I am fortunate to escape from studies a little bit to enjoy the fall foliage in Colorado during this fall break and to meet a friend who is a career advisor and was specialized in writing before in the University of Colorado. We had dinner together (awesome homemade pizza) and discussed about resume writing, which actually pushed me to think further about writing as a way of presenting ethos. I asked a question perhaps every graduating student would ask: what do employers see the most important in a resume? Or what is one recommendation you would give on resume writing? She told me that one suggestion is do not lie. I think most people will have the same reaction with me when hearing this advice for the first time. I don’t think anybody would lie about their resume, but these cases exist and it does not exist in a small group. However, we should pay close attention to the definition of lying because it can be considered to be a good “lie” when we elaborate the words and make it better matches with our career goal or a particular position while a bad lie is to simply lie about the fact that does not exist or create stories that have never happened.
Resume is an extreme example of presenting writer’s ethos because the whole point of resume is to help others, especially the potential employer, to read about a person’s ethos and to analyze if he/she matches with the position. But if we think in a broader sense, we could not find single one type of writing which does not present the writers’ ethos because writers are disclosing different aspects of themselves through writing content and everything necessary to complete the writing process. Therefore, writing itself is a self-disclosure; it is a presentation of ethos.
Then we have talked about a different format of resume which is more skill-based than the traditional chronological formatting. This change in writing a resume is actually also a part of writing though it will not be a big one. Written in a different order, the resume can stand out only because it is from a different perspective or format if ignoring the actual content. Writing (especially when it serves some kinds of functions) is just like making advertisement, which requires us not only to create the content, but to design the packages. All in all, I just want to say that writing is not all about writing; it is also about how we present ourselves as writers and how we perfect the presentation.