Posted on Mar 27, 2015
Sgt David G Duchesneau
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If I am permitted, I would like to make this a two part series. During the next few days, while I have time because I will be recovering from surgery, I would like to talk about Resumes and Job Applications.
As I look around on RP, I see that there are so many Veterans who are getting ready to retire from Active Service or who state in their profiles that they are “available for employment.” Therefore, I thought that I may share some of my knowledge and experience in the area of Resumes and Job Applications. For over forty years, I’ve conducted thousands of Pre-employment Backgrounds for Homeland Security Companies and there is one common denominator that job applicant’s consistently do wrong. Do you know what that is?
Posted in these groups: 1 1 Job SeekerK14817871 Resume
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Sgt David G Duchesneau
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As I state above, the two biggest mistakes that job seekers make on their Resumes and Job Application is that they embellish their education and their past employment. In other words, they lie. Maybe not intentionally, but people feel that that have to claim that they have the education and past experience for that particular job that they are applying for. Like I said, I conduct pre-employment backgrounds for several high profile successful companies everyday and while conducting these backgrounds, I have found that many people say that they have graduated and have diplomas from certain colleges when in fact they do not. In some cases, our investigations have shown that the applicant has never attended that College or have dropped out of college before graduation. For whatever reason, many job applicant's do not think that these Companies are going to check all of the information on that job application, but I can tell you that they do. I have seen many instances where a person has been hired and once we finally do the pre-employment background and we document that the applicant has lied or misrepresented their information, the Company has terminated their employment. This happens all the time and when it comes to filling in a job application or creating a resume, some people tend to lie or significantly exaggerate their credentials or experiences in the hopes of increasing their chances of being successful. And while this can sometimes land you that job, materially misrepresenting your qualifications can backfire. And be very careful what you post on any Social Media sites because, while doing these pre-employment backgrounds, we also check all of the Social Media sites to see exactly what that applicant post.
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LTC Hillary Luton
LTC Hillary Luton
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WOW!  Maybe I'm just too much of a nerd to understand the benefit of lying on a resume.  I try to keep my resume simple but still tell what I did.  

I think my problem is I don't feel like I did anything that anyone would want to hire me for.  At least it doesn't seem like it.  I look at job descriptions a lot of the time and go, "I could do that job easy", but then they put in requirement something like "5 years experience working in social work" when the job really has nothing to do with social work, and I go, "well, so much for that."  

The problem I see that tends to bother me is when a job description states, "must have experience in a technical environment and knowledge of blah, blah, blah".  The job will be for writing and editing information for a technical field, but they need the writing to be understand by customers with little or no technical knowledge  The thing that bothered me about this, SMEs don't necessarily know how to talk in laymen's terms.  Just because I haven't worked on the technical applications doesn't mean I can't explain those very applications to a consumer.  That's what Public Affairs officers do.  We take complex military information and explain it to a population in terms they can understand.  Unfortunately, civilian employers don't understand that a person doesn't have to work in the field to understand the field and be able explain it.  OK, I think I was ranting there.  Sorry.  
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Sgt David G Duchesneau
Sgt David G Duchesneau
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Colonel, never give up doing what you know. Just keep your resume simple. Remember the meaning of a Resume: In many contexts, a résumé is typically limited to one or two pages of size A4 or Letter-size, highlighting only those experiences and qualifications that the author considers most relevant to the desired position. Many résumés contain keywords or skills that potential employers are looking for via Applicant Tracking Systems, make heavy use of active verbs, and display content in a flattering manner. Résumés can vary in style and length, but should always contain accurate contact information of the job seeker. If you need help, just ask? SF!
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Capt Meredith R.
Capt Meredith R.
>1 y
I'd never lie on my resume. There are things that you can strategically leave out though. I've been discriminated against for being a veteran. Literally, I was denied a job on base in my field of study for which I was highly qualified, because they didn't want some "uptight Marine" in their office (they told me that, and relisted the position after they told me I didn't get it). It was an NF grade position, so I didn't qualify for Veterans' preference. That really hurt me, because being part of the military was still important to me and the job was so perfectly suited to my background. So now I try to downplay that on my resume as much as possible. I leave the dates of my college graduation off too so they can't guess my age, and dye the spots of gray in my hair for the interview. I guess what I'm trying to say is, I take resume advice with a grain of salt because it really depends on the position you apply for. If you are in a field where military experience is prized like at a defense contractor, play it up. If you are in a field where creativity and free thinking is valued, play it down.
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Sgt David G Duchesneau
Sgt David G Duchesneau
>1 y
Capt, I fully agree with you. Your resume has to fit the job that you are applying for. During my career both as a Lew Enforcement and Civilian professional, I have several types of resumes in several formats and none of these resumes , other than my Curriculum Vitae, has any specific dates. Plus, a resume is to get you through the front door. Once you get invited for a job-interview, believe me, they'll ask anything if they can legally get away with it.
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MSgt Loadmaster
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I'm going to say using acronyms and providing lengthy qualifications/experience, instead of short and concise information. I'm guessing this based on my own frustrations writing medals and dealing with unfamiliar acronyms provided and from a critique on my résumé by my husband.
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Sgt David G Duchesneau
Sgt David G Duchesneau
>1 y
Keep your resume very simple, factual and to the point. Do not use any abbreviations. Remember, the person reading your resume may not have a clue what you are talking about. So spell it out!
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LTC Randy Bartley
LTC Randy Bartley
>1 y
agree on acronyms and add "misrepresenting the truth" regarding responsibilities, knowledge and expertise. There are a lot of so called "experts", world class, etc, that can be truly recognized with a few questions. Great thread! If I can help any one please let me know.
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TSgt John Dias
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1. One mistake most folks make is to use the same resume for all jobs applying to. You should tweak your resume to where you are submitting it to. Conduct intel on the places you are submitting to; adjust your resume to appeal to them more. Remove bullets that aren't germane to the position you are applying for; add content that is. Adjust/add/remove key words, skills, that will get your resume noticed. Not all positions are the same. I'm not advocating lying here. Even at a job fair tweak it before you go there to be attractive to as many companies in attendance there.

2. Write to the layman. KIS(S). Write to the position you're applying to.
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Sgt David G Duchesneau
Sgt David G Duchesneau
>1 y
Great advice TSgt John Dias! That is exactly what I've been trying to say here. Do not use the same resume format for all jobs. Like you said, tweak your resume to the position that you are applying for. I have several variations of my resume on file. They basically say the same things, education and experience, but they are formatted and tailored to the specific job and Company. And above all, keep it simple! This is not rocket science here. Do not try to re-invent the wheel. Try it, it works!
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