Resume Up-sell

by M. Lizabeth Currain

While enduring the first “practicum” class, aka, the “you’re paying to work for free class” of the semester we all had to go around the room and introduce ourselves. People were saying where they were interning and other boring information I could give a flying footnote about, when this one young woman dropped a little gem on us all. I was only half listening so I can’t even remember where she was interning, but she said how the internship is a good fit because her, “background is in the retail book industry.”

And then my brain exploded. It looked a little something like this:

I think what she meant to say is: I used to work at Barnes and Noble.

I get it. We all want to make our job seem a little fancier. I used to tell people I worked for a Non-profit, because technically I did; just in the retail aspect. But saying “non-profit” makes me sound like a do-gooder and like I had a job with meaning.

I’ve also been known to upgrade my job title on resumes as well. I believe I turned “Key-holder” into “Assistant Manager”. Solid up-sell! I did all the work that the assistant managers did, why shouldn’t I have the same title?

I also had the habit of quitting jobs soon after I got them for other opportunities. I turned those jobs into “freelance” work. That’s what freelance is all about! Getting in and getting out!

All I’m saying is, if you’re going to lie about working at Barnes and Noble, you might as well really go for it and say that you worked in Publishing or Distribution. Retail book industry, girl please. Come to me the next time you need help tweaking your resume.