Should You Dummy-Down Your Resume?

MSCCN LargeShould You Dummy-Down Your Resume?

By Deb Kloeppel, President and CEO,

Military Spouse Corporate Career Network

As a career management professional, I am often asked the question, “Should I dummy-down my resume when looking for a job during this difficult economic time?” Depending on the reason why you’re in a desperate job search, my answer might surprise you.

Are you willing to become under-employed for the sake of paying your bills and keeping food on the table is the better question.

Two years ago my guidance to applicants – especially military-affiliated candidates, would have been a resounding no when down playing your skills sets to get a job – ANY job to pay the bills.

However, desperate economic times often spawn amazing opportunities for you to find “creative” ways to earn income. Under-employment might be the exact solution to your financial situation. But there’s another important reason to obtain a job beneath your skill sets, should you find yourself desperate for income when RIF’d, terminated, phased out, locked out, or laid off indefinitely.

Employers have a tendency to hire applicants who are currently working or possess zero job gaps in their employment history. Possessing a work history that reflects times of under-employment during an otherwise impressive career life illustrates your ability to adapt to enormous change and transition during economic downturns.

Nothing excites an employer more than hiring a dedicated applicant who stepped up to the plate during a tough time, to do what was necessary to remain debt free and clear of IRS woes – even if your job history screams under-employment because of your impressive skill sets.

As an employer, I handle the financial life of five MSCCN Team members within my organization. I realize that doesn’t sound like a great deal of responsibility, but I assure you, as President and CEO, all the decisions I make daily affects each staff’s income level and quality of life – every decision. I’m determined not to lay off or terminate the services of my staff.

We decided as a Team to cut hours and pay – and not services through our military outreach – in order to stay together during this tumultuous economic tide. Why? We’d rather be under-employed (under-paid and over-worked) than lose our Team and program for the sake of an extra buck. There’s something wonderful about working together as an under-employed Team, knowing that we’ll be together when times do get better. You can’t pay enough for that type of loyalty and employers WILL seek that type of loyalty when they hire again – and they will hire again.

To find out more about the Military Spouse Corporate Career Network, please go to www.msccn.org

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