Meeting job requirements doesn't make you unique
Dear Sam: I am trying to write my resume and am receiving conflicting advice on what to include. I am reading through job postings and the requirements for positions and attempting to ensure I include all of the requirements that are pertinent to my background. I wondered though, when a posting calls for a college degree — which I do not have — should I list my high school diploma? Also, I do not possess all of the technical skills required for some of the roles, but I am sure I can learn them quickly; what do I list in those instances? — Joe
Dear Joe: When reading through a job posting, be sure you are scanning the “requirements” but paying most attention to the actual description of the role. That section of the posting will represent the “language” you need to speak on your resume. The requirements are just that: requirements. It is expected that a “qualified” candidate will possess those requirements; so if that is indeed the case, you and your qualified competitors will be competing based on the uniqueness of your experience. That is actually the case 99% of the time, Joe. Requirements are what I call “check the box” qualifications — you have them or you do not. Your candidacy should be built on the uniqueness of your experiences, presenting those experiences in a “language” that closely mimics the job posting of interest or the theme of positions you are applying for.
Lastly, some additional food for thought. You mentioned technical skills; sometimes, through inclusion of what you do possess it really tells what you do not possess. If your technical skills are lackluster, then omit them entirely to at least leave the question open as to whether or not you possess those skills. Likewise, with your education, communicating your high school diploma does not say “I graduated from high school”; it actually says “I did not attend college.” Be strategic in your inclusion of and selective omission of said requirements to ensure you are not disqualifying your candidacy.
Samantha Nolan is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and owner of Ladybug Design, a full-service resume-writing firm. Do you have a resume or job search question for Dear Sam? Reach Samantha at [email protected] For more about Sam’s resume writing services, visit ladybug-design.com or call 614-570-3442 or 1-888-9-LADYBUG (1-888-952-3928).
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