Resume Euphemisms

atkins-bookshelf-phrasesEach year, millions of Americans enter the workforce — many straight out of college, of course, but many rejoin the business world after a hiatus — moving on from misspent youth, trying a dubious career that didn’t pan out (you know how judgmental employers can be), or raising a family. In most cases, entering the workforce requires writing a compelling resume. And nothing inspires creativity like having to write a resume and promoting your greatest assets — with a bit of embellishment. Susan Ireland, the author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Resume observes, “It’s most important that a resume be honest. However, being honest does not mean ‘telling all.'” Recruiters agree. Judi Wunderlich, co-founder of a talent and recruitment firm in Chicago, adds: “Honesty is usually the best policy, but you’ve got to be careful not to hit them in the face with it.” So why write “stay-at-home parent” when you can write “child advocate.” Lying is too strong a word; you could call these necessary embellishments “resume white lies,” but let’s use a kinder, gentler term — like “resume euphemisms.” So if you are writing a resume, here are some creative resume euphemisms you can use.

Ran a failed business: “experienced entrepreneur”

Got fired: “advocate for the working class”

In between jobs: “self-employed”

Haven’t had a job in a long time: “consultant” or “freelancer”

Raised a family: “child advocate” or “expert problem solver” or “expert trouble shooter” (and not complete give-aways like “domestic engineer” or “household manager”)

Drug dealer: “pharmaceutical rep”

Stripper: “stage performer”

Drug mule: “transporter” or “commodity relocator”

Worked at a web company: “Internet pioneer”

Grew vegetables in your backyard: “small farm owner”

Helped your children with their homework: “tutor” or “success coach”

Actually completed your children’s homework: “perpetual student” or “fast learner”

Shopaholic: “consumer market researcher” or “product specialist”

Party animal: “social network expert” or “event coordinator”

Reads all junk mail: “direct mail marketing expert”

Dropped out of college: “learned by experience” or “learned by doing”

Had a string of unrelated jobs: “business maverick”

Drunkard: “wine industry rep” or “beer rep”

Keeps a daily diary: “unpublished author”

Filed for bankruptcy: “fiscal realist” or “presidential candidate”

Little League coach: “experienced team player”

Trash collector: “environmental services technician”

Failed at several jobs: “extensive experience” or “explores alternative ideas”

Coached track team: “proven track record”

Watches TV all night and sleeps in late: “dependable”

What other resume euphemisms can you suggest?

Read related posts: Best Job Interview Tips
Job Interview Questions at Apple
How Much Math Do We Really Need?
What is the Toughest Job in the World?
How to Make Ethical Decisions
Traits of Great Leaders

For further reading: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Resume by Susan Ireland (2010)

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: