Season 2 Episode 86: Clearing Up Resume Myths with Lori Norris

On this week’s episode, I am debunking common resume misconceptions. You know me as the host of the Lessons Learned for Vets podcast, but did you know I have been providing education resources to the military community since 2005? In fact, for 18 years I have owned my own resume writing business and written close to 5,000 resumes.

There are lots of great resources out there on building your LinkedIn presence, the importance of networking and navigating the job search process, but there are only a few voices giving the resume the spotlight. On this solo episode, I am here to clear up some resume myths.

Myth #1: The resume is the most important thing to focus on in your transition. Contrary to popular belief, the resume is not the most important thing to think about in your transition. Your first step is to find your FOCUS.

Once you’ve zeroed in on your target, you’re ready to start crafting a focused resume. A targeted resume will expedite your job search.

Myth #2: Your resume is a storage area for everything you’ve ever done. Your resume should not be a storage area for everything you’ve ever done. During the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), you are taught to create a master resume. While I agree that creating a document of all your jobs and achievements is helpful, it should not be called a resume and it should not be shared with anyone.

Instead, think of the resume as a strategic marketing document and YOU are the product. You should be showcasing your unique skills and the value of them to your employer.

Myth #3: The resume is about you. The resume should not be about your needs. It should be targeted toward the employer. They are going to invest time, their reputation, other employees, customers, money and effort into you as an employee. They want to know what your ROI is going to be. How are you going to earn the money they are going to pay you?

Myth #4: Writing one generic resume will appeal to everyone. There is no such thing as an effective generic resume. Appealing to Everyone = Appealing to No One. If you are consistently meeting the majority of job qualifications on job postings and not getting interest, it’s very likely you are not effectively marketing your value and conducting a targeted job search.

Myth #5: The employer wants to hear about your team’s accomplishments. The employer only cares about the part you played in your team’s accomplishments. While acknowledging your role on the team is important, you need to showcase your unique contributions.

Myth #6: Hiring you is their first priority. While getting a job is your first priority, the reality is many hiring managers are looking for reasons to not hire you. You need to give them reasons to hire you. Focus on your unique value proposition. Companies want to make money or save money. Help the hiring manager understand how you can do that for them.

Myth #7: The employer will translate and understand your military skills. It is NOT the employer’s job to translate your military skills. YOU must adapt to THEM.

Myth #8: The Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is an evil robot waiting to say NO to your resume. The ATS is not an evil robot just waiting to say no to you and your resume. Yes, there is an ATS, and yes you need to write resumes that can easily be read by the ATS. However, the ATS is just the initial screener of the resume. The ATS looks for keyword matches and will rank applicants in order of highest to lowest match, so that a HUMAN can read the resume. 

Please head to the Lessons Learned for Vets YouTube channel at to hear a bonus tip on how to rewrite bullets to make them more impactful.

You can connect with me on LinkedIn at

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Are You Struggling to Write Your Resume?

I created the Veteran Resume Self-inspection Checklist to lessen the resume writing struggle for veterans. This 11-item checklist will educate you in resume best practices while giving veterans a guide to assess their resume and determine if it's ready to send to  employers. 

Download Your Checklist Here