Nothing tells a prospective employer that you are not the right person for his or her job more quickly than a resume that does not match the job description or the stated needs of the employer.
Your resume should be written in a way that reflects your education and accomplishments. Resist the desire to overstate your abilities, education, or achievements. If you overstate, you may appear over-qualified for the positions you are seeking.
And that lovely resume that makes you sound like Superman, Tarzan, and Albert Einstein all rolled into one may get you lots of interviews, but then you must sell yourself in those interviews! First, if you are not able to explain and provide additional details, the interviewer will know you are not qualified and may think you wasted his or her time. And as a job seeker, you don’t want to make any prospective employers upset – remember, you don’t want to burn any bridges!
Second, if your resume is written in such a way that you would need years and years of experience in order to attain the level of expertise implied in the resume, employers are going to be wary of your lack of experience. Then you probably won’t get an interview at all!
The following story is completely true and should serve to warn you against embellishing your resume. When a particular job applicant first graduated from college, he wrote an excellent (but embellished) resume that got him several interviews for mid-level management positions even though he was a recent graduate with little experience. When he arrived for the first interview, the prospective employer who came out to meet him burst out laughing.
The employer was kind and privately explained to the job seeker that based on the accomplishments in the resume, he was expecting a much older, much more experienced job candidate. The employer advised the applicant to rewrite the resume to match the candidate’s skills, abilities, and education and apply for jobs at the appropriate level. You don’t have to start at the very bottom of the ladder, but you can’t skip all the rungs and jump to the top!
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