Charlie Bucket And The Lie About Resumes

Resumes do not serve us as an account of everything we’ve ever done. They should be a ticket to where we’re going…


Do you remember how Charlie Bucket got himself inside the chocolate factory? He found that elusive golden ticket. But unlike ‘ole Charlie boy your future shouldn’t hinge upon catching a lucky break. When it comes to this ticket you get to write your own.

Instead of starting with a list of all the tasks you’ve ever done start by thinking about the place you want to go next.

For instance, if there is something you do all the time at work that you hate, don’t write it down. Your resume is not your permanent record. If you only like 10% of your current job make that 10% into 100% of your resume.

You should never mislead your qualifications but am I suggesting you cherry pick the things you want to do next? Absolutely.

Your experiences are the building blocks which is why it’s so important to know as much as possible about the thing you are trying to get.


Study the job posting. Study the company. Ask people already doing the job what makes a great candidate. Then go work on some activities aligned with that role.

If these activities don’t exist at your current job, create them. Say you work as a brick layer but want to get into accounting. Go tally up the concrete tickets. There’s always something you can do. Make it sound like you have already worked there by doing actual work. If you don’t think you have such opportunities then you’re right.

The only criteria for something going on your resume is that you did it.

Not who assigned it. Writing a ticket specific to where you want to go will better serve your goals and your chances. Not like that euro-rail-pass thing.

It might be worthwhile to still include some stuff you don’t like (law degree ;) ?) and other experiences may be useful in conversation even if not written down. Make a call on how to leverage your hard work for what you want to do next.


Most of all don’t forget who writes your resume. We’re under no obligation to paint ourselves into a corner. Don’t let the lie keep you in shackles.

Otherwise you could find yourself eating a lot of Wonka bars.