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May I babysit your kids?

Resumes & Cover Letters

The following is an exercise I like to do in my Résumé Writing Workshop. I choose someone in the class who has a child and ask if I may babysit for them. Here’s how the conversation usually goes:

May I babysit your children?


But I have a Master’s in Business Administration.


I also have my Network+ Certification.

Still, no.

I hired, trained, and supervised 150 employees.

Um, no.

I managed a budget for supplies and equipment totaling over $3M.


I taught second grade for five years and received an award for increasing test scores by 28% within the first semester.

Hmmm… still, no.

I was voted the PTA’s Teacher of the Year three years in a row for my consistent communication and collaboration with students’ parents and guardians.


I am CPR certified for infants and adults, as well as trained in First Aid and Poison Control.

Tell me more…

I have two kids of my own whom I’ve managed to raise to love fruits, vegetables, and outdoor activities.


The point of this exercise is to display the importance of being concise and direct when writing a résumé. I see so many of my clients make the mistake of hiding the relevant part of their experience within big blocks of text. Recruiters don’t have time to mine for qualifications. That information should be easy to find and expressed in a way that the reader doesn’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about whether or not it relates to the position. Using the job posting’s minimum and preferred qualification sections to build a profile or summary on the top third of the first page is a good way to do just that.

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