Why Including Everything on Your Resume Could Backfire

Hi, everyone! Adam with Johnson & Hill
Staffing. There is a school of thought that I bump into here and there in
regards to resumes that is of the thought process that all of your
qualifications and degrees and certifications–all of your experience
really no matter what experience it is or what the qualifications are, that that
information should all be included in the resume because it shows versatility,
and it shows a commitment in all these different things. Logically, in a lot
of ways, that really seems to make a lot of sense. But let me give you an example
then that can help to illustrate things a little bit more. I’ll take myself as an
example. I have a bachelor’s degree in English, I’ve got a cosmetology license,
I’ve got a massage therapy license, in the state of New York I actually have a
barbers apprenticeship license, and I also have some training in the culinary
arts field, and I have an intermediate level of fluency in the French language.
So that’s my educational background there. And now in terms of work, I of
course am and have worked in recruiting and staffing. I’ve worked in nonprofit
fundraising. I’ve worked in restaurants (both front of the house and back of the
house), and I have also worked in a little bit of agriculture. So I’ve got all that
in terms of my experience there. So this this sort of mindset is that I should
put all that information in my resume and show how versatile I really am
because that will appeal to employers . And as logical as that seems, it actually
isn’t true at all. I have honestly never put together a resume that has all those
things in there, and there’s a couple reasons for that. The first one is that
variety isn’t always the spice of life. It’s good to be versatile. I’ve been a
jack-of-all-trades for a very long time, and it serves me well, and I love it. But
again, I’ve never put together a resume that shows all those things because a
resume reviewer needs to see some kind of at least consistent intent in your
resume, in terms of where you come from where you’re trying to go because. If all
they see is a million different directions, they have no idea where
you’re wanting to go next, and they really can’t get a solid idea as to
whether or not the job they have might be a match for you because they really
don’t know what your career goals are. They should be able to reasonably
ascertain that information just by looking at your resume; it shouldn’t
require a conversation on the phone or in person. So that’s the most important part
there. Now the solution is simply, of course, is to just go ahead and tailor
that resume to the job in terms of your summary. In terms of your experience and
your qualifications. Really make it a focused resume. That way, they can clearly
see where you’re trying to go because if they get confused, when they get unsure,
that leads to the recycle bin, which of course is the very last place that we
all want our resume to be after we’ve submitted it somewhere. So that’s fair
enough. Now, reason number two gets to
that word “overqualified” that we hear so often. And there’s so many different ways
that it can actually work out. So for starters, lots of qualifications, lots
of degrees and certifications typically translates into more money. And in a lot
of cases, an employer might not be willing to have that conversation or
consider that. And in some cases, they may not even have to worry about it because
if they’re posting a particular job and they are getting a lot of resumes from
candidates whose qualifications and whose degrees and certificates, they’re
all around the level that’s listed in the job requirements, they’re not going
to have to worry about paying more money because they’re already getting really
strong applicants who will work at the stated rates in the job description or
on the job advertisement. So they really won’t have to worry about like “well you
know, should we think about paying more if we get somebody that’s more qualified
than this?” And they probably won’t have that conversation because they
don’t have to. So the next thing that gets really, really tricky is it leads to
the question of “Well I have a master’s degree, or I have this, or I have that.
Does that mean that after all that hard work and all the investment that I made
into my education that I just shouldn’t even list it on the resume
because it’ll scare people away?” And there’s no one solid answer that works
for everybody in that situation. As an example, let’s say that I got (I
didn’t but let’s say that I got) a master’s degree in
English literature, Elizabethan Era. Let’s say that I got a master’s degree in that
and now I’m applying to an entry-level position in a financial services office.
It’s going to create confusion because there is no direct link between my
additional education and this particular position. It’s a little bit confusing for
the reader because they’re probably thinking that “Oh they must have wanted to
go somewhere else in their career and now they’re going here. Does this make sense?” My
degree doesn’t really serve the position, so if this really is a direction that
I’m committed, to the financial world, my degree is not going to make me a stronger
candidate. It’s gonna make me a confusing candidate. Now, that would change if, let’s
say, I got an MBA. Because what’s great about that, it’s a direct connection to
the business world, and it shows my commitment to that field, to that
industry. And that I want to continue to push myself and learn and grow, so I went
off on my own and I got a master’s degree, and now I’m
ready for some entry-level work to get my career going. So it’s a totally
different kind of a thing. So I’m not saying to never include all those
additional things that you’ve worked so hard for. It’s really just a moment to
reflect and look at the position and look at your resume and really have a
nice little marketing talk with yourself about the kinds of things that are going
to be on the resume that will best sell you to that organization and to that
position, and position you as the ideal candidate for that role. Again, as almost
always, it really just comes down to a question of marketing. So that’s all for
now. I hope that you learned a little bit of something from that. We’ll have more
for you soon. In the meantime, thanks for watching and have a great day!

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