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Some job seekers taking polish off their resumes

Faced with the cruelest job market in years, some unemployed professionals are lowering their standards for the jobs they're seeking – and even toning down their resumes to avoid seeming overqualified.

To try to land interviews, they're mum about master's degrees they've earned and omitting lofty-sounding executive titles. Still others have left out everything from salary histories to the years they graduated to appear more attractive to employers.

Experts say it's a sign of growing desperation in a tough economy. The Charlotte area's unemployment rate hit 8.9 percent in December, far above the 7.6 percent national average reported for January. Job openings are scarce, and some employers turn away overqualified candidates, worrying they can't afford them, or that the new hires will be dissatisfied and move on quickly.

Gerry Kirkland of Fort Mill, S.C.'s Global Recruiters Network said he's talked to two job seekers in the past month who have listed lower-level titles. One worked as general manager at a steel manufacturer; his resume now say "plant manager" or "manufacturing manager," Kirkland said.

One Charlotte woman, who asked not to be identified, has had two recruiters present her former title as "director" of marketing, rather than "vice president," thinking the latter would make her seem overqualified, she said.

The woman, who is in her 40s, agreed to ditch the title in hopes of getting an interview and deciding for herself whether the job was a fit, she said.

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