Resume Etiquette: ’Highly Motivated’ Isn’t a Skill

Angel Rodriguez Frito Lay HR VP

Making mistakes on a resume is a common thing that everyone has done at one point or another. Listing skills an important part of the resume function, as skills themselves redeem your measurable qualities. A list of skills that should not be mentioned on your resume are:

  • Highly motivated
  • Multitask oriented
  • Performance excellence
  • Active pursuit
  • Progressively Responsible
  • Spotless Criminal Record
  • Globally wise
  • Deadline oriented
  • Complex thinker

Skills should not be a creative description of your personality. This list points out a few of the most used ‘skills’ implemented into resumes, but the list goes on.

Another important aspect of a resume is actually the file name that you save your resume as in your personal computer. As you upload an attachment to send to a potential employer, they will see your file name. Make sure that it is not only appropriate, but clean and easy to find if they end up saving your resume to their computer. The file name should be your name. Here are a few examples that do not work and show inefficiency:

  • 2014_resume_and_cover_letter_for_an_appointment_scheduler
  • Alternate_resume_for_second_choice
  • My_amazing_resume

Other considerations while submitting your resume to a potential employer include ‘personal branding’, which is how you present yourself to potential employers. When submitting a resume, candidates should I’ve a lot of thought to the details of their resume.

A key detail is your email display name. This may be a simple fact to remember, but some people like to put nicknames as official sign-off names for emails, so when a potential employer receives an email from a person who used a nickname, they see “1 unread email from TrailBlazer”. This is not very professional or organized-looking.

It’s also interesting how people interpret the concept of making your resume different or stand-out in the pile of potential candidates. Never say things like:

“I’m it, trust me.” or “I can send a cover letter if you really want one.”

These are super unprofessional and it does not fare well with serious employers who are looking for respectful candidates to employ.

Candidates should do a great deal of research and preparation in order to understand how recruiters make decisions. Your resume is a marketing tool that demonstrates competence. If your submission reflects a weak first impression, you’re not going to be considered for the job.

Your Brand, Your Reputation

Angel Rodriguez Frito Lay HR VP


Companies build their brands via a clear plan, consistently invest in their growth, and relentlessly protect their images.

Individuals must do the same. However, many people don’t spend enough time on their Brand, on their Reputation.

Plan Your Brand Building

Lay out a 15 year plan for your journey.

  • Ask yourself the tough questions – where do I visualize myself? What is important to me? What are my strengths and opportunities? Where is my Passion? What will people say about me before I arrive and after I leave? What will be my legacy? Seek Personal Clarity and establish your “VISION”.
  • Clearly assess how the your Aspirations, Capabilities, and Choice Flexibility all intersect and/or complement each other. This is a VERY important item. Your Aspirations will change over time as your life matures. Your Capabilities will also evolve as your career progresses and you identify your strengths. Your level of Choice Flexibility is the true “governor”. It is impacted by the important factors in your life as well as your willingness to “sacrifice”.
  • Identify the Core Life Message that will guide you in every arena. For example, mine is “Impact The Lives Of Thousands For The Better”. Everything that I focus on has this Life Message at the center.
    Set your goals along multiple layers – Professional, Personal, Physical, Emotional, Intellectual, Financial, Spiritual, Community, etc. Be reasonable in goal setting. Laying out numerical and/or situation based metrics is a great tactic. Year over year consistency is the key.

Invest In Your Growth

  • With your plan in hand (or at least on paper), move forward with courage and intentionally seek opportunities to build your skills, craft meaningful relationships, and establish your image.
  • Take inventory of the relationships in your life and align them against your goals. Are there opportunities for reciprocity? Engage in discussions with others about your goals and ask “how can I help you?”
  • Develop a Personal Board Of Directors. Imagine a conference room table with the “right” people in the room discussing, aligning, and advising on a very important item – YOU and YOUR SUCCCESS. Think about the 6-8 people in your life that you can seek counsel from with the assurance that they will be honest with you and feel vested in your success. Level does not matter – caring candor does. Do not limit the “board members” to current corporate partners – ensure that your entire life vision is reflected.
  • Secure professional support in areas that you are not comfortable with or need support. Examples include Time Management, Writing Skills, Presentation Skills, and Technology.

Protect Your Reputation

  • Be very aware of your leadership image. This is especially important as you progress upwardly in your career. The shadow that you cast expands exponentially with each promotion, with each success, with each positive interaction. This is an area that many great leaders have experienced a “speed bump”.
  • “Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres” means “tell me who are with and I will tell you who you are”. It is an old saying in the Latino culture that has been shared by grandparents across generations. This is also an area where great leaders have faced issues. Surround yourself with as many people as possible who share your values, have your drive, and exude positive energy. If there are people in your circle that limit your growth, then you should minimize their impact. Remember Greatness attracts Greatness.
  • My experience is that when you face obstacles – you lift yourself up and realize that your resolve is always greater than your circumstances. Find the true confidence within and rise like the Phoenix that you really are. There are many who admire you and are counting on you.