What A Massive Pimple Can Teach You About Resumes

Imagine that you have a big first date tomorrow night.  You’ve been excited but nervous about this date for the last week. The person you are going out with is HOT and you want to make a great first impression. Unfortunately, you woke up today with a massive pimple on your forehead. Hey, zit happens.

So, you go the drug store desperately looking for a product that will help you remove this blemish in the next 24 hours. You find two choices.

The 1st product is called Brand A. On the outside of the bottle for Brand A, it says:

  • Designed to remove pimples and used by people all over the U.S.”

The 2nd product is called Brand B.  On the outside of the bottle for Brand B, it says:

  • 100% guaranteed to remove pimples within 6 hours and used by more than 1 million people each week.”

Brand A could be just as effective for your acne as Brand B.  However, Brand A simply told you what it was responsible for doing, while Brand B provided you with compelling evidence that it could get you the results you were seeking.  If you could only try one product, your choice would be pretty easy.

What’s the point?  Most people create resumes that are like Brand A. They just talk about what they were responsible for and they don’t provide any compelling evidence that they could get employers the results they are seeking. Then, they are somehow surprised when employers don’t blow up their cell phone and inbox with job offers.

You need to be like Brand B: offer compelling evidence for why you are the best person for the job.

If you are creative, you can offer compelling evidence for your credibility, no matter how inexperienced or unimpressive you might think your background is.

As a student in college, I had a part-time job as a personal trainer at Bally Total Fitness. One of my responsibilities was to sell fitness packages to members at the gym. The bullet point on the resume of most students would have said, “Responsible for selling fitness packages to gym members.”  That would have been the Brand A way to describe myself.

However, I wanted to be like Brand B, so the bullet point on my resume said, “Generated over 400% of January 2003 sales goal.”

This was 100% true. My sales goal for January 2003 was $800 and I made one sale for $3,300.

Be like Brand B!  Employers don’t care about what you were responsible for, so give them compelling evidence that you are credible.


Pete Leibman is the Founder of Dream Job Academy and the Author of the new book titled “I Got My Dream Job and So Can You.” His career advice has been featured on Fox, CBS, and CNN, and he is a popular Keynote Speaker at career events for college students and at conferences for people who work with college students.