I read a fascinating article last week that took the discussion about personal marketing to a whole new level. The article – The Surprising Secret to Selling Yourself – asserted some ideas that I have been promoting on this site for some time. A truly effective resume strikes just the right balance between presenting a solid track record of success and communicating potential. If you read my blog, you know that your resume needs to include specific, quantifiable achievements. For most readers, that concept is disruptive enough. So the idea that your resume needs to also create some strategic curiosity gaps can be too much. In fact, you may be thinking that those two ideas are mutually exclusive. However, a resume that achieves both is going to be incredibly compelling. Here’s why:
Discovery is exciting: When it comes to hiring, the thought that you may have found someone with untapped potential and someone who is going to be a rock star in her / his new role is a pretty exciting idea. By creating some strategic curiosity gaps on your resume – those questions in readers’ minds that make them want to learn more via an interview – you allow for that feeling of discovery.
Quantifiable accomplishments reduce risk: Potential is a powerful selling point, but without some track record of success, the risk can simply seem too high. A bad hire is a costly error. If you can show – by sharing clear achievements – that you have made a positive impact in the past, you reduce the perceived risk and allow the reader to take a more calculated gamble.
Your best is yet to come: No one wants to bring in someone whose best days are behind him or her. No matter how successful you’ve been, you need to leave space for something even greater in the future. Take the iPhone for example. The product was an initial hit because it united Apple’s track record of quality and design excellence with potential. That same powerful combination continues to make the iPhone an incredible success.
Have a look at your resume. Are you balancing clear accomplishments with some compelling curiosity gaps? Are you communicating that – despite your success – your best work is yet to come? I’ll be honest, that balance is not easy to achieve. On the plus side, those that do achieve it will stand out in an increasingly competitive job market.
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