This isn’t only a principle of padding; it’s a principle of good resume writing and, for that matter, all good writing. But I mean to take it a step further here in our padding section to remind you that even seemingly frivolous or even fun things you’ve done on the job can be described as a highfalutin’ responsibility that you never failed to meet. Let me give you a couple of real-life examples:
During my time at the aforementioned Cox Interactive, I attended a weeklong senior producers’ conference at our home base in Atlanta. We had plenty of time to interact with senior company management and we had some seminars to attend, but the overarching theme of the conference was to get together with other senior producers to share ideas. Ideas about how to make our sites more successful, how to manage and motivate our people (which I really needed, since many of my people were still bristling about my promotion).
That’s the idea, anyway. But the company failed to realize what happens when two dozen 20-somethings with company Amex cards get plucked from their jobs and whisked off to a 4-star hotel in an exciting city for a week. More than a little “cutting loose” took place.
We got together, all right, and to be fair, we did shoot the breeze about our jobs quite a bit. But most of it came after our heads were clouded with multiple mixed drinks, and even then, we were usually just bitching about our bosses, bitching about our employees or bitching about how far our corporate management had its head up its ass (we were right on the latter). And I recall a handful of my colleagues stumbling off to spend the night in rooms that were not their own. Oh, the scandal!
Thanks to this drunken carousing, very little was learned in our early-morning seminars, other than where the closest drugstore was located that sold Halls cough drops to get that awful gin smell off our breath. Late morning seminars weren’t much better. Afternoon seminars were skipped in favor of a little “nap therapy.”
In retrospect, I’m surprised we learned anything at all during the entire week. But this kind of stuff happens at conferences all the time. If the conference involves young people, multiply it by 3. If it involves the marketing profession, multiply it by 5.
Now, what does this have to do with your resume? Well, just because my conference turned out to be little more than 25 gin-soaked Internet yuppies groping each other for a week doesn’t mean that it can’t make a meaningful statement on my resume…..