Don’t Believe Your Own Story

Every once in awhile I take on a client that needs an updated résumé and this week was one of those times. This was someone who found me on an online service last April. We finally met for the first time in person yesterday.

When working with someone on their résumé, I first get whatever current résumé or documentation that the client has. Then, I interview them about what they’ve done and what their current goals are. Yesterday was no different. What I noticed, however, is something that I have noticed before- the client had a story about themselves that was NOT indicative of their experience.

Let me explain by giving you examples from past clients.

One client that I worked with a few years ago hired me to update their Business Plan and résumé to attract investors for opening a new restaurant. They wanted their title at the top to be ‘Cook’ when they had worked in the restaurant industry for over 40 years, had multiple professional credentials, and had already owned a restaurant. In the end, I insisted on ‘Restaurant Entrepreneur’.

Another client didn’t realize all of the qualifications that they had from owning their own one-man handyman business. Things like complying with all financial, legal, and insurance obligations or managing subcontractors for projects. They ended up taking their résumé that I had made for them to a local temp agency and got hired for a position that they didn’t even have any experience in because their résumé demonstrated responsibility, using their independent judgement, and organization skills- skills you can’t train someone in, and they were trained in for their new job.

So here I am yesterday listening to my new client. They hadn’t worked in their chosen industry (IT) for several years. What they had originally told me was that they had taken some time off to deal with a health issue. What came out in the interview, however, was that they worked for their brother’s business as an office manager for two years to help out. And for the past six months, they’ve been working as a security officer. Deeper into that conversation I find out that they’ve been promoted two times (in six months!) and are now in a supervisory role. All of a sudden I see several key pieces that my client had not been able to see about themselves: that in addition to their former IT experience, they have the valuable wide-view of managing all aspects of a business, supervisory skills, are quick to excel, and that they also have two areas of expertise that they hadn’t even considered that I was able to see on their original résumé.

Moral of the story: DON’T BELIEVE YOUR STORY. Now, this moral has bigger life implications, but I am talking about your résumé.  And another thing- once your résumé is demonstrating the big person you *actually* are, potential employers and investors are going to expect THAT person to walk through the door for the interview or meeting. I recommend getting a coach to do mock interviews with so that your résumé  and who shows up are a match.

So, what is your story about yourself? How is it holding you back in your career and financially? It’s a good idea to check in with your colleagues or show people, specifically those who’ve hired others, your current résumé.

Author’s note: This also applies to your LinkedIn profile. Résumé’s, LinkedIn profiles, and interview coaching are all services that I provide. Call or message me to hear more!