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Baby Might Have Back, But Your Resume Shouldn’t Have Any ‘Buts’


My father is a television fanatic — he always has been and likely always will be. Because of that, he often quotes various catchphrases that he finds humorous, attempting to take on the inflections of a specific actor’s (or sometimes actress’) voice. During the ’90s, I was forced to endure countless repetitions of “Did I do that?” (thanks, Mr. Urkel), and before that, there were many, many John Wayne quotes.


(Photo Credit: Gonzalo Aragon/Shutterstock)

Although I dreaded hearing it as a child, one of my favorite impressions that my dad does is his classic Maxwell Smart (Don Adams) voice telling me, “Missed it by that much.” Whether I’d gotten a B+ on a report card or I let the soccer ball pass me into the net, I could predict his response almost without fail.

Do You Know What You're Worth?

There’s a reason this particular impression has resonated with me. In life, we very often miss things by a tiny margin. We may be highly critical of ourselves during those times when we fail to achieve our desired results, but the fact is, the particular “race” was probably closer than you think!

Let’s turn this over to the world of job hunting. Right now there is a hiring team looking at the final list of potential candidates. They’ve dwindled the list down to six, and they need to get to five before they start interviewing. Imagine this discussion: “Well, number six is very good, but they’re missing [insert competency or experience].” Do you want to be number six? Here are three things you can do to eliminate those “buts” or skill gaps in your resume.

Be Current.

Just as we raise eyebrows over expired milk, organizations are not looking to fill their ranks with employees who aren’t current in today’s environment. If you’re like me, it’s been a while since you last completed a college course. I’m not saying that you need to run out and sign up at your local school, but make sure to showcase how you’re still keeping your skills current. Do you re-certify annually? Do you use the skills every day? If you were an accounting major a decade ago and are currently a yoga instructor, it may be tough to connect the gap, but don’t forget the little things. Do you keep manage the finances at the studio? Do you collect payments and balance a ledger each month? You may spend most of your time in a downward dog, but you’re still keeping up with the times.

Show Rather Than Tell. 

Yes, there is a set of criteria that every hiring manager is looking for in their candidate pool. And more than half of the resumes will mention or reference these criteria (for those that don’t, please see my other blogs on things to include in a resume). As a hiring team narrows their search, they’re looking for these criteria, coupled with how you currently use said criteria. Are they looking for someone who works well in a team environment? Sure, they can see you’ve been a product manager for the last six years, but you need to showcase HOW you were part of a team. For example, “As a product manager in the widget department, I worked closely with a team of engineers, designers and architects. We formed a cohesive product team and were able to deliver our software ahead of the project plan, capitalizing on a $60K bonus incentive for early completion.”


Get In Sync.

This final tip has really spun into existence in the last 10 years, but it’s one that I don’t believe you should take lightly. Crafting a resume takes time — at least it does if you’re doing it correctly. Once you’ve built your masterpiece, make sure that your online profiles (think LinkedIn) line up. You don’t need to mirror your resume, rather your skills and experiences shouldn’t be out of line. It’s always difficult for recruiters who have a powerful resume in hand when they check out an online profile and notice large discrepancies. Take the time to make sure you’re not sending any mixed messages.

Nobody is perfect, and we can’t expect to get every interview for every job. With that in mind, we can work to ensure that we’re making the final cut more often than not, and following these tips will get you off to a great start. Unlike my dear old dad, I’m not much of a TV connoisseur, but I can offer you one final tag line, “MEEP. MEEP. That’s all, folks!”

Tell Us What You Think 

How did you make the cut? Tell us your story when you needed to build experience or close a skills gap to avoid the “but!” Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

Michelle Kruse
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