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Would You Rather Be a Dinosaur?

The other day I was talking to a friend about his professional bio. I wondered why he did not include his experience as a web designer in the bio. To me, designing effective websites requires genius and artistry. 

He said, "It was too long ago. I'm a dinosaur."

I said, "You were in the vanguard of web design!"

You see, we can look at our past experience many different ways. But the way we express it is the way our audience experiences it. 

Would you rather people think of you as a computer dinosaur or as someone in the vanguard of Internet experts? Neither is right or wrong. It's your choice how you present yourself.

What significant choices have you made about your bio and resume? Please share your insights.

Syntax Training  


Posted by Lynn Gaertner Johnson
By Lynn Gaertner-Johnston

Lynn Gaertner-Johnston has helped thousands of employees and managers improve their business writing skills and confidence through her company, Syntax Training. In her corporate training career of more than 20 years, she has worked with executives, engineers, scientists, sales staff, and many other professionals, helping them get their messages across with clarity and tact.

A gifted teacher, Lynn has led writing classes at more than 100 companies and organizations such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Boeing, Nintendo, REI, AARP, Ledcor, and Kaiser Permanente. Near her home in Seattle, Washington, she has taught managerial communications in the MBA programs of the University of Washington and UW Bothell. She has created a communications course, Business Writing That Builds Relationships, and provides the curriculum at no cost to college instructors.

A recognized expert in business writing etiquette, Lynn has been quoted in "The Wall Street Journal," "The Atlantic," "Vanity Fair," and other media.

Lynn sharpened her business writing skills at the University of Notre Dame, where she earned a master's degree in communication, and at Bradley University, with a bachelor's degree in English. She grew up in suburban Chicago, Illinois.

8 comments on “Would You Rather Be a Dinosaur?”

  • I’d rather be called as part of the web design vanguard rather than a computer dinosaur because that would make me look like I’m living under a rock.

  • Years ago when I was working in a very popular bagel shop, I was applying for a job as a receptionist at an office just around the corner (in Seattle’s Pioneer Square, Lynn). Rather than avoid mentioning food service, I referred to it as a temporary job and said, “Maybe you’ve seen me there if you’ve been in at lunchtime.” I played up the friendliness and quick service and thought I might stand out if they knew who I was.

    It worked – I got the job!

    As an aside, it may not look great on a resume, but experience in food service often means someone is very good at multi-tasking.

  • Hi, Neil, “Geek,” and Val. Thanks for dropping by and staying to chat.

    Geek, I like your powerful phrasing: “leading edge of a new technology and communication medium.”

    Thanks for the example, Val. How wise of you to play up the friendliness and quick service when applying for a job as a receptionist! Even now you could talk about that bagel shop job to illustrate your early success at multi-tasking.


  • I am totaly agree . In my Bio , I thought there are many things that wouldn’t grap any one’s attention. And i was mistaken , when i mentioned my military service , I got the job because the knew i might consider the delivery time and i could work under pressure . It was my key rather than my other experience which could be the same for others . Thanks for the good point.

  • When I found myself unexpectedly looking for a career change about 3 years ago, I was concerned that my many years of experience might be misinterpreted – specifically, that a reader might think I could be looking for a job in which to lay low for a few years before retirement (I believe I have many good years left). In the personal section of my resume, I included my love for sailboat racing as an attempt to convey that I could still bring plenty of energy to a new position.

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