Adjectives vs. Verbs

see-spot-run-brown_11

When writing cover letters and resumes, words mean things.

Diligent. Trustworthy. Reliable. Dynamic. Enterprising. Professional. Detail-oriented. Organized. Enthusiastic. Passionate. Creative.

Recognize these words, or words like them, from your resume or the resume of others?

I have some simple and direct advice about including these words in your job-hunting materials: Stop it. Stop it now. I’m serious.
[Read more...]

Show, don’t tell

Anyone who has taken a freshman composition course has probably heard of “show, don’t tell.” In fiction writing it means, for example, to let a character’s actions, appearance and speech explain their personality.

THIS: “Larry is lazy.”

OR THIS: “Instead of doing dishes, Larry has his bulldog Albert lick them clean. The ones Albert won’t lick, Larry throws away.”

What does this have to do with job hunting? Too many cover letters and resumes are filled with phrases like “well-organized” and “innovative” and “problem solver.” When you describe yourself like that, how does an employer know whether or not to believe you? Or whether your definition of “innovative” is even in the same ballpark as hers? They can’t – so your materials go immediately to the “no” pile. [Read more...]