Résumé Disconnects: Watch Out For These!


I continue to see client résumés that have several important disconnects on them that will stop a hiring manager from considering the candidate further. Here are three that get little press but can have a significant influence on the Continuum of Belief I recently wrote about here.

Disconnect Between Functional Expertise and Employment History

Whether you list your functional skills/expertise in a table or bulleted list, be sure that the expertise you claim comes from actual work experience, degrees, licenses, or certifications that you already possess and not seminars, webinars, blogs, college coursework, or books. You can’t claim to have expertise in “Ammonia Refrigeration” or “Forensics and Valuation” in your areas of expertise, but then state “currently preparing for Mechanical Contractor License” or “CPA certification (or “Accounting degree”)  in progress” elsewhere–especially if none of your work experience explicitly mentions “ammonia refrigeration” or “forensics and valuation.”  You must connect the dots because the hiring manager will try to as well.

Do not confuse limited knowledge or experience with expertise. This is seen by many hiring managers as a tactic to disguise or minimize insufficient minimal education or experience. Such disconnects are a red flag to anyone responsible for hiring people.

Disconnect Between Functional Expertise and Accomplishment

If you claim some specific expertise in that “functional skills/expertise” table but there’s no mention of an accomplishment or achievement that incorporated that expertise, there could very well be a disconnect in the mind of the hiring manager scanning your résumé. Be sure some of those keywords used in your “Areas of Expertise” table correlate to some work-related accomplishment. Make the connection!

Disconnect Between Accomplishment/Achievement and Duties/Responsibilities

All too often I see client résumés that list ordinary duties and responsibilities as “accomplishments.” Either candidates are trying to pass themselves off as achievers or they don’t understand the differences that separate duties/responsibilities and task completions from valued accomplishments. If generating management reports is part of your duties and responsibilities, don’t list “management report generation” as an accomplishment! It is a task you completed as part of your duties. Hiring managers are wise to this disconnect and it will disqualify you from further consideration.

Getting hired has been, is, and will always be about what the hiring manager needs. Address those needs rather than your own and you’ll continue moving forward in the hiring process.

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2 thoughts on “Résumé Disconnects: Watch Out For These!

  1. Tonya Fulen says:

    I appreciate functional information that has a bearing on quality. Thank you for this insight.

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