Be Prepared to Defend Your Resume

June 22, 2010 at 2:59 am 1 comment

Even with all the changes in resumes these days, one thing remains the same: your resume must accurately reflect your experience and abilities. While a resume is a marketing tool, it needs to be an honest account of your background, skills and expertise. If you embellish, fudge or overreach, chances are that the attention you’ll attract will be negative.

Not only will inaccuracy or hyperbole on your resume potentially get you in hot water with this particular employer but they could well pass along the word that you have some inaccuracies on this important document. This is especially true in journalism circles — here in town and across the country — as journalism remains a pretty tight-knit community. The last thing you want to do is to showcase that you “can’t handle the truth,” especially about yourself.

In this highly competitive job market, employers are closely monitoring resumes for accuracy and truth in advertising. So be prepared to defend yours in a job interview or even in initial chats with potential employers. Larger organizations sometimes employ staffers or consultants to fact-check your resume before you’ll even get in the door.

So how do you make your background sound appealing on your resume without crossing the line into embellishment or into the dangerous untruthful zone? Here are some tips  on defending your resume:

*Fact-check every detail. This may seem silly as it’s about you and you should know your own history, right? But a few years after the fact, your memory may be a bit hazy as to just when you were promoted to a supervisory role, for instance, or what your position was called on your college newspaper. Make sure facts such as dates, titles and key duties are accurate. Ensure that spellings (especially of people’s names, such as references) are correct and that you use proper style and grammar. If you catch an error, it’s easy enough to fix in this era of digital resume production. As a result, hiring managers expect resumes today to be clean as can be — there’s no room for mistakes here.

*Check to make sure information being circulated about you online is accurate. It’s important to regularly Google yourself while job hunting and to check far and wide to see how information about you appears online. Recruiters often will do online checks of a job candidate and compare that information with what you’ve provided on your resume. And they won’t necessarily accept as a defense that the information on your resume is correct as it came from you! Just as personal finance experts recommend that you obtain your credit report several times a year, check carefully for mistakes and then “appeal” them once discovered, hiring experts suggest you do the same with information about your career. Tiny errors — such as a mistake in an introduction at a conference — can be easily explained, but if there is more significant incorrect information about you circulating, it’s best to try to get the offending person to correct it so that you don’t have trouble defending your resume vs. this other information.

*Avoid embellishment and instead stick with details. Don’t leave room for interpretation on your resume — often that can be interpreted by a hiring manager as troubling exaggeration. For instance, if you led a team of reporters, say so but if you sometimes filled in for the department manager when they were on vacation, don’t imply on your resume you did more than that. Fully explain your title and provide action-oriented details about your duties and successes in the job. Make the details of your former jobs and your expertise as compelling as possible but don’t go beyond the facts. Never exaggerate on a resume — if you feel like you might be headed in that direction with a description, pull back in the other direction. It’s never worth embellishing on this document.

*Get ready for a resume challenge. Before a job interview or key meeting, carefully review your resume and consider all questions a hiring manager might have about the details. You’ll want to confidently answer their questions about your experience and be able to showcase knowledge that you gained in previous jobs. Sometimes, you may need to brush up on this information so you may also want to read over clips from this period to reacquaint yourself with the issues of the day or the big decisions you had to make in that particular role. Avoid exaggerations or conversely running away from details in your explanation of your resume; truthfully answer questions and stay focused on what you did in previous jobs. When you’ve written your resume in an accurate and detail-oriented fashion, defending it in an interview shouldn’t be difficult.

*For those hoping to move forward in their careers, summer may be a good time to do so. That’s counterintuitive advice from and The Wall Street Journal — just don’t bother your boss on vacation:

See story on avoid summer slump.

*And here are some fresh leads to pursue or perhaps pass along:

*Kaiser Permanente has an opening in Rockville for a senior communications consultant:

Senior Communications Consultant
Kaiser Permanente – Rockville, MD
complex communications consultation, communications… verbal communications or advice on communications issues to providing customized communications materials…
From HotJobs

*The Medill School of Journalism in D.C. is looking for teaching technologies specialists:

Position Type: Full Time
> Salary Level: $39,000 – $49,000
> Location: Washington, D.C. & Evanston, IL
> Job Summary:
> The Teaching Technologies Specialist implements training of faculty, staff
>and students in new technologies used in journalism education as a result of Medills
>2020 plan. Flexible work hours, possible weekend sessions and some travel to Chicago
>may be required.
> Specific Responsibilities:

  • Managing all computer, video and technical instruction for the graduate and
    >undergraduate lab classes;
  • Assisting faculty with instruction in photo editing, video editing, web page
    >development and implementation;
  • Logging procedures and creating documentation online for all training classes;
  • Supervising the activities of work study students dedicated to this position;
  • Managing and scheduling training time with professors individually and during
    >class times;
  • Implementing new class project web pages to reflect the current curriculum;
  • Updating web pages to reflect changes in projects;
  • Performing related duties as required or assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree or technical training in military or technical schools or
    >the equivalent combination of education, training and experience from which comparable
    >skills and abilities may be acquired;
  • Computer literate in Adobe, Microsoft Office Products, Moveable Type, web development;
  • Proven ability to teach professors and students in technical aspects of multimedia
  • Proven technical skills and experience;
  • Excellent supervisory skills, including the ability to delegate assignments
  • Excellent organization and scheduling skills.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • A bachelor’s degree in Journalism or Computer Science or the equivalent combination
    >of education, training and experience from which comparable skills and abilities
    >may be acquired.

*The MLP Foundation and The PBS NewsHour are seeking an administrative production assistant — this could be a good opportunity for someone starting out in journalism:

POSITION: MLP Foundation Relations and Communications Assistant/PA
(The PBS NewsHour)
The Administrative Production Assistant will support the operations of the foundation and grant activities for MLP and The PBS NewsHour with Jim Lehrer as well as select activities within the Communications Department.
>This individual will be required to maintain the data base, tracking grant due
>dates and report requirements, as well as research new grants for both MLP and
>The NewsHour. This individual will also maintain a list of awards, their
>requirements and submission due dates in order to coordinate the multi-layered
>awards submission process for The NewsHour and MLP programs. This person will communicate
>with producers about which awards would be best to apply for – most compelling
>piece / proper piece; write essays, edit DVDs, create press kits, etc. The Foundation
>Relations and Communications Assistant /PA will also participate in and support
>the grant proposal writing process and will maintain the show funding information
>for PBS in Orion.
> This position has a variety of administrative tasks associated with projects
>and initiatives of MLP including editing and drafting documents, report generation,
>assisting with surveys/ outreach for viewer feedback, DVD duplication, filing,
>coordinating meetings and materials, scheduling and appointments, arranging travel,
>mass mailings, mail distribution, maintaining and disseminating information and
>other duties as assigned.
> The Foundation Relations and Communications Assistant/PA is also responsible
>for providing administrative and clerical assistance that includes phone coverage,
>keeping track of invoices and accounts for various projects, maintaining and organizing
>material and schedules.
> The Foundation Relations and Communications Assistant/PA must interact with
>MLP staff along with project partners, advisors, and consultants. In addition,
>this individual will also interact with foundations, PBS, WETA, and other MLP strategic
>partners. The Administrative Production Assistant is expected to use good judgment
>in determining the relative importance and urgency of these communications, either
>forwarding or re-directing them to the appropriate staff member, or handling them
> When directed, this position is also responsible for research and production
>assistance as well as designing material for the.News, an MLP project currently in development, to produce segments of a ten-minute
>news program for middle and high school students such as lesson plans and transcripts
>for the.News.
> QUALIFICATIONS: A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience is required, along with strong
>written and verbal skills; pleasant phone manner; very good organizational and
>research skills; efficient work habits; the ability to work independently; and,
>a willingness to learn new skills as needed. Excellent computer skills (proficiency
>with Microsoft Office including Excel) and a comfort with new technology is required.
>Knowledge of Photoshop and Final Cut Pro is beneficial. Familiarity with
>video production and an interest in Journalism is desired.
> Beginning Salary: $26,300
> This position reports to Rob Flynn, Vice President of Communications and Marketing
>with a dotted line to Foundations. Please submit your resume to or Anne Bell at

*The World Vision Report is seeking radio free-lancers:

The World Vision Report is looking for good public radio freelancers who are interested in overseas reporting. The WVR is a nationally, award-winning,
>hour-long weekly program that’s carried on nearly 100 public radio stations across
>the country. You can also hear it at . The show focuses on the human stories behind poverty and justice, worldwide.
>We are particularly interested in reports from the developing and world but will
>consider reports on related topics from the U.S. and other developed countries.
> We’re looking for sound-rich, character –driven features on a wide variety
>of topics including poverty, human rights, refugee situations, immigration, social
>justice, environmental justice, the arts, music, health care and economic
>development. In addition to features, the show also airs a number of shorter, less
>conventional pieces, including reporter notebooks, ‘day in the life’ stories, cooking
>segments and street vendor segments. Most of all, we’re interested in surprising,
>out-of-the-box and under-reported stories that tell us something unique about life
>in the developing world. Our mix is about 80% international stories and 20% domestic.
> Features pieces pay $450 for less than 4 minutes; $650 for 4-6 minutes (our
>most common story length) and $750 for more than 6 minutes. Shorter segments
>generally pay $200-$300. If you’re pitching for the first time, please tell me
>about your experience and send me a couple of audio samples of your work.
> I’m happy to brainstorm ideas and answer any questions.
> Leda Hartman, Assignment Editor
> World Vision Report
> (919) 542-0008

*Platts is looking for a managing editor in D.C. for a weekly and daily trade publication focusing on the coal industry:


Managing Editor

Location: Washington, D.C.

Platts is seeking a managing editor who will be responsible for overseeing a staff of five reporters and a daily and weekly publication, and must be equally comfortable with news and market coverage of the coal industry and coal trading market, including daily assessments for various coal products and NOx and SO2 allowances.  Please apply online:

*AP has an opening for an autos reporter — the location is open:

The Associated Press

Autos Reporter

Location: N/A

The Associated Press Business News Department seeks an experienced autos reporter in the United States who can break news and produce compelling enterprise stories ahead of competitors.

The successful candidate must have a deep knowledge of the domestic and foreign auto industries. The candidate must be a critical thinker who can cover the beat as both a consumer and business story. The ability to identify themes and trends of great interest to car buyers is a must. Must be an aggressive reporter and well-sourced and have a record of producing exclusives. Clear, concise writing is a must. Applicants must have at least 5 years of reporting experience.

For consideration apply via the following URL:

Happy hunting!



Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

When You’ve Been Looking For a Long Time How Colleagues Can be Your Ticket to Jobs

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. arvind pathak  |  June 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm

    i think i will revise my resume,thanks jodi.


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