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Job Hunting, Resumes & Cover Letters

How a Qualifier Can Disqualify You

resumes

resumes (Photo credit: realisticresumes)

QUALIFIERS ARE ADJECTIVES WE SOMETIMES USE TO DESCRIBE A PERSON OR A SITUATION THAT CASE US TO FOCUS ON DIFFERENCES, WHICH ARE NOT RELEVANT TO THE POINT. — Cool Training Series: How To Be a Better Leader and Manager

Imagine an office conversation that goes like this: “did you see the pretty woman they hired to be the boss’ new secretary?”

The qualifiers are “pretty” and “woman”, and the information conveyed is about looks and gender. While the new secretary might indeed be female, and even attractive according to the observer’s standards, imagine a different situation: “did you see the ugly man they hired to be the boss’ new secretary?” Do these qualifiers add valuable information?

Let’s switch to their use in a resume. One I was reviewing today had adopted the traditional functional format to include “volunteer qualifications”, as though qualifications had to be qualified by the mode of their pay. There are qualifiers such as “part-time”, “on call”, or “family-owned” that jobseekers feel need to spelled out on their resumes. This is the problem with that kind of thinking:

QUALIFIERS CREATE BARRIERS TO SOLVING SIMPLE PROBLEMS.

What if a job candidate has an extensive background and skills for a job but those skills are gained through volunteer experience, or through working with a family-owned business? If this is spelled out on a resume, usually under a Volunteer History heading below the Employment History heading, this tells me the jobseeker keeps the two separate because they think of them in separate terms, like volunteer work is different from REAL work. If we want the employer to recognize the GENUINE skills and work experience gained from volunteer work history, why not treat it as such?

Notice how I capitalized two more evil qualifiers. If any work skills in my resume were different from REAL work, why would they be in the resume in the first place?

Practice removing unnecessary qualifiers from your thinking, your speech and your resume. You’ll be rewarded with clearer thoughts, and the information you put in your resume will focus on what is important.

 

 

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About kimberlyjmyers

I am a workforce development professional in Washington State. I have ten years experience working with dislocated workers, vocationally impaired, and people with disabilities on many levels and backgrounds from offenders to non-English speaking refugees from around the world. The One thing the clients I have worked with all had in common: there was some barrier to employment, and I work diligently every day to identify, address and remove those barriers.

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