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Your Résumé

 

I recently had a chance to help my son and my daughter work up a résumé. I could give you a bunch of career help clichés here, but you know them, so I won't. I did, however, want to hit on one theme that I don't hear too often: consistency.

People do best when they learn something about you and they see or hear it portrayed to them over and over.

"He's got such a great attitude."

"Her insight is so on-the-mark."

"She's always running circles around everyone else."

There is a differentiator about you in your soft skills that separates you from others. It is your brand. And if there's one thing people like about the brands that they love, it's consistency in the ways that the brand distinguishes itself.

This need for consistency doesn't mean that there can't be other means for variety. But if you're known for your insight, people expect you to continue to be insightful. If you're known for your energy, people expect you to be energetic. Any variation from that known and expected trait waters down your brand.

I coached my kids to have the wording in their résumé reflect the testimonials from their references and what they would exhibit in an interview. Don't put "great customer service" on your résumé unless your references will say that about you. Talk about the strengths that your references will share with your potential employer. It will be in your résumé, in the words of those who have experience with you, and it will be obvious in how you carry yourself in every interview.

Consistency in the brand of "you" sells you to the person looking for what you offer. In this niched world, if your brand is positive and you push hard enough, you'll find the right gig for your consistently demonstrated niche.

ETC: It's tempting to apply this to other things, like political campaigns. Mitt Romney's slow traction for a lot of conservatives was the fact that he has espoused liberal positions in the past. His résumé didn't match his interview with the public. Same thing goes for Obama. The great "uniter" hung out for 20 years with an anti-American bigot. We become who we hang around, and people now question his brand's authenticity by his chosen associations.

Consider how you want to be portrayed, and line up your résumé, references, and your interviews to reflect that portrayal consistently.

 


by Brett Rogers, 5/3/2008 1:00:09 PM
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