It's my belief that dark work is afoot when people stray too far from plain English, so I tend to flinch when I hear somebody say "strategized" instead of "planned." But I also think that no one is going to hell for using such a word on a resume. After all, the target audience is an HR worker who embraces such verbal shenanigans and might be offended by their absence, sort of like a Parisian waiter who spits in the food of a party that insists on speaking to him in English. Having your resume spit on is never a good sign.
Still, it seems like the whole resume business is taken far too seriously. It's usually not a completely accurate picture of a job seeker (people seldom disclose on a resume how many work hours a day they wasted on the Internet), and it breathlessly hypes the mundane. I can take all the "N" action words suggested by one Web site and make putting my nephews to bed sound like Wall Street drama. " I named a book to be read at bedtime (I chose a Harvard Business School case study, of course) and then negotiated a settlement that trended toward "The Runaway Bunny." I narrated the book's contents until I noticed my nephews had gone to sleep. I then nurtured a bottle of wine.
My employment prospects are hardly going to be enhanced by pointing such things out. Whether or not I like language of resumes, I had better become fluent in it. Who knows, it might even help with a resume as sorry as mine.
Let's see, I was a busboy in high school, but now that I think about it I was really a "Senior Manager of Table Maintenance." I boomeranged in the early '90s, and that's definitely a hole in the ol' CV. A little sleight of hand just might work here:
1990 - Repositioned to main offices of Parnell Inc. Orchestrated the acquisition of beer and junk food, oversaw their distribution and consumption and pinpointed when such assets had fallen to unacceptable levels. Notified superiors of urgent need to outlay capital for revitalization of stock.
OK, that sounds a little better. Now on to my time at The Telegraph. Perhaps I should reach here a little and mention an idea that I proposed.
Conceptualized and developed an advertising slogan that targeted female readers, an at-risk category. The slogan was "The Telegraph -- you know you want it." Rehabilitated slogan after consulting with executives, and eventually established slogan as touchstone for other ideas.
As in, "let's not ever let such a dumb idea see the light of day!"