Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Freelancing, résumé writing and the Kiss of Death

Via the Media + Bloggers Twitter feed at @ps_bloggers (how did this end up in my Twitter account? I'm sure I don't follow it ...) came this link to "The pros and cons of freelancing" by Kevin Allen, on PR Daily. Apart from the misleading, if not downright heretical, suggestion that the word "freelance" is some sort of rebrand for "unemployed" rather than "self-employed", this piece also carries one of those tantalising infographics that contains all sorts of information except what you actually want to know, and which are designed to convince you that the world is contiguous with the borders of the United States of America.

While still on PR Daily, I next discovered this piece entitled "10 words and phrases that shouldn’t be on your résumé" by Amber Carucci. According to Amber one should never write, among other things, "References available upon request", "Dynamic / energetic / motivated / enthusiastic" or "Microsoft Office". I have always favoured "References available upon request" as a preferable alternative to the listing of names and addresses of people whose identities may be of no real interest to me; "Dynamic / energetic / motivated / enthusiastic" is a medley of cliches which an applicant for any position is entitled to assume to apply unless specifically disclaimed, and the third is rightly derided since, in the twenty-first century, it is about as meaningful as a statement that the author of the résumé knows how to read and write. A surprise omission from the list of ten no-nos is however the word "paralegal", which appears to be the kiss of death for most applications which require professional skill or responsibility.

Can readers add any favourite "no-nos" or "kiss of death" words to the list?

1 comment:

  1. Spelling mistakes, I think is a big no no.

    Having gaps in your employment record also looks bad. One should instead refer to a 'sabbatical'.

    If you're interviewed by a patent firm, try and see if they want someone passive or someone who confidently stands up for themselves. If you can't decide it's safer to play passive, but do come across as being concerned about detail, rather than lazy.

    In response to the remark in your first paragraph, I must admit I've accepted that the world is contiguous with the borders of the US, especially after the coming of the internet. We're all Americans now.