top of page

Is Your Resume Doing More Harm Than Good?

You’ve been doing everything in your power to outlast that feeling you keep getting that it’s time to change jobs, but the desire keeps getting strong and stronger. 

Changing jobs feels hard for most people because they know it takes work to get there. 

The biggest concern holding people back from being happier at work in a new job or finding a job with opportunity to highlight what they’re good at, is their resume.

Or, let’s get brutally honest for a moment, you may have a resume you feel okay about and are going through the motions of applying to anything and everything online, except you’re not getting any calls. So, even though you tried to write a resume, it’s extremely likely your resume isn’t getting your noticed.

What are your thoughts about your current resume? Do any of these realities resonate with you:

What resume? I’ve always gotten jobs through people I know, so I don’t even have a resume.

I haven’t written a resume in many years, so I don’t even know where to begin. 

My current resume will not help me because I want to get a job doing something completely different and I have no idea how to even attempt to do that with my resume.

Let’s face it, I downloaded one of those templates from Word, filled it out, and called it good. It was good, right? Well, it got me the job, so it was good…

Resumes? Does anyone actually pay attention to them anymore?

I have great experience, I can get by with the bare minimum because I can do all the jobs they’re hiring for!

If you have experienced any of these feelings about your own resume, you are not alone! Even though you’re not alone, I think it’s time to re-frame the way you think about resumes. 

In the beginning stages of a job transition, your resume is the only way to tell your professional story. When you put little effort into telling your story through your resume, you let others decide what your story is, which usually leads to being passed over altogether or targeted for jobs that are a down-level from your current job. 

When you think about the goals you have for yourself in your career and how your resume is a critical piece in attaining those goals, here are three important real-life reminders that can help you be more successful with your own resume.

1. You have really, really great experience, but the format and wording of your resume and LinkedIn profile are a negative distraction from your experience, which results in not getting true credit for what you bring to the table. 

Let me give you a specific example: internal company lingo. There are words and acronyms your company has created that only those working there understand. You know what I’m talking about. On a resume, don’t assume people reading your resume will speak your internal company lingo because they usually won’t, which will just lead to them feeling confused by what you actually do or have done.

2. The need for a resume can come on quickly and you are unprepared because you haven't used a resume in many years and throwing one together in the last minute will never position you in the professional light you deserve.

Here’s the thing. If you’re a Director, Vice President or Senior Vice President, and from a formatting or content standpoint looks like an individual contributor early in their career, that’s a problem. Your resume – formatting and content – should match your level of work history and experience. 

3. You may have a new job opportunity that's a slam dunk because you know someone, but you don't have a sleek, highly professional resume, so you use a generic resume template in Word and call it good. Except, it's actually embarrassing for the person helping you get the job because the level of professionalism exhibited by your resume is significantly below the level of professionalism required for the job. 

There was a moment in my HR career where we were hiring for a Vice President and a Director in the organization knew someone that was perfect for the role. The Director asked the candidate to bring resumes for all of us and when we got to the interview there weren’t any resumes for us. We learned after that the Director, who was a lower level than VP position we were filling, was horrified at the resumes he brought and refused to let us get distracted by them and just focus on the conversation. Sadly, the person didn’t get the job.

You work hard, have remarkable experience, and have the ability to make a difference and contribute in a new role at your current company or your future company, and a polished, professional looking resume is the best, easiest way to stand out. 

What does the look and feel of your current resume say about your experience and level of professionalism?

Your Modern Resume is created by Lesha Reese, who has taken everything she knows from 16+ years in Human Resources, leading recruiting teams and being apart of thousands of hiring decisions, and channeled it into three comprehensive, step-by-step guides that not only teach you the high level approach to resumes, but the actual execution of creating one that works for you. You can learn more at

bottom of page