Feature

Workplace

Dumbing down a résumé

Many job seekers are taking a red pen to their résumés in an effort to land jobs for which they’re “overqualified,” said Jane Porter in The Wall Street Journal. They’re “gearing down their résumés by hiding advanced degrees, changing too-lofty titles, shortening work experience descriptions, and removing awards and accolades.” As these frustrated former executives see it, strategic modesty is their only shot to land any sort of interview. Sadly, there’s some truth to that. “I’d never feel comfortable putting a really high-level candidate into a lower-level position,” says recruiter Jamaica Eilbes. “We don’t want to take you on if we think you are going to jump ship.”

When it comes to résumés, less may be more these days, said Janet Kidd Stewart in the Chicago Tribune. But rather than dumb down your credentials, fine-tune which ones you emphasize. ”Don’t look at the résumé as a complete history,” says Renee Rosenberg, a coach for the Five O’Clock Club, a national networking and job-hunting group. Instead, rewrite the résumé so it’s “appropriate” for each position and employer. By giving “deep explanations of the skills most transferable to the job,” she says, you can show that you’re not just qualified—you’re precisely right for the job.

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