A colleague visited the other day. We hadn’t spoken for a while and he wanted some advice. “I have a problem,” he said. “I’ve been applying for producer jobs in your area and I can’t seem to even get a return call from a recruiter.” He said he worked in Ad-Sales and his title was Ad-Sales Coordinator. When I asked what his duties were, he said that he wrote ad copy, handled the logistics of shoots, worked with digital editors during sessions, and was responsible for delivering product.
“Oh, you perform Associate Producer duties,” I said. “Do you mention that in your cover letter?” That statement led to a spirited conversation about lying on a resume. He felt that if he called himself an Associate Producer, he’d run the risk of being caught in a lie.
I said that it’s not a lie to lead with the job’s transferable skills rather than the title. For example:
Leading with the title:
Sales Coordinator, work with sales reps to deliver billboards and media spots.
Leading with skills:
Coordinator, write and produce content for advertising clients. Write ad copy, handle logistics, and coordinate delivery.
With only a few seconds to spend on each resume, the recruiters don’t read. They scan. If the job description calls for a certain type of experience, those are the key words the recruiter is scanning for (in this case the key words were “produce”, “write” & “coordinate”). Pay strict attention to the job’s requirements and match them when you can.
The goal is to get an interview. That’s the place to explain, show your brilliance, and let them see the person behind the resume.
And never lie on a resume.
As Mark Twain said, “When in doubt tell the truth.”
– T.D. Boss
P.S. Don’t forget about OWL for free resume help.