but big lies are never a good idea, and should definitely not appear anywhere in the workplace.





Vass, Lisa. “Lying on Your Resume: How Far to Stretch the Truth.” Lying on Your Resume: How Far to Stretch the Truth. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Sept. 2014.

Gorman, Carol. “The 10 Most Common Workplace Lies.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2014.

Bucholz, Chris. “The 6 Most Effective Ways to Lie on Your Resume.” N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Sept. 2014

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