Grimm: How To Tweak Your Resume

Nobody’s advocating lying on your resume, but it’s obviously smart to customize your resume to emphasize the skills pertinent to the job you’re applying for.

Here’s a really good example. A former NFL writer (six years covering the Redskins!) wants to switch to the corporate world, but “I believe that my background has gotten my resume tossed out just because it’s so sports-heavy…Perhaps it’s my own paranoia.” How to solve this dilemma?

Joe Grimm
at Poynter.org answers.

“Diminish the amount of space you use to describe your work covering sports and grow the non-sports part of your resume….build a bridge from what you have done to what you would like to do by putting the work in broader terms. Metrics can help. “I covered Washington’s NFL team, a nationally known organization with an annual budget of $X million and a staff of XXX. Wrote three breaking news pieces a week, two enterprise pieces, a profile and filed live to the Web.” This will help editors see that your journalism skills, rather than your sports knowledge, are the more important part of who you are journalistically.”

The idea is not to hide your niche knowledge but to put it on the back burner behind your industry knowledge and skills. Delete the line about Jim Zorn and focus on your career accomplishments.