Make Your Skeletons Dance on Your Resume to Get the Interview
Blog, Resumes, Social Media Profiles & Bios
By Lisa Rangel
Do you fear being someone is going to look at your resume and be horrified by your employment gaps?Did you have a less-than-favorable relationship with your CEO recently and now you have a short term job from leaving much earlier than you expected? On not-so-fabulous terms?
Unsure how to handle the skeletons in your closet on your resume?I say take it out of the closet and make it dance....What?It's a term from George Bernard Shaw, where he said:"If you can't hide the family skeleton, you might as well make it dance."Yep...I say bring it on...Well, you know they are going to find out.So don't hide it. Don't try the resume gimmicks of a functional resume format. Why? Because people with 'normal backgrounds' would never use a functional format. Only people with 'abnormal backgrounds' use functional formats to divert attention away from their non-linear background. So as a result, whenever I see a functional resume format, I think "what's wrong with this person's background that they are using a functional format?"Using a functional format does the exact opposite of what you want it to. It brings unwanted attention to your skeleton versus just put it out there neutrally.And don't hide months -- the first thing I did as a recruiter was ask the starting and ending months of each job where the months aren't listed. Always made people squirm when I asked for the months.Don't squirm...dance.And don't hide.Or at least hide it in plain sight.And then be prepared...Be prepared for the tough questions that will naturally come.Confidently and diplomatically address the tough questions.I say bring it.Own your baggage... Embrace the skeleton....or family of skeletons, if that's how you roll...Here's a newsflash...Everyone has baggage.How do I know?I hear all your stories.No one comes to me or vents in the LinkedIn Premium Career Group saying they have a perfect background.Too many jobs in a short period of time.Took the wrong job after a long tenure with prior employer.Long-term unemployment.Underpaid.Boss undermines them and the opportunity to create resume-like achievements is limited.I can go on and on.Even people with 'perfect' backgrounds on paper, with a new job every 6 years or promoted every 3 years, have product lines they oversaw that failed or high staff turnover or shrinking margins they need to account for on their next interview.Here is the secret to making the skeletons dance:With all other things being relatively equal, the person who diplomatically, vulnerably and proactively addresses their baggage best on a resume, profile or interview wins the offer.Why?Companies don't just want the best performer in perfect conditions. They want the best person who is honest about a business situation, assesses the needed plan and executes in the face of fear and imperfect conditions to fix adverse situations.They want the person who will get them out of the foxhole alive and then flourish...not just the parade leader when the weather is great.
Are you prepared to own your baggage and make your skeleton(s) dance to win job offers?