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PLACE YOUR AD: 928.556.2298 | www.azdailysun.com/ads arizona daily sun | azdailysun.com EmploymEnt Visit: azdailysun.com/jobs for your next job. $$ we buy vehicles $$ Directory Personals: ...........................100 Real Estate:........................ 700 Service Directory: ..200-300 Rentals: ..............................800 Employment: .....................400 Autos: ................................900 Misc. for Sale:........500-600 Bargain Corner: .................998 774-7044 www.FlagstaffAutoOutlet.com utoOutlet.com $$ no hassle • easy way to sell $$ Is It smart to dumb down your resume? Overqualified? While you don’t have to include everything you’ve ever done on your resume, don’t cross the line into dishonesty. Kim Isaacs, Monster contributor If you’re an experienced worker, you might be wondering if you should dumb down your resume to land an interview for a position for which you might seem overqualified. This strategy could include downplaying or omitting work experience, resume skills, education and degrees, and other credentials. But is reworking your resume in this manner a wise thing to do? Employment experts weigh in with their advice. Special circumstances can warrant it Tracy Parish, a certified professional resume writer and president of resume-writing firm TrendSettingResumes in Kewanee, Illinois, has encountered situations when dumbing down a resume can work. “Obviously, a person needs to keep bread on the table, so accepting a lower position is becoming more common, and the resume needs to be appropriately tailored,” she says. credentials on your resume, you still must provide a thorough account on a job application. A resume is a strategic marketing piece, whereas a job application is a signed, legal document that requires full disclosure. Headhunters: Matchmaking in the Labor Market, also agrees that job seekers shouldn’t dumb down their resumes. “Misrepresentation, if it is discovered, is a deal breaker because it calls the candidate’s honesty into question,” he says. What are the risks? Overqualified workers may have an edge “You should think carefully before determining if you should dumb down your resume,” says Robert Hosking, senior vice president and managing director of search practices at Lee Hecht Harrison Knightsbridge, a global staffing agency. “Employers can easily learn about job seekers’ work histories, education and credentials online or through references, so you should be truthful.” “We do not recommend that job seekers hide relevant information,” says Carrie Stone, a former Disney executive and current president of cStone & Associates, an executive search and leadership consulting firm in San Diego. “If job seekers misrepresent credentials, they are While you don’t have to include everything you’ve ever done on your seen as dishonest and employers will question their integrity.” resume, don’t cross the line into dishonesty. “Never lie,” Parish says. “It William Finlay, PhD, professor will come back to haunt you.” of sociology at the University If you decide to omit some of your of Georgia and coauthor of Finlay’s research suggests some good news for job seekers who are willing to accept lower-level positions but are concerned about being perceived as overqualified. “We may be entering an era in which being overqualified is no longer a liability,” he says. “A generation ago, a college degree became a requirement for jobs that previously required only a high school diploma. Now, we are seeing evidence of people with JDs and MBAs being hired for jobs that previously would have gone to people with undergraduate degrees.” Stone has seen this trend in her recruiting career as well. “Previously, employers may have been concerned about hiring overqualified individuals, fearing that when the economy rebounds these employees may leave for other opportunities,” she says. “Since When is it wise to downplay your experience? we are not seeing a robust rebound in the market, savvy employers are hiring these overqualified employees while achieving value pricing.” Smarter strategies Parish, who agrees that dumbing down the resume is generally not a good idea, says job seekers should shoot for the stars. “If experienced workers are armed with an extraordinary resume and launch an aggressive job search, they could find their ideal jobs and won’t have to settle,” she says. Here are three strategies for experienced job seekers who don’t want to dumb down their resumes: 1. Customize: “A resume needs to be custom-designed, highly targeted and well above average to gain interest,” Parish says. Include a qualifications summary that provides an overview of your value. 2. Summarize: “It’s perfectly fine to omit details that aren’t relevant to the position you are applying for,” Hosking says. “For example, you don’t need to include a job you held in high school 40 years ago or expound on a job in another field that isn’t relevant to the position you’re seeking.” Parish recommends detailing only the past 10 to 15 years of your employment history, and relegating older employment to an Additional Experience or Early Career section at the bottom. Unrelated degrees or specialized training can be downplayed or eliminated as long as they are appropriately listed on an application form, she says. 3. Overcome objections: Stone says job seekers should anticipate objections employers might have, and use the cover letter to address how age and experience can be a tremendous asset to the organization. “Seek to understand employers’ concerns and then sell around those concerns with brevity, clarity and confidence,” she says.