Show, don’t just tell

This article was originally posted Dec. 22, 2011 by the Huntsman School Blog.

I have been keeping my eye on sites like Forbes and Time for any tips on the search for what my wife calls “a big boy job.”

Lately, I have noticed that a lot of sites post articles about words to strike from your resume or buzzwords to take off your LinkedIn profile.

Reading these articles, they all seem to say the same basic thing: instead of using your LinkedIn profile, cover letter, or resume to try and convey your qualities, you should show people.

For example, if you are in marketing, you can (and should) have a portfolio. And I suggest a nice hard copy to show off, a decent one you can give away at interviews, and an online one you can share with everybody.

Obviously, you have to have to have words in your cover letter and resume, but it seems like there are some words that used to mean something, and now they have been overused and have lost what they used to mean.

In all my business correspondence, I try and use real language (not anything too flowery or academic) and whenever I have a potentially abstract term, like “experienced,” I try to quantify. That, along with my portfolio, allows whoever is reading my resume to determine how experienced I am.

If pictures are worth a 1,000 words, then I would imagine making sure a potential employer sees my portfolio is worth striking a few words from my resume.

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