Revealing Resumes

Student confabulist Adam Wheeler has been in the news for faking his way into Harvard. Proof of his exaggerations and prevarications came on his resume, which claims authorship of six books and mastering of Classical Persian.

While I cannot condone lying about credentials, Wheeler’s resume is instructive in another way. His formatting exemplifies good resume practice. The font is clear and legible. The categories are logically labeled. The most important information comes first.

He avoids other common pitfalls of resume writing. The dates appear on the right, which effectively emphasizes the (embellished) achievements, not the years he accomplished them. Wheeler also gives explanatory text for institution-specific awards. This helps contextualize honors unfamiliar to many outside Harvard.

The resume is also notable for what it leaves out. It doesn’t say “Resume” on the top. It doesn’t say “Reference furnished upon request,” both phrases are pointless. He doesn’t include irrelevant personal information. If any good came from Wheeler’s deception, it is the reminder of how to put together a resume that gets you noticed.


2 Responses to “Revealing Resumes”

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