Issuu on Google+


1. 800.973.1177

Calling All Psychic Employers [By Melanie G. Lammers] There are millions of possible ways for any candidate to phrase descriptions of past positions, and most of them are perfectly acceptable when taken at face value. Unfortunately, sensible grammar and solid phrasings do not always equal a strong sense of cognitive understanding on the other end. As I have said before, everything in your resume and cover letter should be geared toward another person-another human being with a mind that differs from your own. With this in mind, no one can safely assume that his or her own understanding of the text will translate to another reader’s mind.

Once again, we have to buckle down and

issues you managed, how successful they

for,” but the first mistake one makes in doing

talk grammar. Although I would strongly

were, and, most importantly, what your role

this is replacing a verb with an adjectival

encourage every applicant to utilize a

in corporate governance was. The more

phrase. By using descriptive phrases like

solid, active verb at the beginning of each

explicit your terminology, the less it appears

“responsible for” that have no active value

detailed position description, whether his

you are hiding and the more trustworthy

like verbs do, your document will appear

or her descriptions be individually bulleted

you will seem in the long run. Even if all

inconsistent, as if it is switching back and

or grouped together in paragraphs, this

you really did was “manage drafting and

forth between the voices of different writers.

does not mean that the verbs you choose

production of employment policies and

will speak entirely for themselves. Here

procedures manual alongside senior-level

Similarly, “handle” and “over” should

are some overarching verbs that often

corporate employees in efficient timeframe

be avoided at all costs because they are

sound great in resumes but also get used

with limited supervision,” it sounds more

misused more often than not. Any time


impressive than you might think.

you state that you “handled” something, it literally means that you picked it up in


However, there are also a couple of phrases

your two palms and did something with

serve as

to watch out for when you sit down to write

it. Therefore, you cannot “handle” client


your resume and cover letter:

intake or pretrial proceedings because



responsible for

can lift and “handle.” “Over” tends to get



used incorrectly because of the misguided



assumption that it can function as a relative



These terms, no matter how appealing, will

replace all uses of “over,” when applicable,

acted as

only accent the vagueness of your material

with “more than.” A cow can jump over a

contribute to

and, if your potential employer is paying

fence, but your caseload cannot consist of

close attention, your uneducated phrasings

“over” 30 cases because the number of cases

of choice.

you are working on is not physically hovering

Used sparingly, without much repetition,

neither of these is a physical object that you

term when describing quantity; it is best to

over the number 30.

these words can serve very important purposes in your documents, but they cannot

One of the most important things to

handle the pressure on their own. The

remember is that words and phrases you

This stuff may sound ridiculous, but being

moment you leave them out on the edge by

currently use in conversation may not appear

aware of the difference between simply

themselves without backup is the moment all

to be anything but slang or lazy terminology

having experience and demonstrating

of your qualifications start to deflate in terms

on paper. Everything on paper should appear

intellectual knowledge may just give you an

of cognitive value.

more formal than it would sound if you were

edge in terms of employability.

speaking to someone in person. For instance, “managed corporate governance issues successfully” sounds

Looking at “responsible for” as an example,

extremely impressive until an employer sits

many applicants will replace a verb like

down to read it and wonders what kinds of

“managed” or “assisted” with “responsible


Calling All Psychic Employers