Career Tips

What If Current/Past Supervisors Wrote Your Resume?

By Lisa Parker

Wouldn’t it be interesting if resumes were prepared by current and former supervisors instead of by the job seeker? What would they say about you? How different would the content be? What functions and strengths would be highlighted? What results would be showcased?

I was talking about the above concept with a job seeker recently. Guess what she said. “That would be awful! My bosses rarely knew and appreciated the full scope of what I did for that company!”

Houston, we have a problem. My first thought was, “Gee, I wonder if that’s why you’re no longer employed.”

So much attention is given to making a case for what skills, talents and value we have to offer potential employers. We go to great lengths, research all sorts of strategy, to capture their attention and trust, but forget to do so after the offer letter is received. Once hired, the message to employers of what value we are contributing, what we’ve accomplished and how broad our abilities and functions have become vanishes.

Some believe employers “should know” what they are doing and how much they are contributing. Maybe they should, but if you have any reason to suspect they don’t, you are the one accountable to correcting that problem. If you are reading this thinking my boss wouldn’t have a clue what to put on my resume then you are knowingly in a situation where your boss has no real idea what he/she is getting in return for your paycheck. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t be comfortable with that knowledge. This is an economy where employees who aren’t believed to be improving the balance sheet of the company don’t have a lot of staying power.


Lisa joined the Michigan State University Alumni Association as Director of Alumni Career & Business Services on May 1, 2012. Her primary focus is to develop effective networking and resource channels for experienced alumni interested in professional development and job search strategy assistance. Additionally, Lisa works directly with corporate, education, foundation and government partners seeking to attract qualified talent, retain and develop good employees, and establish collaborative relationships in line with their established goals and objectives.

With 15+ years’ experience in third party recruiting, Lisa offers a balanced understanding of both employee and employer perspectives.

Lisa is a firm advocate of the networking process and considers it a vital element in a successful job search. In addition to helping job seekers develop and best utilize networking contacts, Lisa shares her knowledge and insight-gained aiding corporate recruiting efforts-to give Spartan job seekers an edge in terms of lead sourcing, resume presentation and interview strategy.

Among Lisa’s notable accomplishments: Prima Civitas Foundation Scholar; Michigan Works Association Volunteer of the Year; Pink Slip Mid Michigan Planning Committee; career content blogger.

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Michigan State University.


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