An IT professional responded to one of my blog posts by stating that he contributes so much to his company that his experience bursts the bounds of a resume. He was not overqualified so much as over-experienced. He offered too much value to an employer.
Someone who brings too much value to a company usually falls into one or more of the following categories. First, while their job title has not changed, they have taken on more and more responsibility. Second, they have worked almost as an internal company consultant, providing expertise to teams or business units that are outside the direct line of report. Third, their career path has included jobs in several different industries at different levels.
Before I share some techniques for dealing with this problem, I want to stress three points: (1) you must look at your career from the viewpoint of the hiring manager or recruiter; (2) no one expects a resume to cover your entire life story; and (3) editing is not lying.
When you read a job posting or advertisement, you will find certain achievements, credentials, and skills highlighted: those are the ones that the company wants to hear about in your resume. As impressive as your talents may be in other areas, no one—repeat, no one—is going to plow through bullet after bullet trying to find the exact skills they are looking for. So focus your resume on what the company wants; editing your resume to match the company’s wish list is a gift to the hiring manager and to yourself.
Once you have edited your resume to target the specific job you are applying for, here are three techniques to deal with the additional value you bring:
- If you have taken on additional responsibilities, it is fine to indicate that in your job title, for example: “Vice President of Finances (with CFO Responsibilities).” You might also dedicate a bullet point to the fact; for example, “Assumed duties of Assistant Manager during major retail events.” Any major achievements should be mentioned but you can trust that a hiring manager or recruiter knows what a CFO or Assistant Manager does on a day-to-day basis.
- If you have worked at different levels of the organization or with different departments or business units, state that you have contributed to projects that involve multi-level and multi-department cooperation and communication.
- Your experience in multiple job and industry categories should highlight the common denominators; that is, you should stress the achievements and skills that will be valuable in the position you are applying for. You might even create a section called “Career Highlights” in your resume to emphasize those unifying achievements and skills.
- Since different companies stress different skills and achievements, you may need to customize your resume for each job application. Just don’t send three resumes to the same company applying for three different positions.
You are not alone in struggling to create a resume that will attract hiring managers and recruiters and still do justice to your achievements, education, and skills. Contact me and we will work together to make sure your resume reflects your true value.