SURVEY SAYS: Something Missing From Your Resume?

April 22, 2010 ( – Putting together just the right information on a resume can be a challenging proposition.

But this week I asked readers to share the one thing you’d really LIKE to put on your resume – but haven’t/can’t/won’t – for whatever reason.   

We got an interesting mix of responses to the question – but I found that they tended to fall into one of several major categories.   

First, there was what I would call the “Serious” group:

How deep my passion is for helping our employees.  Seems like that is no longer expected and our employees are expected to struggle through problems, get frustrated and then take out their frustration on everyone else at our location.

“Listing Project Management experience just doesn’t explain how successful I’ve been at working with less than competent and committed people, 12 to 15 hours a day, completing gargantuan projects (that are usually unpopular benefit take aways) in minimal time.  We once surveyed several other companies who cut a benefit we hoped to do – it took them 12 to 18 months to accomplish what we accomplished in 2 1/2 months. 

Plain English. Straight talk with words not dredged from the Thesaurus.

Experience in Church officer positions which have given me significant leadership and consensus-building skills but which might turn others off.

A college degree.  While I’ve been in the business for over 20 years and have worked my way up to the executive level, I wish I had time to get the degree done.

Management, time management and logistical skills related to parenting, scheduling and coordinating kid activities in addition to working a professional FT job and managing a household.

The actual years when I got my degrees & certifications. I’m in the “gray” area (hair color-wise) & people have advised me to do everything I can to keep my age off the resume as there is evidence you get more interviews that way. I think I’m a better employee because of my age & I’d like them to know that up front, but the advice I’ve gotten is that it’s too risky.

How tired I am at being with the same company for 30 plus years.  This is the first time I updated my resume in 20 years.  Just tired of the politics in the company.

I’d like to point out that while I am strategic, have made many qualitative and quantifiable contributions, what doesn’t show are all the things that have been prevented through excellent employee relations and other tactical actions.  It is hard to prove a negative.  HR people who don’t care about people are a blight on the profession!

Nothing I’m willing to share

I was advised to put each award I’ve been instrumental in winning for the company, but it was too many pages and I decided it didn’t strike the right cord. The detail wasn’t relevant so I’m removing them.

That I’ve run marathons. Shows my determination and hard work.

Next was a group that I was inclined to label:

Serious, with just a tad (or more) cynicism  

Systematically eroded the employee value proposition through cost shifting, plan elimination and benefit reductions

Highly skilled at tuning out impossible/rude bosses

How do you explain one of the reasons you're so versatile is because every time there's a change in the C-suite (and we've had quite a few) our ""strategy"" changes. 

How do you get credit for the fact that ALL of the vendors and consultants we work with in our benefits department have told us we have the most complex benefit structure of any company they've ever worked with."

I'd love to include an objective statement that says:  "Outstanding public relations professional seeking position where I can provide top-notch communications expertise while still maintaining some semblance of balance in my life."  Think anyone would hire me?

"I am responsible for EVERYTHING but empowered to do NOTHING.

""Need a scapegoat?  I'm your woman!"""

Then there was a group that I came to think of as:


"Accepted Nobel Prize for Future Accomplishments as yet to be named.  Tee hee hee... but seriously, I'd love to have published a book or two to add to my resume."

Harley Riding (love the open roads)

Lead singer in a rock band.

That I'd rather be on vacation full time.

Can walk on water

Elephant trainer

Willing to relocate back to the Southwest, but can't get my spouse away from his hometown until retirement.

Something about my knack for accurately retaining completely random trivia. Great for winning at Trivial Pursuit, not very useful as a resume point.

And then there was one that – well, it seemed to defy categorization:

"I won't put it yet but within five years, once the success of Law of Attraction University - NC graduates becomes well known it will be the most looked for characteristic on resumes.  Here is what I would put:  ""I understand the laws of the universe and know that when I vribrationally align with my desires 'All That Is' moves heaven and earth to guide me to them via the path of least resistance.  This means I have the knowledge and skills necessary to know how to align with the successful completion of a goal and thus have the assistance of infinite intelligence through my connection with 'All That Is' to achieve whatever I desire.  I understand the guidance system and incorporate it into my life in very meaningful ways.  I am capable of achieving all that I desire.""  The above will soon be the ""gold standard"" in all fields."

My Favorites

My favorites (regardless of characterization):

Able to tolerate BS and office drama better than the average bear.

Unlike most resumes, I don't really do all that well at multi-tasking.

Do hard workers get ahead in your organization or only those with political connections?

But this bonus survey Editor’s Choice goes to the reader who said “I would love to say I had managerial experience, but I don't. Not officially. I am pretty bossy though!”

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey!