”Yes, I Invented Post-It Notes” Or To Pad, Or Not To Pad?

With all that talk about the thousands of new competitors you’re going to have for every job thanks to the Internet, you’re probably already thinking about padding your resume. After all, I’ve been railing and railing on you about putting your best foot forward in this one concise page, right? So when the competition is this thick, should you push the envelope to add “extras” that might make the difference between a nice paycheck and another month on unemployment?

Yes, you should. It’s my opinion that you should give yourself every reasonable advantage you can get away with. But padding your resume is an art – it’s not something you can just do haphazardly and expect to get away with. There are some guidelines to follow when you’re padding, and these guidelines will usually ensure that you give your resume some added “oomph” without opening yourself up to looking foolish or, at worst, getting fired later on.

What padding is, and what padding isn’t

Padding means different things to different people. But hey, this is my site, so we’re going to use my definition. Some people think “padding” means inventing jobs, skills and accomplishments out of thin air – jobs you never had, skills you don’t begin to have and accomplishments you never accomplished – and adding them to beef up your resume. That’s not padding – that’s just stupid. I’ll explain why on the next few pages.

There’s no perfect definition of smart resume padding, but there are a few principles which can be your guide.

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