Tag Archives: functional expertise

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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Job Seekers: When Are You Going to See the Bigger Picture of Your Expertise?

When are job seekers going to stop seeing their expertise as merely the bait for the next job? When will people start looking at how their expertise contributes to something far bigger than their own self interests?

In my Career and Job Strategy Workshops, I show participants how position their expertise beyond the nose on their face. I still see far too many résumés full of bullet lists containing “duties and responsibilities” that only tell me what you did (or had a part in doing)–what I as a hiring manager what to know specifically is what was it that you accomplished in the normal performance of your “duties and responsibilities”? How did what you did contribute to the higher strategic objective of the organization? Did it generate revenue? Did it reduce costs? Did it avoid costs? Did it result in some kind of efficiency improvement?

Figure 1 graphically represents how core competencies are created–by a series of related duties and responsibilities. Unfortunately, most candidate résumés are loaded with duties and responsibilities. When you have more than a few related core competencies, they contribute to a “functional expertise” and that’s what hiring managers want to see (accomplishments speak to functional expertise too).

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FIGURE 1. Show hiring managers your core competencies, not just your duties and responsibilities, which do not separate you from the competition who also have duties and responsibilities. (© 2014 Donn LeVie Jr. from The Career and Job Strategy Workshop)

Candidates need to realize that a company is on the road to having a competitive advantage in the marketplace when they hire people who know how to showcase their core competencies and NOT just everyday duties and responsibilities. Companies that enjoy market dominance tend to employ people who know how to showcase their talent through related areas of functional expertise, as Figure 2 shows.

FIGURE 2. How core competencies contribute to a company's competitive advantage and how functional expertise contributes to a company's market dominance.

FIGURE 2. How core competencies contribute to a company’s competitive advantage and how functional expertise contributes to a company’s market dominance. (© 2014 Donn LeVie Jr. From the Career and Job Strategy Workshop)

Demonstrate to hiring managers that you understand the business, the issues, and the challenges by listing achievements/ accomplishments, core competencies, and functional expertise on your résumé–more than likely, you’ll be on that hiring manager’s short list for a job offer.





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