I have been debating résumé designing with a close colleague who has been in a very difficult employment situation. This colleague has an abundance of experience across a number of industries but has recently found themselves at a crossroad. Faced with the challenge of determining if they want to remain in the same profession and line of business (Corporate/Government), or return to their previous industry – Retail. Here is an a inside peek, my colleague has their fondest memories of managing people and achieving success when they worked in retail.

So here is where we go separate paths, my colleague believes that by adjusting their résumé to focus on their past experience in the retail industry and down playing their current experience in Corporate/Government is lying. Yes, I said lying - they perceive it as being a miss-leading résumé . I disagree and have based my argument upon the view that résumé s are suppose to give a quick snapshot of relevant experience you have to the job you are applying for. So, if you are applying for a retail management position, I want to see the focus on that experience – I don’t care as much about what you’re doing now – unless it is related.

What do you say?

Views: 110

Comment by C. B. Stalling!! on September 13, 2010 at 8:47am
I know many candidates that have 10 to 15 ver of their resume. They rewrite it to focus on the job at had. Also long as they perfermed the work somewhere I think it is ok. It will come out in the interview. The resume is a Road Map.

But they must have done the work That can't be made up....
Comment by Eric on September 14, 2010 at 12:26pm
Many candidates think resume is their autobiography versus a tool in job seeking project. That's when the conflict arises.
They tend to ask, if resume needs to be customized for the role one is applying for, what is a need of a cover letter? I believe modification on one's resume to re-arrange bullet points or introduce few fresh bullet points if they did that type of work before to highlight relevant experience is a win-win. If someone completely changed time frame of their career, company names, locations, major emphasis of their work (Software Programmer to HR Manager) and education information that is fraudulent. I agree with C. B. Stallings that a lot of information gathering can be done in interviewing, background / reference-check process to find the right fit.
Comment by Kelly Blokdijk on September 15, 2010 at 5:57pm
IMHO - a resume is a career "marketing" document and should be tailored to reach and grab the attention of the target audience. Content should be relevant, concise and focused on qualifications required for the person's desired future opportunity.

It is not necessary to provide an exact historical account of each and every employment activity - especially if that information does not relate to one's career goals. Accuracy and honesty is imperative; but that does not mean certain details can't be left off in order to highlight and make room for the most pertinent portions of one's background from a particular career-path.

Those with divergent employment history or other complex issues seem to struggle with this and typically end up with a poorly presented representation of their qualifications. In those cases, they are usually better off getting professional help from someone skilled at addressing those type of resume challenges.
Comment by Love on September 16, 2010 at 3:14pm
I don't think it's lying to tweak a resume to highlight experience that's geared towards a particular industry or role. This helps to save the recruiter and hiring manager time when looking through the resume, and it shows that the candidate is taking the time to highlight their specific skillset/experience for that particular job posting.
Comment by Debra Wheatman on September 16, 2010 at 5:06pm
Falsifying information on a resume is lying and that is not acceptable. However, the primary purpose of a resume is to get a foot in the door for an interview.

If the reader is bogged down with irrelevant information towards the beginning of the resume, then the resume is useless. As a CPRW - Certified Professional Resume Writer, I often recommend what is known as hybrid functional resume. This type of resume highlights relevant career achievements early on.

Keep in mind that your colleague has to feel comfortable with what he or she is presenting. This type of resume provides the best of both worlds. It let's the reader find out all of the good things about the candidate within the first part of the resume, but still gives a full picture of the actual career history.
Comment by Lisa Switzer on September 16, 2010 at 6:56pm
Thanks for the feedback everyone. We are on the same page, a resume is part of your marketing brand and use be used so appropriately. However, false advertising such as over-selling unattained skillsets or experiences or credenitals is out of the question and defintately lying.

I also fully agree that in this situation, whether or not it's the best approach for my colleagues resume - if she feels uncomfortable about it or in her minds-eye perceives it as lying then that is how it will come across in an interview even if it's not.


You need to be a member of RecruitingBlogs to add comments!

Join RecruitingBlogs


All the recruiting news you see here, delivered straight to your inbox.

Just enter your e-mail address below


RecruitingBlogs on Twitter

© 2022   All Rights Reserved   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Service