Taking it off to get the job

April 24, 2009 at 7:02 pm 1 comment


Last year I was contacted by a mid level manager for job search advice.  Let’s call him Joe Jetson.

Joe’s plea for dialog with someone on the inside was compelling.  He sounded desperate for help.  I could tell right off the bat that he was talented and highly experienced, just down on his luck.  I called Joe direct for a chat.

Joe needed insight from an internal recruiter on how he could improve his resume to catch the hiring manager’s attention and get him an interview.   He was looking for an opportunity to be considered for any marketing role.

For the past few years Joe had been working in various marketing roles, generally at the director level or above.  He could run any department and execute all marketing compaigns with great success.  But Joe wasn’t getting any interviews for the jobs he was applying to.   None at all.

Joe had found plenty of openings for marketing manager and below, but despite his amazing cover letter he couldn’t seem to get that face to face.  It was discouraging to this man with so much experience and talent.  All Joe wanted was a chance to work in marketing no matter the level.

It was clear when I reviewed his resume and cover letter that Joe’s background and capabilities screamed “VP”.  Why on earth would a director of marketing want to hire him for their manager opening?  Joe would end up taking the director’s job someday and move up the ranks.   It just wouldn’t happen.

My advice to Joe was to tone it down.  Have several resumes ready to send that would hilight his experience and background for each role he was going for.  I know it sounds like a lot of work to have several different resumes, but so is the lengthy job search.   What doesn’t make sense to a perspective employer is why a VP of Marketing would want the admin role.  

Don’t be uncomfortable to craft several hot versions of your resume.  You have to feel comfortable taking on the roles you are applying to and if you can’t accurately state them on  the resume you submit you can forget getting an interview.  It’s going to show in your correspondance. 

Remember, the resume is just to get your foot in the door – you will need to sell yourself during the interview.  If you appear “over qualified” you might be missing out on some great opportunities just because of job titles.   

My advice to those currently looking and not getting the interviews they’d like to take a lot at their first impressions.  A poorly crafted resume may not be working and it might be time to hire that career coach or professional resume writer.  I’m happy to recommend a few good ones in my own personal network.

Don’t be afraid to take it off, you might just be surprised how liberating letting go of a title can be.

What have you taken off in order to get the job?


Entry filed under: Job Hunting.

I joined plinked because Jacki Fitzpatrick said it would help my blog writing… Bad Naked

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. audrey613  |  April 24, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    This is a great post and something I have to advise candidates to do almost every day. Now I will send them here.


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