Gilding the Resume

In this world, one must tout of their accomplishments; yet no man is an island. So, if I say I championed something…does that imply that I, and only I, did this? Should I use this word cautiously?

…Does “advocated” sound a little more humble?

  • Jinx

Both are buzz words. I would choose “champion” if you were actively pushing it, “advocate” if you were more just supportive of it.

No, it is perfectly OK.

Maybe other people worked on it, but the resume is not about them, it is about you. If you want to mention other people’s efforts, it should be in the context of telling what a great job of team-building you did.

A resume is like a bikini - it should reveal much that is interesting while covering everything that is essential. And inspire the desire to create a relationship wherein one gets to see everything else.


I would interpret championed to mean that you were either the only advocate or the primary advocate. I would think you had gone too far in your creative wording if I asked you more about the situation and you were one of three people who advocated equally for the program, or your role was subordinate to the true, primary champion.

Also, champion, to me, does not necessarily tell me you had a role in implementing whatever it was. I’d say it covers everything through the proposal approval stage (like “championed replacement of 1920s style death rays with modern laser death rays”) but I’d want another verb to tell me that you actually saw the plan through to action (“and supervised their installation in the fleet’s 200 pod transporter units”).

a) Shodan, I like your analogy!
b) Harriett, I see your point. Then again, I’ve run into trouble with “supervised” where some interviewers thought I was actually in charge of a group of people. Yet, “supervised” can mean administered.
c) In a matrix-structured org, it is hard as hell to draw a circle around what is actually yours. I didn’t build the team, and I’d get into a pissing match with the deadweight if they could read my resume. I’m not trying to lie…I just want due credit for my piece of the action! What is one to do? I wager I should follow Shodan’s advice and push the envelope without sacrificing its (my) integrity…a fine line to toe!

FYI: There’s only two of us doing similar work. My co is a called a Lead, but c’mon…a Lead of one? We’re equal in my eyes.