Resumes and Career Paths: What are you known for?

Like many of you, I am revising my resume and wondering if it truly conveys what I have done and what I want to do.  According to Greg McKweon, a common issue with many resumes is that  everything comes across in equal measure.  There is no one stand-out talent or specialty.

People are Generally Known for One Thing

McKweon, shares the slightly painful truth that “at any one time there is only one piece of real estate we can own in another person’s mind. People can’t think of us as a project manager, professor, attorney, insurance agent, editor and entrepreneur all at exactly the same time. They may all be true about us but people can only think of us as one thing first. At any one time there is only one phrase that can follow our name. Might we be better served by asking, at least occasionally, whether the various projects we have add up to a longer pole?

I saw this illustrated some time ago in one of the more distinctive resumes I have seen. It belonged to a Stanford Law School Professor [there it is: the single phrase that follows his name, the longest pole in his career tent]. His resume was clean and concise. For each entry there was one impressive title/role/school and a succinct description of what he had achieved. Each sentence seemed to say more than ten typical bullet points in many resumes I have seen. When he was at university he had been the student body president, under “teaching” he was teacher of the year and so on.

Being able to do many things is important in many jobs today. Broad understanding also is a must. But developing greater discernment about what is distinctive about us can be a great advantage.”

Read the complete article by Greg Kweon where he also discusses how to find the sweet spot where we can make the greatest contribution. 

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When not reading, working or attending conferences and networking events, I am supporting my favorite charities: Teen Living Programs where I am a mentor, committee member and Executive Board member and YWCA Chicago where I am an Associate Board Member. I am passionate about causes related to supporting youth, women and families. Particularly in the areas of education, employment, violence intervention, social services and housing. With a keen intuition on helping people tap into their brilliance,  I am passionate about helping people grow. I can be reached at sherryclayton78@gmail.com if you would like to know more about my charities or this blog.

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