Dumbing Down Your Resume

February 23, 2011

by Randy Wooden at The Wooden Group

Perhaps you’ve read my February 13, 2011, article in the Winston-Salem Journal.  If not, here’s a somewhat controversial take on adapting your resume to meet the job requirements.

You’ve sacrificed time and money to earn your degree, perhaps adding a master’s degree or better. You’re not only proud of your achievements, but employers should value your efforts.

But wait. You’ve lost your job and, perhaps, are perfectly willing to take a step or two backward to not only stop the financial bleeding, but to re-energize yourself.

We’ve been taught a résumé should make you look as strong as possible. But in some cases, your résumé can be too strong. It can make you appear overqualified for the job you seek.

So should you dumb down your résumé? And what does dumbing down mean?

Dumbing down typically refers to your education. Dropping a master’s degree from your résumé when the employer doesn’t require a graduate degree is appropriate in a tight market. The same can apply to your experience and accompanying job titles.

Deciding what to keep and what to drop can be tricky. Is there an accepted trade-off between, say, a master’s degree and years of experience? Employers have differing opinions.

Here’s my rule of thumb. Consider what a job is likely to pay given its requirements. Is a degree “preferred” or mandatory? If preferred, then drop the master’s and just list your bachelor’s degree.

Consider your years of experience and your job titles. Consider dropping jobs prior to 1995 from your résumé, particularly when the requirements are five to 10 years of experience. Do your job titles seem to match the job you’re interested in? If not, consider altering your title to one more in line.

What if you’re self-employed? As the owner and president of The Wooden Group, I’d list “Sales Manager” on my résumé. Or “Operations Manger” or “Marketing Director” or whatever role I needed to reflect my relevant skills.

Résumés are as much a reflection of your work history and achievements as they are a game of matching key words and educational requirements. If you’re too “heavy” on experience or education, you may be able to perform the job with your eyes closed, but most employers won’t consider you for fear that they can’t afford you or that you’ll leave once you find a higher-paying job more in line with your experience.

The immediate goal is to get an interview. And, assuming you don’t have a contact to bypass the screening process, your résumé needs to match the company’s requirements. At least once you’re in person you’ll have your chance to explain your situation. But by including all your experience and education on your application you likely won’t get that chance.


Post Mid-Term Elections…

November 11, 2010

These past elections have put many new faces into our government offices. We’d like to thank everyone who also voted in our “I Lost My Job, Not My Vote” polls.

LINK: The polls are still open, in case you want to check them out


NOW, the *real work* begins for our elected officials. It is easier to make promises than to keep them.

As a reminder to all our elected and government officials, here are the results of our polls, as of today. The struggles for people in job transition are FAR from over, but as long as progress is being made and people are listening to each other, there is hope. And hope is inspirational!


LINK: Unemployment & Financial / Legal Matters


LINK: What Should a Person Do About Job Loss?


LINK: Speak Your Mind – How Would You Create Jobs?


LINK: Thought About Volunteering?


LINK: Do You Have a Checklist?

I Lost My Job, not my VOTE!

October 21, 2010

BE HEARD! Help us reach 1,000,000 votes.

What should our government do to create jobs?


The things our government does affects all of us, all the time.
As the election approaches, voters can stay connected to issues.
Our elected officials and candidates need to hear from us.

ILostMyJob.com is a non-partisan website. Our mission is to do good for people in job transition. We support efforts to create jobs and prosperity for people. We are hosting these polls because:

* people in job transition need to speak up about jobs
* people who have lost jobs should be heard
* elected officials and candidates should listen

Is Your Recruiter Any Closer To The Job Than You?

September 28, 2010

By Phil Rosenberg, President

You’re excited because you just got a call from a recruiter who sought you out. Should you really be excited? While some recruiters can help you, others may hurt your chances to land a specific opportunity – still others may just waste your time.

Not all recruiters are equal. How can you tell if a recruiter is any closer to the job opportunity than you are?

It usually boils down to the relationship that the recruiter has with the hiring manager – not just with the company, but the hiring manager. There are a number of different types of recruiter relationships, and it helps to determine which kind of relationship your recruiter has.

How can you tell which type of recruiter has contacted you? Which type is the most productive to work with? What should you do if you are working with the wrong type but on the right opportunity?

Remember, just because a recruiter has contacted you, doesn’t mean you have to work with them. If you choose to not work with a recruiter, but prefer to work with another recruiter closer to the hiring manager, emailing the recruiter that you don’t wish for them to represent you should do the trick. Make sure you put the recruiter on notice that you don’t want them forwarding your resume.

If they have already forwarded your resume to one of your target companies, email the hiring manager and HR department to inform them that you are not working with this recruiter (this helps avoid the risk of conflicts for the hiring manager).

These are all questions that should be running through the job seekers’ mind while trying to determine what kind of recruiter you want to work with.

Here are some of the basic types of recruiters:

1) Retained recruiter …
2) Contingent fee recruiter …
3) Splits recruiter or sourcer …
4) Recruiter with no relationship …

( Continued … )

Source: http://recareered.blogspot.com

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

Understanding Your Motivation

September 19, 2010

Every day I seem to get at least one person contact me that is having an issue with their motivation.  Actually, this really does not surprise me a great deal.  Those who are dealing with job-loss and extended unemployment for long periods of time often get frustrated and find their motivational levels decrease.  This is is no shocker, or at least it should not be to anyone reading this article.  Spending hours applying for jobs and networking with very little tangible results would put anyone’s motivation into a tailspin!

Unfortunately, there is no “quick-fix” for your motivation, but there is hope!  I found the following article on LiveStrong.com, LiveStrong is the foundation that Lance Armstrong created to fight the battle against cancer.  If you are not familiar with the 7-time Tour de’ France champions story, I encourage you to read about his amazing comeback from his own battle with cancer.

As Lance begins his epic quest to become the first ever 8-time Tour champion, I thought that a recent article that was posted on his website might help those who may be struggling with their own motivation through the career transition process and dealing with job-loss…

The Stages of Change: Understanding Your Motivation

If you happen to need some additional motivation to help you get through your job-loss situation, just check this out…

What if Lance had given up his fight against cancer?  What if he was not motivated to overcome his struggles?

The same is true for you… will you give up during your struggle with unemployment?

Week Recap: September 17, 2010

September 17, 2010

This Friday recap is presented by findmydegree.com, findmygradschool.com & resumezapper.comPlease support us by checking out our sponsors.

Outlook News for Monday’s PodcastsMotivation Monday

Monday’s news for Monday’s motivation podcast was focused on:

Break Down of Unemployment by Education

  • Less than High School Diploma – 11.4%
  • High School Diploma – 10.3%
  • Some College or Associates Degree – 8.7%
  • College Degree & Higher (Bachelors) – 4.6%

For a complete list of the unemployment rate based on education break down click here

Week’s Top Articles

Get ILostMyJob.com on Facebook &Twitter

Connect with Career Doctor Robert Shindell on Linkedin

This Friday recap is presented by findmydegree.comfindmygradschool.comresumezapper.comPlease support us by checking out our sponsors.

Tempted to Fib on Your Resume?

September 8, 2010

It’s no secret, the job market is tough.  Today it’s hard for anyone to find a job.  There are few opportunities and too many people trying to fill them.  Sometimes, with serious competition people will turn to any method they think will work to help them achieve their goals.

Ever heard the saying, If you ain’t cheating, you ain’t trying?

Well, when the difference between winning & losing is a mortgage payment or bankruptcy, cheating starts looking more appealing.  It starts with a little tweak on a resume or fib during a phone interview.  What happens if you have to keep up the lie & it continues to grow?

Then suddenly you’re telling a lie to cover up another lie.  I have found an extreme situation which is in jest but gives you an idea of how large your lies can become if you start fibbing even a little.

This story comes from Redit

Michael J. Martone here says he’s won a Pulitzer prize. He even spelt it wrong!

When Lie's Start They Snow-Ball!

It’s important to be honest when writing a resume, in an interview or even networking.  Our words travel faster than our reputations so be careful what type of things you say about yourself.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything – Mark Twain

Writing a resume isn’t easy but it can be simple if you have the right guide.

Any phone interview can be overwhelming at first but with practice you’ll do wonderful.

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