Should you include your career failures in your resume or should you just skip them? Would it work in your favor if you include them in your resume or will it negatively impact your chances of getting shortlisted for your dream job?
If these questions have been plaguing you, read on to unravel the answers to these questions in this article.
Be open about your career failures:
From a failed start-up venture to a failed acting career to a failed career as an internet marketer, career failure looks different on different professionals. The list is endless and they shouldn’t come in the way of your dreams.
Feeling disappointed in yourself because of that one professional shortcoming will not get you anywhere. You need to move on from it.
Providing a brief overview of your shortcomings in a professional manner can help.
So, now the question is: How to write this professional failure in your resume?
The answer is: Hybrid/Combination Resume Format.
This brings us to the next point.
Use the right resume format to focus on your skills:
That you have met with some degree of failure in your professional life does not mean that your skills have gone redundant. You’re still as skilled as you were before the big blunder and your focus should be on highlighting these skills, because at the end of the day, a recruiter is more concerned about the value you can deliver rather than the times you fell short.
There’s no better way to accomplish this than using an optimized resume format. Choosing the right format helps you highlight your professional endeavors which minimizes the time and attention that a recruiter spends on evaluating your career shortcomings.
With the hybrid/combination resume format, you’ll be able to divert the recruiter’s attention to the skills section and less focus will be given to your professional failure.
But to make this happen, you have to use the skills section wisely. Here’s what you can do to make the most of this section:
- List the 1st skill: 2-3 points pertaining to the work in which you’ve used that skill.
- List the 2nd skill: 2-3 points pertaining to the work in which you’ve used that skill.
- Continue in this manner.
Doing this will encourage the recruiters to give more weightage to your skills because your resume is structured in such a way that your skills are practically the first thing they see.
Here’s what your resume would look like when you use this resume format:
Write a Cover Letter:
Whether it is career gaps that you’re trying to explain, or frequent job switches, the scope for actually explaining them in your resume is quite limited.
Research has found that a recruiter spends just about 6 seconds to evaluate a resume. A recruiter won’t spend these precious seconds trying to understand you or your shortcomings.
The recruiter or hiring manager does not have the time to go through a resume that is full of apologies or explanations. When a recruiter evaluates your resume, they want to see the promise of entrepreneurship and ambition in a candidate.
A recruiter looks for signs of the ideal candidate in a resume. Thus, your resume should be strictly focused on endorsing your career highlights & skills rather than getting into the details of your shortcomings.
Leave this to a cover letter because the scope for explanations is best presented by a cover letter. This is where you get the best opportunity to explain your shortcomings.
Talking about your career failures is never an easy affair. However, it’s important to remember that to make mistakes is human. It should not discourage you from pursuing your dream job. Your failures are a minor speed bump. Don’t let it define your potential.
What really matters is how you overcome them. Take the time to breathe and put your best foot forward because at the end of the day, that’s what truly matters.