I learned this lesson the hard way - I completely agree.
I don't live or work in the US, but maybe my case could serve as an example.
I broke into the game industry with a degree in English Literature, to a position that required 2 years experience in the related field (Game Design). I got it by dressing up my resume and catering it to the job; my personal blog became "gaming journalism," my hours of experience playing PC games became "keen understanding of basic level design principles," and my prior experience teaching English as a foreign language became "communicates ideas clearly and confidently to a wide variety of audiences." I paraphrase and simplify, but I hope the idea is clear!