Tom Sweeney

It's a coming of age tale….

Archive for January 16th, 2009

Getting past the gate keeper…

Posted by sweens on January 16, 2009

Todays’ blog is about getting past the gate keeper – which can be the recruiter of the HR contact – for whatever position you are applying for.  This blog is based off two comments which I have received on the posting “Progression of Positions”. 

Question 1 – How does one deal with being over qualified, yet under qualified?
Questions 2 – How do my job titles affect my professional experience?

I think these are both important questions and ones we should tackle.  First of all, I think that being over qualified, yet under qualified is a great expression and an accurate assessment of many candidates within the work force.  A candidate reaches this point when their resume clearly demonstrates years of excellent professional experience but little experience that is directly related the requirements within the position.


As I mentioned in early blogs, the recruiter of HR contract wants to see that someone applying for a Project Manager position within a banking environment has been a Project Manager within a banking environment before.  If your resume is unable to demonstrate this then you run the risk of appearing over qualified – in terms of technical experience -but under qualified in terms of project management experience within a banking environment.  Which will likely lead to you being passed over for that particular position.

Secondly, the job titles you put on your resume can greatly affect the perception it gives off to who ever is reading it.  This is generally more common amongst people who have a consulting back ground as they indicate that they are the CEO or VP of their own company.  Similarly, a candidate may indicate that they were contracted into a large company as a VP of R&D.  While this isn’t a bad thing, it can overstate your positions which can lead to doubt in your position/experience and can also personify the level of position you think you are qualified for when that level isn’t the position you are applying for.


While I am not meaning to suggest that if you were a VP then not to state it, however opinions are always formed when someone looks at your CV and if you are indicating that your last 6 positions were contract at a VP level but then apply for a Project Manager position, something appears to be out of line.  Not to mention – and this applies to my directly – that when someone sees VP, CIO, CEO, etc on your resume, they expect that you’ll be commanding those type of dollars which may not match the position your interested in.

Suggestions to deal with this moving forward??

Resumes are like meeting someone for the first time.  You have a small window to make a big impression and the first impression may last a life time.  So just be mindful of the image your resume is presenting upon you and how it relates to the position you’ve just applied for.

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