How to dumb-down your resume for something more temporary

This might be the answer to my ‘overqualified’ problem!  It’s not me!  It’s my super-fancypants resume!  What’s the next installment going to be?  How to dumb down your vocab to a second grade reading level to ace an interview?  Sorry-that sounded bitter.  But bitter times call for bitter posts 😀 So trim it down to the one degree and retool job titles and description to “meh” rather than “wow”.

Lifehacker – Land Short-Term Work with a Dumbed-Down Résumé – Jobs.


3 thoughts on “How to dumb-down your resume for something more temporary”

  1. Dumbing down your resume is a hot topic right now. Maybe due to the job vs. jobless ratio?

    Of course there are jobseekers and career professionals aligned on both sides of the debate. I always like to look at topics from a practical standpoint, but usually I come up with a “it depends” response. Not all job-search cases are the same. Not all jobseekers are the same.

    But, a resume is a marketing piece that is designed to sell a person to the prospective hiring company. Jobseekers would do a better job marketing themselves if they took lessons for Corporate America. Businesses develop websites, brochures, flyers, and other marketing material based on their target demographic. A company might have 25-75 different brochures/flyers being used at any given time, for example.

    The materials handed out to one set of prospects for a specific genre (i.e. working women) would be different than that handed to another group (i.e. a diverse crowd; age, race, sex). It’s about providing targeted materials to the right readers/audience.

    “Dumbing down” resumes can be difficult, if not near impossible in some cases. In fact, I’ve turned away clients because of it.

    Issues that seem to be the most concern are education and work experience/caliber of job title(s). Business owners, in particular, toy with the idea of dumbing down their resumes because once they’ve held that “Founder, Owner” title it’s difficult to transition to a more supportive title where they are not the head cheese. [smile]

    The resume should never be dumbed down (I hate this term, but I’ll go with it), unless the jobseeker knows that advanced degree or overqualified skill set is truly the cause for lack of return. After all, the lack of response could be caused by other factors, such as:

    * Hiring professionals don’t like the resume layout used (yes, hard to believe it!)
    * Hiring professionals don’t have a clear understanding of your relevant skill set
    * Hiring professionals are simply bogged down with resumes from thousands of others with similar backgrounds

    What if you don’t know about your over-qualification until you’re finishing up the job interview? I always have a hard time with this one because why did the interviewer waste his time meeting with you if he knew you were clearly over-qualified just by reviewing your resume? It leads one to believe the “sorry, thanks for your time, but you’re over-qualified for this position” statement to be nothing more than a brush off because the interviewer has already made his selection of the interviewee before you. Do you think this too?

    Do I support the practice of dumbing down a resume? Yes in some cases I do. It’s a matter of being employed versus not being employed. We all want/need to work.

    Knowing when you’ve exhausted all efforts, before taking the drastic step of “nipping and tucking” the resume, is half the battle.

    I wish we lived in a world where people didn’t have to hide their full credentials, but I understand why they do.


  2. Thank you so much for your comments. They are very insightful and true. A ‘dumbed-down’ resume isn’t right for everyone for every job but, when you’re just looking to land a job for the here and now, a lady has got to do what a lady has got to do.
    I’m not really sure why employers throw out the “overqualified” excuse at the end of an interview. I have talked myself around that successfully but only once. I was transitioning back into the non-legal world and thought the job would give me a new skill set. My employer was concerned that I was overqualified for the position but I was ready to address that when it was brought up. I’m having more trouble with this issue in the current economy because I’m not even getting interviews and have reason to believe it’s my grad degree and other work on my resume.
    Thanks for your comments and I agree completely. Good luck with the job hunt!

  3. A lot of job seekers make the same basic mistakes an untrained sales person makes. The customer comes in and the salesman starts SELLING — before he even asks what the customer is looking for. Because the salesman is interested in sports cars, he sells what interests HIM rather than finding out what the prospect cares about — which may be an SUV for a “family car.” Your resume is just a sales brochure. Ideally, it is a mirror image of the employer’s job description. No more, no less. If the job description doesn’t mention anything about an MBA, then don’t put it on your resume. I don’t care how much effort you put into it or how much it cost you. It’s as irrelevant to that employer as the features of a sports car are to an SUV shopper. If you insist on putting it on your resume, just throw it in the trash right now and save yourself the stamp. Employers are looking to put a square peg in a square hole. If you want the job, you need to look like a square peg.

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