It’s typical for professionals to build up jargon common in their field of work and then apply it to their writing – including the resume. In some ways adding professional jargon to your resume may have you thinking it’ll sound more like you belong, but when you go to the extreme with technical terms on the resume, you lose out.
Remember that your resume will be reviewed not just by others in your field of work, but also the general hiring manager or recruiter who does not have the same technical knowledge as you do. You’re better off presenting a resume that’s understandable to the universal audience than to isolate your resume so it’s only understood by those working directly in your field of work.
Here’s Why It’s Necessary To Dumb-Down Your Resume:
1. There’s a good chance your resume will first go to a generalist.
In most cases, your resume’s first human reviewer will be the person from HR or a recruiter before it gets the department Head who’s hiring. If you want to make it pass this point, your resume has to present content the hiring manager and recruiter will understand and that can demonstrate you’re qualified for the job. When your resume can’t impress the generalist, it’s not going to make it into the hands of those in the department you’re applying to.
2. It’s not about keyword dumping.
While you want to keyword optimize your resume, keyword dumping with technical terms is not the way to do it. What’s the point of putting together a resume simply full of complex words that says nothing about what you’re capable of? Any time you choose to include technical terms, always put it in context as to how you used it and what results you gained out of it. This information is what will ultimately help impress the reader of your resume.
3. You won’t come off overqualified.
There’s nothing wrong with being overqualified, but some employers perceive an overqualified candidate on the resume as a risk. There is fear the job you’re applying to is not your ideal position and that you’ll leave as soon as something better comes along. It is not a risk many employers want to take since a lot of time and money is put into the interviewing, hiring and new employee training process. Your best bet is to present information targeted to the employer’s exact needs without going overboard with other information that’s unnecessary or irrelevant. For more tips to steering clear of coming off overqualified, read: “3 Resume Tips To Avoid Appearing Overqualified.”
Don’t think of a dumbed-down resume as downplaying who you are and what you’re capable of doing, rather it’s helping you communicate more effectively to the employer to help them understand exactly why you’re the candidate they need to talk to for the job.
About the author
Don Goodman’s firm was rated as the #1 Resume Writing Service in 2013, 2014, and 2015. Don is a triple-certified, nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist who has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Check out his Resume Writing Service. Get a Free Resume Evaluation or call him at 800.909.0109 for more information.
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